Customising your lifestyle


Galia Velinova, CEO, Sagist Mega EU and General Manager of Sagist Africa and Europe, with Metin Durmaz, CEO, Sagist Group
Galia Velinova, CEO, Sagist Mega EU and General Manager of Sagist Africa and Europe, with Metin Durmaz, CEO, Sagist Group

A niche, perfectionist furniture maker

By Ishtiaq Ali Mehkri

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Published: Mon 12 Jul 2021, 10:07 AM

Metin Durmaz, CEO of Sagist Group, is a doer. His synergies are exemplary and, moreover, he is a prudent business strategist. This is why Sagist Group excels as a niche furniture maker; and that too with a preferential choice and exclusivity.

The company was founded in 1978 in Istanbul, and since then has been going places. It has its presence in the United States, Europe and Africa, and is a sought-after brand in the Middle East. Though Durmaz started his career as a home furniture producer, he was quick to realise the trend and became a custom-made furniture maker, especially for the hospitality industry. His exclusive production caters to hotels, hospitals, schools and restaurants.

It has made a mark for itself as a leading manufacturer of contract and custom-made furniture in Turkey and Europe. With three versatile state-of-the-art factories in Turkey spread over a total area of 20,000 square metres, Sagist Group produces and delivers the best furniture worldwide.

Durmaz has a tale to tell as he elucidates his rich experiences. He is obsessed with Zaha Hadeed, a British-Iraqi architect designer, and says that he emulated sophistication from her art works.

“I know Chinese and Asian culture and its art preferences. It helped me introduce a great blend of Turkish and European arte-craft,” he pointed out.

The curator-cum-entrepreneur said that his designs in kitchens, especially, are a mix of European and Asian values, and he makes every effort to make it unique to the core.

He elucidated that while drafting custom-made furniture; they take care of minute details, and ensure that the mind-set of the client is taken care of. He took pride in mentioning the fact that Sagist churned out furnishing of 180 rooms within a span of only two months.

The CEO of Sagist Group has other investment profiles on his hand, too. But his heart lies in the hospitality industry, and custom-made furniture is his passion and first love!

“I select my own clients and we only deal in niche furniture. We are focusing on Dubai and Abu Dhabi as our new hallmarks of investment, and want to use these two factories and warehouses as the hub for supplies to the entire Middle East,” he confided.

The CEO says his company has earmarked $16 billion investment for UAE during the on-going year, and wants to broaden and redefine their presence in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. He eyes a business to the tune of $25 billion in the year to come. This is why Durmaz is not bothered with the downslide swings due to Covid-19, and says Middle East businesses should also pour in money, as is the trend in the West.

At the same time, he believes the taste for exclusivity and art in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE is second-to-none, and “they are creative par excellence and is evident from the lifestyle furniture they prefer.” Bahrain is planning renovation in its artworks, and it is spectacular, he added.

While Durmaz also has a flair to design for villas and big residences, he says he picks up his choice and is very selective and particular in it. “I design after studying the client, his references and colour choices. Then after designing the villas, I named them, too. One such creation of mine was called ‘Paradise’,” he cheered with a broad smile.

Sagist clients in the hospitality industry are the who’s who, such as Marriott, Radisson, Hilton, Four Seasons; and StarWood Hotels in the US, which has more than 300 units. “We are eyeing Australia and Thailand as our new destinations; and we plan to broaden our horizon,” he says, with a twinkle in his eyes, adding, “but we create custom-made furniture for them on our own creative terms.” This is where the Sagist Group becomes an indispensable choice for businesses who wish to be counted as outstanding.

“We believe in products with an increased lifespan. This is why I came up with a 10 years’ warranty because we believe in quality,” he specified. With a presence in 47 countries; having accomplished 123 prolific hotels and 1,650 villas, Sagist is a name to be reckoned with.

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