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Award for 30-year partnership: Interview with Ali Kabalcioğlu

Trust and consistency: Ali Kabalcioglu receives award for 30 years of partnership

During a small ceremony, Ali Kabalcioglu was honored with a certificate for his successful collaboration over the past 30 years. Born in Solingen, he left his home town for Turkey in the early 1990s to find his professional fortune there. With a lot of courage, enthusiasm and the first hook blades from LUTZ BLADES in his luggage, he started his success story. Today, the 56-year-old family man manages a company with 150 employees and 20,000 square meters of production and storage space in Gaziantep, the Turkish metropolis of the textile and carpet industry.

“We have an exceptional partnership with Mr. Kabalcioglu. We have been harmonizing not only on a business level, but also on a personal level for decades. That is the basis for our joint success. Thank you very much,” says Managing Director Alexander Lutz.

In honor of this long-standing partnership, we asked Ali a number of questions in an interview that provide more detailed insights into his success story, his ties to Solingen, the capital of blades, and his company’s plans for the future.

Mr. Kabalcioğlu, the LUTZ company was founded over 100 years ago in Solingen and you were recently honoured for 30 years of cooperation. That speaks for a special partnership. Congratulations to you. Your company is based in Turkey. How did you come into contact with the topic of “blades” at the time?

As a Solingen native, you are more or less in contact with sharp blades and knives. For me at that time it was the hook blades. A manufacturer I know well wanted hook blades from me for his company. He knew I was a Solingen native, that’s how it started.

Then, in 1991, you were drawn back to your parents’ homeland, Turkey. What were your motives for doing so?

In the beginning, I didn’t want to go to my parents’ home country at all. Solingen has always been my home. I knew Turkey from our summer vacations, of course, but going back for good was a bit strange for me. I didn’t really want to go back, but my parents really wanted to, they were already retired and didn’t want to leave me behind. After long discussions, I agreed to give it a try. But of course I haven’t given up my relationship with Germany, or Solingen, and my many good friends. In hindsight, it was a good decision that I have never regretted.

The company is now based in Gaziantep in south-east Anatolia. Is it a coincidence that you settled there?

My family comes from there, for that very reason. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to choose back then. My family comes from Gaziantep, but on the whole everything is okay with us. It has a very old culture of over 10,000 years and is located on the former Silk Road. The food is very good, I can only recommend it. We have been selected by UNESCO as a City of Gastronomy. Gaziantep is the sixth largest industrial city in Turkey, particularly in textile production, and is the largest carpet manufacturing location in the world.

This also explains why you have been a loyal customer of our plush knives and hook blades since 1993. How has your company developed in recent years?

We are actually satisfied with our development. There are good times and, like now, very difficult times, but we still do our best. The team plays a very important role here. In order not to be left behind, we are trying to invest as much as possible. Those are the rules. Today I am responsible for around 150 employees and our production and storage area now covers 20,000 m².

What is your recipe for success?
Our proximity to the customer and reliable partners, such as LUTZ from Solingen, are of course the points that must be fulfilled first. It is difficult for me to explain this in two words. Giving confidence, respect, discipline and love for the work are very important points that should not be ignored. For me, success consists of facts. I see success as a complete package that just needs to be filled with good products and hard work.

But you are not only involved in the sale of blades. What else do you do?

We have three business segments.

  • Import of industrial blades and knives for almost all areas of industry, machines and spare parts for the textile industry.
  • Manufacture of the complete Harnisch systems, the carpet double weaving machines and the repair of the new equipment.
  • Manufacture of cosmetic products for hairdressing needs such as neck protection ruffs, shaving soap, all types of wax in a wide range, disposables, etc.

May we ask you a personal question? You are married and have three children. Is the next Kabalcioğlu generation already in the starting blocks?

Yes, that’s a nice question. I have two sons and a daughter. My daughter is currently preparing for her studies. She is 18 years old, my two sons are 24 and 27 and they are about to finish their international business studies. Of course, I’m eagerly waiting for them to slowly get into the starting blocks and support us in the company.

Finally, what is your relationship to Solingen today? One gets the impression that your heart still beats for the city of blades.

Even after such a long time, contact with my home town has not been lost. I’m there regularly and I also have an apartment that we use regularly as a family. I can justifiably say that I have Solingen DNA in me.

Thank you very much for the interview. We look forward to many more successful years together.