For nearly 20 years of its existence, Karmar S.A. (Joint-Stock Company), Warsaw, has proven to have the know-how essential for the success in the building industry. In the right place and at the right time, the business gathered specialists experienced in construction, design, finance, legal matters and construction consulting. Initially, these people focused on construction works. Nowadays, they enjoy the status of a general contractor conducting many lucrative investments, including “turnkey” projects. Since 2007, the business has been operating in close alliance with their French shareholder, Bouyges Batiment International. Their achievements have been duly recognized by the influential “Forbes” and “Puls Biznesu” magazines.
In 1991, when Karmar S.A. entered the Polish market, its founders set themselves one yet ambitious goal, namely to provide construction services in a professional and comprehensive manner. In doing so, they hit the spot immediately. Many leading market players had proved before them that quality and professionalism remained pivotal to lasting success. The transformation into a joint-stock company, which was completed in 1997, was its first clear manifestation. As the business soon started handling construction projects of a considerable size, it decided to stimulate further growth. Hence the company received a significant boost and, within a decade, drew the attention of global investors. What is more, it was the management of Bouyges Batiment International, the real worldwide construction leader, who turned their attention to Karmar and soon decided to take it over. The incorporation took place on 22nd June 2007, which went down in Karmar’s history and it did so for a reason. Thanks to this merger, the business gained access to cutting-edge technologies. Furthermore, the collaboration with their French partners enabled the business to embark upon the projects which, until then, had been beyond their financial capabilities. The fact that the support lent by Bouyges Batiment International had such a beneficial effect should not come as a surprise, however. The sheer volume of their main shareholder should suffice to illustrate this. Present on the markets in over 80 countries, Bouygues Construction is the world leader in construction industry, power industry and public works sector. The wide scope of Bouygues Construction’s activities includes preparing projects and their comprehensive performance as the general contractor. It provides jobs for over 53 thousand employees worldwide. Bouygues Construction forms part of the French Bouygues corporate group, operating also in telecommunications (Bouygues Telecom), media (TF1), roads (COLAS) and real estate (Bouygues Immobilier).
Independent Market Player
You would be in the wrong, however, thinking that Karmar S.A. is thriving thanks to the foreign capital only. The company has made its mark with more than 48 completed investment projects, 6 deals completed as a subcontractor, and over a dozen construction contracts in the course of completion, the majority of which are the long-term ones. So far it has built premises with the total area of more than 1 mln square meters and the total capacity of over 3.8 million cubic metres. Nearly two third of its projects Karmar carries out for housing industry, another one third is made up of public buildings such as commercial premises and office centres. At the initial stages of its activity the business focused on Warsaw and its vicinity. Nowadays it completes projects all around Poland, including Gdańsk, Zgorzelec, Leszno and Środa Wielkopolska, and keeps developing the chain of regional branches, the first of which came into being in Wrocław, Lower Silesia, in 2007. In 2003, its annual revenue did not even reach the amount of 50 million PLN while nowadays it tops the figure of 330 million. The turnover the business boasts has been made possible by their employees’ dedication and professionalism. This would not be achieved either if it was not for the trust placed in the brand by the customers, who, once provided with reliable service, turn back to Karmar whenever they start subsequent investments. The proper back-up facilities has proven equally vital for this success. Due to the scope of the business and the consequent demand for reinforced prefabricated units, in 2007, the company launched the reinforcement plant equipped in modern technology devices for high quality fabrication of these components. The plant’s production capacity exceeds 2000 tons of finished products per month, mainly for Karmar and other companies. The experienced employees working there guarantee the high standard of reinforced units and efficient cooperation with customers.
