Being relatively new to Romania, what’s your vision for Etem locally, and what led you on this career path initially?

My technical background led me to Etem about ten years ago in Sofia, gradually expanding into various international markets. Etem primarily focuses on architectural systems, particularly designing profiles and accessories for curtain walls, windows, and doors—a pioneering venture in the Balkans. Our vision is to amplify the company’s architectural service potential within the local market.

How do you observe the architectural demand shifting as the real estate market evolves in sophistication?

Architect-investor dynamics tend to be more fluid here compared to Western countries. In the last decade, architectural standards have remarkably improved. Technologies like BIM libraries are becoming the norm, driving us to adapt and innovate. We anticipate a significant shift in approach within the next five years, necessitating our alignment with evolving market demands.

Could you share Etem’s regional presence and its involvement in Romania?

With our headquarters in Athens, two production plants in Athens and Sofia, and branches in Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine, Etem collaborates extensively with the automotive sector and boasts a turnover exceeding EUR 100 million. Etem Romania contributes around EUR 5-6 million to this, progressively expanding its segment.

How does aluminum, as a material, compare to others in the real estate sector?

Aluminum, while not the most economical, is perceived as a luxury due to its durability and eco-friendliness. Its malleability allows versatile profiles and a wide color palette. We’ve developed a project in Sri Lanka using colored aluminum profiles, guaranteeing a 20-year lifespan on the coast. While aluminum competes with PVC—also a good material—the choice often depends on project priorities like durability or insulation.

Considering different real estate sectors, how receptive are investors to aluminum solutions? Has the pandemic impacted this demand?

Aluminum is pivotal in offices for functional and marketing reasons. The residential sector is rising, especially in renovation projects aimed at preserving property values, with Romania leading in the Balkan region. Despite a temporary halt in commercial segments due to the pandemic, high-end product demand is on the rise.

What challenges have you faced since starting business in Romania?

Infrastructure, especially connectivity, is crucial in our industry. Financial circumspection toward business loans and investor caution about rising construction costs are shared challenges in the region, impacting long-term choices on material quality.

What’s Etem’s regional outlook for the next few years, and what’s the primary focus?

We aim to enhance Etem’s portfolio presence, particularly emphasizing energy-efficient systems and buildings—a Europe-wide trend. We’re striving to accelerate Romania’s pace in this direction. Our focus remains on popularizing aluminum as a profitable, long-term solution, leveraging the country’s position as a significant exporter in Europe.

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