Alexei Mațarin. From aviation to the door business

Pavel Zingan, in an interview with Alexei Mațarin, founder of LLC "Alanar-Grup", maib business customer.

Alexei, what does Alanar-Grup do, and how long have you been on the market?

The company was founded in 2011. At first, it dealt with importing and retailing interior and exterior doors and door supplies. We started our activity as the official distributors of the company "Ușile Belarusului".

What prompted you to start a door business in 2011?

It was quite a difficult decision because it radically changed my lifestyle and professional direction, but I accepted it and didn't regret it. I stayed in Moldova, started my own business, and, most importantly, I was with my family.

Working in aviation involved many long trips, mainly to Eastern countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. At that time, I already had a family, and because of a trip, I was not able to meet my wife in the maternity ward when my daughter was born. The situation repeated when my son was born, so I was absent. These two situations signalled that I needed to change my job and devote more time to my family.

It was quite a difficult decision because it radically changed my lifestyle and professional direction. However, I accepted it, and I didn't regret it. Starting my own business in Moldova was a challenging journey, but it was also advantageous. It allowed me to be there for my family.

How has the business evolved?

In 2014, I attended an exhibition where I met Chinese partners. This fruitful collaboration led to the launch of our brand of door furniture, 'Zubr',

Later, we started actively developing the retail network. We have stores in Chișinău and the country's regions. We focused on specialised stores that sell interior and exterior doors and furnishings.

For us, the customer must receive a professional and detailed consultation. Our consultants are well-trained. They understand all the nuances specific to the field. We have a wide range of doors, and for the average customer, it is challenging to find their way through this diversity and choose what they need. That's why we have relied on professional consultants and specialised shops, where the customer can get maximum information about the required product.

Also, in 2016, we started working on a new direction - hidden doors or invisible doors.

Have you started importing hidden doors?

No, having experience in interior and exterior doors, we understood that such a product, like hidden doors, cannot be imported but must be produced in Moldova.

These are particular and unique doors by design, so we decided to produce them in Moldova.

Own production requires significant investments, including financial

Of course, that is why it is essential in business to work with a reliable banking partner. Since the company's establishment, we have been collaborating with maib and have not once regretted choosing this bank. We have quality and fast services, as well as convenient credit conditions. Additional funds are always needed for business development, so we actively use loans.

Are there any peculiarities in the production of hidden doors?

There are quite a few. One of the peculiarities is that these doors are much taller and usually wider than standard doors. As an engineer, I understood that producing these doors involves many nuances. One of them is the material from which these unusually sized doors will be made. They cannot be made of wood because wood is a relatively soft material, which would not be suitable for such models. I had to find an alternative. I attended many exhibitions and met international manufacturers of hidden doors. One of the manufacturers I liked the most and trusted was an Italian company that produces premium quality doors.

The doors of the Italian brand were made of aluminium, so we also decided to produce doors made from this material. Aluminium is an excellent material that can last a long time. It is not afraid of water or moisture, does not rust, and is durable and light. It has many advantages, making it perfect for hidden doors.

How did the process of self-production start?

Starting production from scratch is a costly, large-scale, and responsible activity that took about three years. I drew the sketches myself, and then we had to buy all the necessary equipment, build a team, and find a space.

The best quality aluminium is found in Uzbekistan, so we decided we would work with their aluminium. In Uzbekistan, they pour the profile, which is then sent to Moldova.

In spring 2020, we were ready for the official launch of production.

Precisely at that time, when did Covid-19 start?

Yes, just days before the pandemic. This was a cold shoulder for us, which we did not anticipate. After a forced break, we got through that period and still managed to launch production and are working successfully. Some doors are exported to countries such as Turkey, Italy, Iraq, France, the Czech Republic, and Germany, but we are mainly focused on the domestic market.

We have registered a unique brand for our innovative door systems: IDS (Innovation Doors Systems). We have patented the profile we use for concealed doors, so we can confidently say that we offer a unique product in the Moldovan market.

Since our product is unconventional and mainly created for individual projects, we decided to open a design showroom, Design Hub.

Hidden doors are a fairly new trend. How popular are they in our country, and how is the market reacting to them?

Yes, it is new, and practically nobody in Moldova knew about them a few years ago. We were the first to start production of hidden doors in Moldova. And we must understand that this type of door's peak of popularity has yet to be reached in our country. In a few years, about 3-4 years, the popularity of hidden doors will increase. According to my calculations, by 2027, the percentage of sales of hidden doors compared to traditional ones will be about 50 to 50.

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