Grundig’s transformation after Arçelik bought it
Grundig is one of the most rooted brands of Germany. It was founded in 1945 and their wooden box radios and televisions were the stars of households at that time.
Grundig was bought by the flagship company of Koç Holding, Arçelik, in 2007 and underwent major changes. No surprise they are promoting their brand now as “We are 70 years old and we just started.”
Arçelik is the driving force behind Grundig’s technological transformation. Hakan Bulgurlu, who heads Arçelik, was at Milano Design Week recently. Bulgurlu and I had the opportunity to visit the Grundig stand at the prestigious Eurocucina Fair.
Frankly, it was impressive. A carbon fiber prototype refrigerator was displayed, as well as smart kitchens with HomeWhiz Virtual User Experience technologies.
Grundig has become an innovation giant. No doubt the huge investment Arçelik made in R&D played a part behind this transformation.
Arçelik has a new R&D center in Cambridge, U.K.; it is preparing to open R&D centers in Germany, the U.S. and Asia.
Grundig is a well-known brand with its quality and durability not only in Germany but also in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, all of which are countries with high levels of welfare.
With the inclusion of the white goods category into its product portfolio in 2013, the Grundig brand became the only European manufacturer to offer products in all categories of home electronics.
Bulgurlu said they have placed Grundig as an “international premium brand,” expecting it to cover 20 percent of international sales in the next five years. In other words, Grundig will not only grow in Europe but it will also grow in Africa, Southeast Asia, China and Latin America. The brand is expected to grow 2.5 times this year alone.
According to Bulgurlu, 60 percent of Arçelik sales are international ones; 40 percent are local sales.
We were also introduced to a project in Milan which would enable young people to meet with such a rooted brand.
Michelin-starred chef and author of the book “Never Trust a Skinny Italian Chef” Massimo Bottura has started a project called “Food For Soul” to feed the 800 million hungry people in the world; now, Grundig is supporting the project.
Bottura, who experienced an unfortunate restaurant venture in Istanbul with Eataly, is now in Milan, realizing his project during the expo.
In Milan, Bottura continues to feed mostly poor refugees with the “Food For Soul” project in Reffettorio Ambrosiano. They are using the food that supermarkets discard even though it has not gone bad. They also make use of the leftovers from street bazaars.
The aim of the chef, who has prevented the wasting of 15 tons of food in Milan in five months, is to feed the hungry and make use of the 1.3 billion tons of food that goes to the trash every year in the world even though it is edible.
Bottura has created soup kitchens in Bari, Palermo and Turin, and is planning to do the same in Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic Games.
This will be done with the support of Grundig.
Fortunately, there is a private sector in this country that puts a smile on our faces.