Could you tell us about the Temmer company? For how long have you been functioning in the natural stone industry? What are the phases that the Temmer company went through?
Temmer was founded at Afyon in 1998. We first started our operations investing in quarries and operationalized the Crems Nuova quarry in Bilecik within the same year to launch our marble block productions. During the course of process, we made our planning to actualize the biggest integrated marble facility of Turkey in Afyon in 2001. We slowly began exporting and continued to introduce our products in different countries over time. Within this process, we increased the amount of countries that we export to through exporting to a new country each day. On the other hand, we launched quarries in various regions of Turkey while maintaining our investments regarding the marble quarries. We are currently functioning along with three active marble quarries. Additionally, Temmer is processing raw materials, marble blocks in other words through supplying them from the exclusive marble quarries of Turkey. It provides service with a portfolio containing over 80 types of stones. It developed the market along with more active plannings in the domestic market for the last five years. As a major step for this, we launched our showroom in İstanbul and activated our plate gallery in İstanbul in the last year. Temmer currently provides supplying services responding the need of natural stones for any kind of project with more than hundred of natural stone types within its body, along with products we either supplied from the domestic market or the products we imported from overseas.
What are your expectations about the domestic market specific to İstanbul?
We have been actively functioning in İstanbul for the last five years. We started our operations by performing project-based actions from the center of Afyon early on and afterwards we decided to launch our showroom in İstanbul. Through the planning phase, we created a showroom by properly scrutinizing the domestic expectations, especially for architects and contractors to fulfill the needs of the clients. Besides, we performed studies about accurately implementing sample procurements, photographing marbles and offering the service to visualize them, reading the projects and representing their architectural solutions. Because we saw that the architects want to use natural stones but there are insufficient services. We endeavor to provide service in our office not just for filling this gap but also to become an architectural solution partner for various projects. Construction sector plays an important role regarding the emerging domestic economy of Turkey. Therefore the expectation for natural stone usage increases. Of course i am talking about an expectation in terms of supplying. However, we see natural stone utilizations that are below expectations in many themed and design projects. Because marble has yet to reach the value it deserves in the eyes of the consumer, meaning that it does not create any added value. The end user does not regard the natural stone as an added value while purchasing for dwellings. However with each passing day, more and more investors take place in the industry sector and it creates a major competition. Project owners seeking to become distinct in this particular competition will head towards marble and see over time that the natural stones create a different added value and adorn their projects with natural stones. This is exactly what we expect.
What future investments are you planning to make?
We launched our plate gallery in İstanbul and our goal is to increase its size in the upcoming years.
You are performing as the Vice Chairman of the Board for the İstanbul Mineral Exporters’ Association. As an executive in the industry, in what state do you see the Turkish natural stone industry in terms of the global scale?
When scaled worldwide, the industry accomplished major objectives through immensely producing in vast amounts regarding the quarry and plant capacities. We are also competing with the leading global companies in machine technologies. However, when examined in price for square meters, we sadly continue to undersell products due to intense competition among ourselves. In other words, we can not sell products with high added values. A price-based competition increases each day and it decreases the profit rates. Our country is renowned from the point of natural stones and we occupy important places in world markets but as i have stated before, we have lots of deficiencies in sales and marketing.