Wood is a new gold. Interview with Marcin Ujejski President of the Management Board of Blue Timber S.A.
BLUE TIMBER SA HAS OVER 14 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN THE INDUSTRY. WHAT IS BEHIND THE COMPANY’S SUCCESS?
Blue Timber SA itself is more of a holding company that manages the brands DrewnoDlaDomu and Oxygen Forest Poland. For many years, we have put emphasis on satisfying customers’ needs, we listen to them and try to provide them with high quality products and services in the maximum possible way. It pays off with larger and larger contracts with developers and a growing group of satisfied individual clients. Our last interesting projects were in Global Office Park in Katowice for Cavatina Holding and Cavatina Hall in Bielsko Biała.Today, demanding customers have much greater trust in brands that care about providing high-quality services. Brands, like sappers, are only wrong once, which is why the criterion of choosing a company to cooperate with changes and it is no longer the lowest price on the market, but above all,trust.
CAN YOU SAY SOMETHING MORE ABOUT THE COMPANY’S BEGINNINGS? BECAUSE IT ALL STARTED IN 2010 WITH „CHATKA PUCHATKA”.
The beginnings of the company are a story similar to those, who start out from scratch with ambition. At the age of 21, I started to pursue my dream of building a company different than any other in the wood industry.I took a big loan for those times and bought a sawmill.Two years later my younger brother joined me and we started working together, and so we work together to this day. Indeed, the company, under the unruly name “Chatka Puchatka”, started out as a sawmill and was building wooden houses. Today, we deliver a wide range of wood products from around the world through the DrewnoDlaDomu brand, which was established only in 2015. In 2018, we established Blue Timber SA as a consequence of the need to consolidate our existing activities and the desire to scale the company together with external investors.
IS THE BROADLY UNDERSTOOD WOOD INDUSTRY A DEMANDING SECTOR? WHAT DIFFICULTIES DO ENTREPRENEURS HAVE TO FACE IN ORDER TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS IN THIS INDUSTRY?
This is a very demanding sector, starting with the high competition due to the low entry barrier, through demanding customers, the control of timber supply through national forests and huge exports to the west by many Polish producers who raise the prices of many products to Western prices. It seems to me that the key is to find lower recipients within a large industry, provide them with high-quality products and, above all, provide perfect customer service and professional advice.Wood is a natural and unpredictable material,therefore it is very important to educate the client in this area.
WHAT WAS A TURNING POINT IN THE HISTORY OF THE COMPANY?
Certainly, a breakthrough for us was the creation of the DrewnoDlaDomu u brand and the launch of the first branch in Cracow,the next was the establishment of Blue Timber SA and the acquisition of the first investors. In my opinion, a great breakthrough was also my personal development as a manager. It is not much talked about,but the greatest opportunity and, at the same time, the greatest obstacle to the development of a business are its founders and managers. You have to be very careful here,because you can quickly become a bottleneck in the company’s development.
IN 2018, BLUE TIMBER LAUNCHED THE PRO-ECOLOGICAL PROJECT OXYGEN FOREST POLAND, COULD YOU PLEASE SAY SOMETHING MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT AND WHAT BENEFITS DOES IT BRING FOR THE PARTICIPANTS?
Yes, we are creating a tool for a broad market that wants or needs to become climate neutral in the coming years.We help them achieve this goal not at the expense of the company’s current budget,but by implementing with us a great investment in plantations of fast-growing trees.The trees that we plant for our clients on leased land are a profitable investment that “by the way” reduces 30 times more CO2 from the atmosphere than a traditional forest, giving high-quality wood, which is already in great demand in the furniture industry, in caravanning, in boats and airplanes finishing and in plywood production. The billions that flow from Poland for fees related to certificates could stay in Poland and go to the west in the form of wood.It is worth considering such options on the way to your company’s climate neutrality.
WAS THE TRANSFORMATION OF BLUE TIMBER INTO A JOINTSTOCK COMPANY IN 2018 ASSOCIATED WITH THE COMPANY’S GROWING ASPIRATIONS?
Definitely yes! We want to become a leader in the retail distribution of wooden products in Poland by around 2026, and then in the next 5 years in Central Europe. We are constantly looking for partners to successfully achieve this goal. Demanding, but very possible in the current market circumstances.
BLUE TIMBER DIVERSIFIES ITS SERVICES, IF AND WHICH SECTOR OF ACTIVITY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOR YOU?
Currently, in addition to the distribution itself, we provide assembly services.For us,the most important thing is to build a large network of repeatable customers and an effective supply chain. We want to gradually increase the number of assembly teams because many customers currently need comprehensive service. Currently, we place the greatest emphasis on terraces, facades, garden architecture, urban green investments, real estate development and large-scale facilities such as swimming pools and hotels.
DUE TO THE GLOBAL PRO-ECOLOGICAL TREND, ARE THESE GOLDEN TIMES FOR COMPANIES SUCH AS BLUE TIMBER, WHICH IMPLEMENT THE PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT INTO THEIR OPERATIONS?
I think that the golden times are still ahead of us, although I strongly believe that they do not shimmer in the color of gold, but in the color of wood (hehe) For us, „wood is the new gold”. The project of planting fast-growing trees as the simplest method of reducing the carbon footprint will be a hit in the next decade. It is the best closed CO2 cycle on the market and the most natural. Already, a green certificate does not have to be a cost for the company,but a great investment.
WHAT ARE BLUE TIMBER’S PLANS FOR THE COMING YEARS?
Expansion and scaling of the business across the country, as I said before,we want to become a leader in the coming years,and this requires us to invest enormously in the search for capital for development.So far,we have managed to collect over 2 million and we are currently looking for another 10 million for the opening of new DrewnoDlaDomu branches. In the coming years, we are also planning a stock exchange debut and acquiring at least PLN 100-150 million for further expansion. The potential is huge.
Marcin Ujejski President of the Management Board of Blue Timber S.A., owner of the DrewnoDlaDomu brand, author of the book entitled “Mathematical formula for success”, Vice President of Oxygen Forest Poland, which mission is to plant trees as the simplest method in the world to reduce the carbon footprint.
Last Updated on September 6, 2022 by Anastazja