Sylvania, one of the lighting companies with more than 100 years of history, turned one in Turkey last month. We talked to Kemal Mothr, who works as Sylvania Turkey Marketing & Sales Manager, about the company's turkey structure and their work.
Sylvania has completed its first year in the Turkish market. Can you describe your process?
As Sylvania Turkey, we launched at the Istanbul Light Fair held last year. With a high level of participation by Global, including our CEO and Middle East regional director, we made the official introduction and promotion of the Sylvania brand to the Turkish market at the fair. In November, we opened our Istanbul office. In January of this year, our products started to be on the shelves of our dealers by cutting our first bill. During this time, we have made our travels to all of Turkey to announce the Sylvania brand and we have now reached 25 dealers. We have made our name in the lighting and electricity market, whether it is dealers and wholesalers, lighting designers and architects, by signing products and projects that will make a sound in the Turkish Lighting market with the power of our brand in a year's time. We intend to develop our organization, which we started with commercial dealer network and project channel, by creating sales channels for end users in the coming period and advancing them with marketing activities.
At this time last year, our organization was newly established and even our office was under renovation. We started selling at the beginning of this year and are currently progressing in line with our 2018 targets. In addition to the sale, our marketing activities in order to increase our brand awareness are among our targets and in this context, we have worked with fixture catalog for the project channel, dealer signs and promotional materials for the dealer channel. We are currently working on our all-Turkish price list and website.
Which products Sylvania stood out with. What different products have you offered to the industry?
Since New Year's Day, our product diversity has been increasing with time. In the market we entered with fluorescent lamp, we have now introduced our various lamps and fixtures to our customers, both conventional and LED. For example, there was more demand than we expected for our RefLED GU10 LED lamps, which we presented to the market in May. We anticipate selling more than twice as many units as we planned by the end of this year.
Due to high taxes, domestic production was required.
The products we are currently selling come from our FACTORIES in the UK, France and Germany in Europe and from China. When this organization was established last year, the company's goals globally included making a domestic assembly and production, and this was the rhetoric shared with you. Given the high customs duty imposed on fixtures from China and the time period in TSE inspections, domestic production has made sense for us and for global Sylvania. In December 2017, we launched the domestic production project in Turkey under my leadership with our global quality and supply teams and started production of our first domestic fixture, start Eco 60×60 LED Panel. With the launch of the product, it received a lot of attention. Using the LED modules and drivers of our model produced abroad, we created a product that we are proud of by combining the quality of Sylvania with the effort and skill of the Turkish worker. At the same time, we are happy to make a contribution to the Turkish economy. In the last quarter of the year, we will expand our domestic product range with 2 new product groups. The testing, quality and documentation process related to the products is carried out together with our global team and is applied in the most rigorous way. Our next goal will be to sell these fixtures, which we first developed for the Turkish market, first by the Middle East and then by the European Sylvania organizations. In this way, Sylvania branded products labeled "made in Turkey" will be able to meet a much larger audience.
The Start Eco 60×60 LED Panel can be easily used even where the ceiling cavity is narrowest due to its slim body. The light flux is higher than its competitors and is 3500lm. It is 40watt in strength and is guaranteed for 3 years with a lifespan of 25,000 hours. It has two different color temperatures: 4000K and 6500K. The production of this product in our country gives us many advantages and we are able to produce quick solutions to special requests such as emergency kit, dali driver, clip-in roof frame. The drywall mount bracket is located in the box of each product, which is one of the features that the market has requested.
What do people say when the name Sylvania is mentioned in the Turkish market as a company?
I would like to answer this question as follows: We carried out a sell-out campaign during Ramadan and within the scope of this campaign our goal was to reach the customers of our dealers and increase the awareness of our brand. It was a very successful campaign and in 1 month close to 1 million lamps were sold. We also sent our gifts within the scope of the campaign to our customers with special thank you letters to individual names. When you go to Karaköy Archer Musa, Banks and Poet Ziya Streets, which we can now call the heart of the lighting market, you can find our stickers and products with our sign, logo at many points. So when I say the name Sylvania, I can share that people have a lot to say.
Which projects had Sylvania in a year's time?
As you know, the project work is a time-spanning process and there are many projects that we are currently actively involved in. Some of these are still being assembled, some of their materials are on the road, and some projects are in the process of receiving orders. We will be sharing these projects with you in more detail in the future, but I can say very easily that everyone will see Sylvania's signature on the most important and major projects this year. We have created a good customer base by reaching out to architects, lighting designers and project companies regarding the projects. Especially our Concord branded fixture families consist of products that make a difference in projects. Our Concord fixtures are fully developed and manufactured in the UK and are of great interest to architects and lighting designers. You will see these products in many projects in the future.
It is necessary to divide the lighting market into Commercial products and Project products. There is always a demand for cheap products in the commercial market and this will continue.Global companies are also affected by this price competition. As Sylvania, we think that we combine quality with reasonable price. LED conversion continues with a trend that is rising very quickly Today fluorescent lamps are now replaced by LED lamps and we also see that lamp change is gradually moving towards fixture change, a customer who buys a compact fluorescent lamp today buys led downlight fixtures and will continue to buy fixtures again in the future. In projects, products that make a difference are now preferred More solution-oriented products are used in projects. Products with different features are preferred by bringing them to the forefront and what we call smart lighting. For example, in our Beacon Muse rail spots, one product can be changed in both dimming, light change (2700K to 6500K) and light filtering angle. Moreover, these features can be done via Bluetooth without physically interfering with the fixture. Sylsmart is our Bluetooth-based wireless automation system that can be applied to all our fixtures and is another solution that makes a difference in projects. This system does not require any cable infrastructure and allows you to save high energy at low cost. In particular, we aim to sign projects that make a difference with Sylsmart on energy saving, which is one of the most important issues of our country and supported by our Ministry of Energy.
Many global brands operating in the lighting sector are withdrawing from some markets or restructuring their lighting activities under different names. What do you think is the root cause of these developments?
There's been a shift in global firms. Because with LED technology, all the dynamics of lighting have changed and new players have been included in the sector. Since new players take a share of the market of established global companies, these companies have inevitably developed different strategies. When we examine the structure of these companies, we see that they have various business lines other than lighting and that lighting is a priority of the companies with the change of the dynamics of lighting.
However, Sylvania was born with lighting since 1902 and until now its only line of business has been lighting. It produces both lamps and dearmatures. From this point of view, Sylvania is the market leader in many countries and ranks in the top five among global brands.
What are your future goals as Sylvania?
As Sylvania Turkey, our future goals are to grow in Turkey and increase our market share among global brands. We aim to do this by expanding our project channel, signing important projects and expanding our domestic product range, making Turkey a production base for Sylvania.