Public Procurement Contracts
The successful market player as it is, Karmar allows itself no room for complacency. As its management keeps looking to their laurels, in 2008, they decided to expand its previous activities in the field of building industry by infrastructure investment projects such as construction of roads, bridges and railway viaducts. The company has already proven to carry out such tasks properly and on time, largely due to its experienced personnel, reliable business partners and specialist market knowledge. Since the beginning of 2009, the company has closely collaborated with DTP Terrassement, which belongs, just like Karmar, to the Bouygues corporate group. As regards the earthworks, this business is second to none in the French market. Moreover, Terrassement boasts an impressive experience indeed in the construction of highways, airport runways, high-speed rail lines. Additionally, it successfully completes such projects as the construction of ski slopes, artificial sea islands, quarry exploration, building of dams and flood banks. DTP Terrassement has references and resources which allow it to successfully tender for the public procurement contracts. Thus, their close ally, Karmar, has been given a green light to take part in the investments commissioned by Generalna Dyrekcja Dróg Krajowych i Autostrad (the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways). A subcontractor to DTP Terrassement, Karmar provides experience, back-up facilities and professional personnel. The reliability of theirs together with a huge capacity of their French partners proves a winning combination so indispensable for efficient completion of all the construction projects, those for public sector investors in particular.
Cutting Edge Technology
At Karmar, the utmost importance is attached to quality. A key to being successful and competitive, the top notch service standards are consequently strived after by the management. It is done so for a reason as the business has to fulfil the growing expectations of the customers and shareholders as well as to comply with increasingly restrictive legal standards. These are met more than satisfactorily because Karmar has the know-how necessary to recognise the changes in market demand. To be on top of construction technology and building materials, the company carries out all the relevant surveys. It also applies modern technology solutions, which in turn ensure high standard workmanship and the timely completion of the projects. In order to avoid unnecessary problems with unreliable business partners, the company has worked out an internal procedure for classification of suppliers and subcontractors. The standards of quality implemented there comply with the requirements of the Quality Management System, further confirmed by the ISO 9001: 2000 certificate. Karmar is planning to obtain new quality certificates this year, such as ISO 14001 for environmental awareness and OHSAS for health and safety issues. Karmar’s policy is largely inspired by the Total Quality Management philosophy. Thus, the company can complete the projects in a more flexible and effective manner, as well as to undertake enterprises which it has not been able to embark upon before. The policy that Karmar strives to implement is all about being sustainable, which means building win-win relations with their partners and thus safeguarding the company’s strategic interests as well as those of their clients and subcontractors. This also means taking steps beneficial for local communities and the environment, too. No wonder, therefore, that its portfolio includes investments carried out for: Dom Development, Pirelli Pekao Real Estate, MRE Metro Real Estate, Ronson Development, BPH Real Estate, TK Development, ECO Classic, Catalina, Kredyt Bank, MPRO, Sjaelso Poland and many others.
Karmar has gained due recognition of the industry and the influential press as well. Since 2005, the “Puls Biznesu” daily has awarded them a title of Gazela Biznesu (Business Gazelle) every year. To be short-listed for the award, a given business has to be reliable and dynamic. It also has to generate an increase in turnover in three succeeding years. The very presence on this list proves already that the company is thriving; that is to say, enjoys an excellent reputation among its clients and does not keep the Treasury in the dark about its financial matters. However, it is a prestigious Forbes Diamond Award by “Forbes” monthly in 2008 and 2010 that make the icing on the cake for Karmar. This ranking takes into account financial results and assets, as well as an ability to expand sales and profits. This year, KARMAR has been rated at the 17th position in Mazovia in the category of companies with revenue of over PLN 250 million. The business has overtaken many prominent companies in the region, including: Budimex Dromex, Dom Development, TVN and J.W. Construction.. As regards other titles awarded to Karmar, the following should be mentioned: honours granted by the “Gazeta Prawna” and BRE Bank and a Przejrzysta Firma 2009 (Transparent Business 2009) award.
Last but not least, a few words on the values which Karmar has stuck to for nearly 20 years of its existence. First and foremost, the customers. Their requirements must be always satisfied. Secondly, innovation and technology. These are crucial to achieve affordably priced quality. Thirdly, the employees. In order to realise their full potential, the business expands their knowledge, develops their professional skills and enables them to climb up the career ladder. Fourtlhy, trustworthiness and respect for the environment. Finally, new blood and fresh ideas. Young people are the future of the company. Karmar would certainly make no headway without their contribution.
Written by Bartosz Sowiński