30 years of development and gathering experience – how did the construction industry change during this time? An interview with Artur Pluta – Managing Director of Democo Poland

30 years of development and gathering experience – how did the construction industry change during this time? An interview with Artur Pluta – Managing Director of Democo Poland

Congratulations on Democo’s 30th anniversary, that you are celebrating this year. Which moments are you most proud of and which events proved to be the milestones in the company’s development?

Thank you very much. The 30 years of development of our company is a time over which a lot has happened. Our presence in Poland began with the construction of the Philips Lighting plant in Gniezno in 1991 by the Belgian company Democo. Following the success of this project, a decision was made in 1994 to establish Democo Poland. A significant milestone was the construction of the Democo Park in Tarnowo Podgórne, between 1999 and 2003, where our headquarters is still located today, as well as a number of other companies. In the early years, the company focused mainly on the construction of industrial halls, so it was crucial to expand the portfolio after 2010 to include residential investments and public facilities (schools and hospitals). To date, we have completed nearly 200 facilities across the country. Economic crises, such as the SARS-Cov2 epidemic or the armed conflict in Ukraine, have not hindered our growth. On the contrary, skillful adaptation to the current situation in times of economic instability has strengthened our position in the market.

Where is Democo heading? How are the company’s dynamics changing in the era of sustainable development?

We are taking care of the dynamic development of the company – our goal is to increase the year on year turnover by about 10-30%. We are pursuing this through, among other things, the implementation of increasingly demanding investments, and we are also expanding the area of operations through the North and Warsaw Branches. We are investing in existing infrastructure and planning to expand our Technology Park in Tarnowo Podgórne. Along with our growth, we are steadily increasing employment. At the same time, we support the local community, cooperating with, among others, the Tarnowo Podgórne Municipality, for which we have completed the construction of a modern building of the Technical School Complex, educating future technical staff who will supply companies located in the region, and are currently working on a new building for the Primary School in Lusówko.

Democo’s investments are mostly built under the “Design and Build” formula. Do you think it represents the future of the construction industry?

I think that this formula is already an important part of the industry and has evolved a lot over the past years, with obvious potential for further development in the future. Certainly, at the same time the option of implementation on the basis of entrusted documentation will continue to function, but rather in a modified formula, involving the full implementation of multi-discipline detailed designs by the investment contractor. This is confirmed, moreover, by changes in the Construction Law, limiting the procedural significance of Design Documentation at the stage of administrative decisions and placing the importance of this Documentation in the execution stage. The “Design and Build” formula is a very convenient, comprehensive solution for Investors, limiting their involvement to a minimum, while completely controlling the course of the construction process. The Investor contacts only the representative of the General Contractor, who is responsible for the work of the design team, the selection of appropriate subcontractors and the coordination of all works. The client specifies his needs, and we make every effort to design and construct a building that meets the highest standards, in accordance with the requirements and expectations of the Investor.

What elements of Democo’s Belgian roots can be seen in your company’s investments, realizations and organization?

We certainly draw on the experience of our Belgian Group in organizational terms, as well as in conducting long-term positive relations with our Partners. We avoid conflicts in business, and take a partner approach to discussions on the issues of contracts. Looking to our Belgian colleagues, we plan our development strategy on a long-term basis and benefit from know-how in human resources management.

In building its market position, Democo is focusing on horizontal integration. How do you select the entities you want to cooperate with?

Democo’s priority is the continuous, organic work of building relationships, both in the aspect of the company’s external activities and cooperation with business partners (customers, suppliers), and internally – in relations with employees. We further develop this, of course, in the operational scopes. We try to be flexible, both in formal matters and strictly in implementation, so that all parties involved in the construction process are satisfied.

Democo’s activities in Poland are divided between its headquarters in Tarnowo Podgórne and the Democo North and Democo Warsaw branches. How do the needs of residents in the city and by the sea differ, and how do they translate into your projects?

Investments in different parts of Poland differ in their characteristics, especially if we are talking about residential investments. Buildings being constructed in large cities like Poznań or Warsaw must have a number of amenities, such as a large number of parking spaces, service units or even built-in parcel machines just for residents. The specifics of the area and layout of individual units are different, as they have to be tailored to different situations and the daily needs of residents. The situation is completely different in the case of seaside investments aimed at leisure, often realized for the so-called investment client. The units there fulfill the role of an apartment with infrastructure typical for recreation. Residential units there are often more unified and smaller, necessarily equipped with a balcony or terrace.

 What distinguishes Democo’s investments from the competition?

Undoubtedly, the distinguishing feature of our company is the wide portfolio of investments we have implemented. In 30 years of activity, we have gained experience in the implementation of all kinds of cubature objects, starting from industrial – warehouse buildings, production buildings (including those meeting high requirements for food production), through office, educational, military, health care, to residential buildings (including those with a high standard). In the “Design and Build” option, we support our Partners from the stage of conception, budgeting, through design, administrative and formal issues, to the implementation and acceptance process. We also take care of comprehensive service after the facility is put into use through substantive support during the warranty period.

Is it a big challenge to realize investments in harmony with nature, reducing the negative impact on the environment? What is Democo’s approach to sustainable and green construction?

We live in a time when concern for the environment has become an obligation. This is the result of natural economic evolution and the need for all of us to adapt to current socio-economic conditions. As a company operating in the construction sector, we encounter environmental requirements almost every day. By virtue of our activities, we must respect them, while taking care of further development in this matter. This brings results not only in the global sphere, but is also beneficial locally.

Artur Pluta – Managing Director of Democo Poland

In the construction industry for almost 30 years. He gained his experience by passing successively through all levels of career, starting from the position of construction engineer, so in his position he uses knowledge of all stages of the construction process. For more than 10 years he has held a management position at Democo Poland, where his work is guided by the belief that the potential of a construction company is a stable and experienced staff and the ability to adapt to the current market situation.

Last Updated on June 7, 2024 by Anastazja Lach