Çilek Furniture, which brings the term “teenager groups” to Turkey, is an important trademark in furniture market through its creation of unique atmosphere for children within Turkey and all around the world since 1995. Çilek Furniture, which aims to draw the attention and regards of various cultures by its investments in Africa lately, creates innovations inside the rooms of African children. In this issue, we have done an interview, about the activities of the company in Africa with Talha Çelik who is the member of the Administrative Board of Çilek Furniture.
When did the idea of making an investment in Africa occurred for the first time? Why Çilek Furniture chose Tunisia as its first target of investment?
Since the establishment of Çilek Furniture, the idea of an active export policy has existed and we have reflected that same idea on the Africa continent. Within Africa that contains 54 countries and a population that is higher than 1 billion, first countries to export our goods were Algeria and Egypt. After the successful periods of business in these countries we moved on to countries such as Tunisia that are rich in furniture production but weak in teenager groups. Today our exports are available to the entire North Africa, Nigeria and South Africa. In the next years, we are planning to enter into the markets of countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Angola and Ethiopia.
Currently Çilek Furniture has two stores in Tunisia. What are your plans for the future investments on the African continent?
Africa’s certain countries such as South Africa, Angola, Kenya and Tanzania are within our target markets. Also our efforts to become more active in areas within North Africa are on progress. Especially Libya and Algeria markets are among the biggest markets of North Africa for us.
Did you feel any uneasiness before making your investment in Africa? How do you evaluate the response of the Africans to Çilek Furniture lately?
African countries are among the fastest developing and richest countries in terms of natural resources and mines. In near future, there will be a strong buying capacity and to use this we are getting ready to take our places. In every country of Africa in which we are active, our goods are highly liked by store keepers and end-users, and multiplied endorsements are proof of this.
What kind of a vision did making investments on a different continent contribute to Çilek Furniture?
Çilek Furniture, targeting the whole world, started to enhance its vision by adding the indulgence and colors of the black continent. Through our work in Africa, we realized that our products are being liked by many different cultures and nations and the trademark Çilek has been welcomed with a different sympathy. The colors and logo of Çilek are in harmony with African culture that is colorful like ours.
Africa grabs attention of the investors through its financially changing atmosphere; as an investor, what is your evaluation of this change?
Many African countries that are once remembered with nothing but poverty and starvation now enhanced their income per capita. Between 2001 and 2010 the fastest developing African countries, i.e. Angola 11%, Nigeria 8.9%, Ethiopia 8.4%, Chad 7.9%, show us the market’s future potential. African countries which turn their resources into income are perceived as the biggest markets of the next 20 years. As Çilek Furniture, we maintain our works to take our places and construct the infrastructure in these developing markets.
This article was taken from “Africa Time” magazine by demanding all necessary permissions for copyright.