Meet The Team: Wilkhahn

Quality, design and ergonomics – these are three fundamental elements to making a Wilkhahn chair. With over one hundred years of history and expertise in the industry, the brand has created an unparalleled name for themselves.

We spoke to the men on ground in Dubai – Victor Ramos, Director, Wilkhahn Middle East, Adnan Al Habbal, Sales Manager, and Pascal Baumgartner, Head of Sales – to learn how they conduct business in the region, and what we can expect from Wilkhahn in the coming year.

About the brand’s ‘Secret Sauce’…

Adnan:  What makes Wilkhahn special is that it’s a privately owned business in Germany, founded by Friedrich Hahne and Christian Wilkening more than 100 years ago. The main objective of the company was to create products that were well engineered, well designed, and served ergonomic needs. We don’t like to be looked at as some kind of a commercial, massive machine, that just keeps pushing chairs and that’s it. We value quality and like to give something to the client that they can be proud of. A lot of people think they cannot afford Wilkhahn, but they can. It just depends on what they are looking for. 

Victor: The company has existed since 1907, keeping a strong focus on quality. We always try to support the development of design in an architectural language. So whatever you see in our product range is simple and modern, but works as a classic, and can be used for many years without becoming dated. Also, you can match any product with any range, as we select designers whose style matches our portfolio.

Pascal: I believe we are in the people business. We have a very dedicated team, starting from the factory workers all the way to the sales people on the field. Our competitors have done a good job in branding us as being expensive, but it’s not necessarily the truth. We have high quality products that are meeting clients’ budgets. 

“Whatever you see in our product range is simple and modern, but works as a classic, and can be used for many years without becoming dated.”

– Victor Ramos, Director, Wilkhahn Middle East

Above from Left: Victor Ramos, Director, Wilkhahn Middle East, Pascal Baumgartner, Head of Sales, and Adnan Al Habbal, Sales Manager

Past Successes and Future Outlook

Victor: Our biggest success was to be selected in getting specified in major projects in the Gulf region. We keep our strengths in design, quality and ergonomics. We are currently developing a new task chair and also aiming to develop more innovative products for conferencing solutions. A couple of years back, we launched the ON chair, which was an important development and innovation for us. Since then, we have launched the IN chair, the AT chair, and we are maintaining this momentum. We can see that the market is following us. This shows us that we are on the right path.

Adnan: The AT chair was appreciated by the design community and the consumers for its aesthetics. This year, we are planning to release the AT Mesh Chair, which is a new addition to that family of chairs. It’s the same AT chair but with a mesh back.  

Working in the Region

Adnan: I have been with Wilkhahn for almost 17 months, and since the beginning, the challenge was to get noticed in the Middle East. Wilkhahn is not an ‘in your face’ kind of brand. My main markets are the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and Oman now.

Victor: The market is influenced by designers, architects, project managers and clients who are definitely as educated as other countries. It’s an international hub here, so I would not say that there is a big difference between the regions.

Pascal: We have quite a long history in the Middle East, so we are not new to the place. The company has been in the region for more than 20 years. It’s the relationship that we formed with clients through these years that is notable. We are manufacturing as well as doing business in the region. We work with valuable partners, but clients can also contact us directly. Everyone is welcome to come visit our showroom in d3 and look at our stunning products!

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Date added:

21 May, 2020

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