Doğtaş and Kelebek, two of Turkey's largest furniture brands, are set to open the first furniture factory in Senegal. Thanks to this investment, 350 million West Africans will be introduced to Turkish furniture, according to a report in Turkish daily Akşam yesterday.
Doğanlar Investment Holding, one of the most important furniture manufacturers in Turkey with its Doğtaş and Kelebek brands, will introduce Turkish furniture to Africans with a furniture factory to be opened in West Africa's exit gate Senegal. The goal is to reach $50 million to $60 million in exports from Turkey to Africa each year through the factory that will be established with a $50 million investment."In Senegal, with its population of 15 million, half of the people sleep on the floor," Doğtaş and Kelebek Mobilya Board Member Ismail Doğan said. "Half of the people here do not know about our pullout couches and beds. Most of them sleep on the floor. We will save Africans from floor beds."
The factory, which will be established with a 30 percent foreign partnership, will be built in a 50,000-square-meter space over three years. The first phase of the factory, which was launched in May last year, will open in June 2018. Initially, 160 people from Turkey and Senegal will be employed in the factory, while in 2020, when the plant starts operating at full capacity, 700 to 1,000 jobs will be provided.
Noting that it is difficult to find qualified staff to work in the production of sofas and pullout couches in Senegal, Doğan said furniture makers from Turkey will be taken to Senegal during trial production and that they will also take the Senegalese to Doğtaş and Kelebek factories in Turkey for training. "The Senegalese will learn the profession from Turkish masters here. Then they will be employed in our factory in Senegal," he said.
Doğanlar Investment Holding's investment in Africa is not limited to furniture. The holding is building a fruit and vegetable wholesale market in Dakar. Doğan said that $80 million of exports would be made for Turkey with this investment amounting to $106 million, 85 percent of which is financed by Türk Eximbank.
Recalling that they also bought a field to build a 32-story office and business center, Doğan said they would invest $60 million to $70 million in the project expected to be completed in 2020.
Doğan said they would also conduct sales to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with a population of 350 million. "We will also export products to the United States and Nigeria from here. When the investment is complete, we will reach $50 million to $60 million in sales a year. We will import fabric and sponges from Turkey," he added.
In a statement to the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP), Doğtaş Kelebek Mobilya stated that they have initiated talks with Sancaklı Mobilya for a 51 percent partnership in the company's lumber and veneer production firm in Montenegro to support sustainability and high-quality production in the existing supply of chairs and to open up to EU markets midterm.