Orgachim is known as one of the largest and best equipped chemical companies in Southeast Europe, with a long history in the production of specialty chemicals and coatings with modern facilities and significant resources used for the development of new products. Present on the Bulgarian market since the beginning of the 20th century, Orgachim has managed to reach the leading position in the field of production and retail distribution of products for home, industry as well as professional use – paints, varnishes, lacquers, coatings, plasticizers, anhydrides and other chemicals. More on the company, its history and success factors in a Manufacturing Journal article written by Aleksandra Strojek.
A history of more than one century
In 2016 the company celebrates 115th anniversary of its business operations. In 1901 Mr. Albert B. Iskovich enters a trade company named Albert B. Iskovich into the Ruse Commercial Register and until today Ruse, located in the northern part of Bulgaria, is the main location of the company. Short after the start he seeks to expand his business and in 1903 he merges his company with Mr. Israel M. Levi to form an association under the name of “Albert B. Iskovich & Levy”. In 1910 the enterprise is oriented towards the production of paints and shoes polishes. The enterprise passes through many difficult years of economic crisis, regional and two world wars. In 1947, after economic transition in Bulgaria, the state becomes the major stakeholder – the factory promotes the rationalization movement and there are significant proposals with economic impact. Modernized varnishes and resins workshops are put into operation and in 1979 regular production of the Phthalic anhydride workshop begins. A key moment in the development of the company takes place in1982, when a contract with BASF for licensing and implementing a modern automated system is signed. Thanks to these new developments the company begins to produce phthalic anhydride, corresponding to international quality standards. Still, a turning point takes place in 1998 when another organizational and ownership restructuring takes place. The company starts to being controlled entirely by private capital again. The main shareholder is Whitebeam Holdings Limited owned by the company Policolor - Romania. Years of economic growth follow. Commercial structures are formed in all major towns of the country. The company receives a certificate of membership in the global initiative “Responsible Care” of the Bulgarian Chamber of Chemical Industry. In 2007 the highest annual turnover ever is achieved – the market share in this segment reaches nearly 35%. Many new brands are registered, whereas exports of goods reach 60% of the total turnover. The company is working on many projects related to optimizing the energy system, warehouse, improving the infrastructure. Factory site, manufacturing units and office buildings acquire a European appearance. An important task for Orgachim becomes the protection of nature and human life. In 2010 the project EuroBioRef, coordinated by CNRS - France is launched and Orgachim is one of 28 partners from 14 different countries participating therein. – Today for our partners, clients, competitors and investors Orgachim is one of the most appreciated and respected companies that produce paints and lacquers in South-East Europe. Our business plans, innovations and technologies used in the production cycle are designed to assure a constant increase of competitiveness in the market and to add value to the company towards the benefits of our shareholders and our community – says Mr. Georgi Vasilev, Marketing Manager
Driven by customers....
What stands behind the success of the company? – We are a consumer-driven organization. We are extremely proactive and try to stay as close to the users of our products as possible and to learn more and more about their needs. By doing that, we fine-tune our existing assortment, generate ideas for developing new solutions, and channel the right communication toward the right target group. As a result we have the right products at the right price and our customers appreciate that. It is in fact our customers who decide what our production focus is. The market is evolving and at a certain point there is a demand for one thing, at the next – for another. Our job is to create the optimal portfolio satisfying the market’s needs. After all, we are a mass producer, a leader on the market and we should have a stable foundation, enough pillars to be able to grow and develop further. If we identify that there is an opportunity and a potential behind that opportunity, we will act by all means. It could be called a meaningful innovation – something that would help us develop sustainably. We do not believe in launching new products just for the sake of it. If we look in the short term, we have several ongoing projects that we hope to finalize in the first half of 2016. The direction we are looking into is premium and professional end of the market. Moreover, all our investments in new technologies provide us with steady growth of our competitiveness and increase the company’s value for its shareholders and society. Our efforts have always been aimed at satisfying our customers and partners on the quality, durability, efficiency and beauty of colour. Last but not least, we do not differentiate our clients. All of them are important, we treat everyone equally and this is something our partners recognize and approve. Yes, we have big clients but scale is only one part of the equation. The level of collaboration is also important and sometimes smaller clients outperform bigger ones. Also, we should recognize that every client has different goals and strategy – our job is to find how to help them achieve those with our products – informs the Marketing Manager of the company.
Next to a very strong customer focus the company believes in its human capital. At the current moment Orgachim employs above six hundred professionals working in different functional units such as Production, Sales, Supply chain, R&D, Finance, HR, IT, Legal and Compliance. Many qualified specialists in Bulgaria put daily efforts to make the company colourful, successful and sustainable. – What does our personnel policy look like? It is definitely a world of colours! We know that people are our most valuable asset, therefore, working with them day by day, we help the teams to develop and grow. Their dreams, expectations, thoughts, personalities, attitudes, and the way they work & behave have brought us to the current point where we are as a company. We not only search and identify potential, but we also know how to use it. We create the proper environment for people to innovate, we promote talent and, at the same time, we give colour to the future by hiring young graduates via the “First step” program. We give our personnel opportunities for gaining labour experience and career development in an international and dynamic company as well as the power to influence and to make things happen. We also share with them our knowledge and know-how, putting the right resources at the right place with the purpose to increase performance, creating the culture which fosters our success. We dare to call ourselves a socially responsible employer. We ensure an attractive compensation and benefits package to all our employees such as food vouchers, additional medical insurance, free of charge transportation for the night shifts, gift vouchers for Christmas and Easter. We keep on organizing a great deal of social events and run many CSR projects in order to increase the staff motivation and enhance the team spirit. Here at Orgachim, our values demonstrate who we are inside and outside the company. The organization will continue to hold them, even if at some point, they became a competitive disadvantage, because as Einstein pointed a long time ago: “Strive not to be a man of success but a man of values” – summarizes the HR manager Ms. Ventsislava Petrova.
No doubt that the company treats its excellent team work as one of its main competitive factors and that it will maintain to be a strong advantage – it provides development of new & innovative products, meeting the requirements of the clients and corresponding with the EU legislation. Alignment with EU requirements is also confirmed by certificates ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001. Furthermore, Orgachim is certified by TUV-Nord and can boast of having Responsible Care Certificate from the Bulgarian Chamber of Chemistry Industry, an associated member of CEFIC, as well as the certification of the Dekotherm system (6 variants) from the Research Institute of building materials.