Furniture parts maker ups production with EU and EBRD support

Furniture parts maker ups production with EU and EBRD support

Georgian company serving retail and wholesale markets with quality parts, from tiles to hinges.

Two decades ago, three friends in Georgia embarked on a joint business mission – to provide furniture makers with quality parts and services.

Thus the company LTB, named after the initials of the founders – reflecting the close-knit bond and teamwork driving the company to this day – started in 2004 with a small team of 10 people.

Right from the start, the founders all agreed that prioritizing development and quality would be the key to future success – and so it has proved to be, says one of the founders, Levan Zaalishvili.

“For years, the success of LTB has been rooted in several key factors: stable growth and development, a culture of innovation, adept delegation, and a conducive working environment where employees are empowered to freely express their ideas,” Zaalishvili says, noting that today the company employs over 200 people.

Attention to detail

Today, LTB is the provider of a comprehensive range of furniture components and accessories, from tiles, to sliding door fittings, to drawer hinges and handles. It also offers services in three main areas: importing, overseeing production processes (including facade manufacturing and material cutting), and operating a painting service known as Palitra, catering to customized finishing needs. With branches in Tbilisi and the west-central Imereti region of Georgia, LTB serves both retail and wholesale customers.

The company’s logo represents the main values that the company’s team has followed since day one, Zaalishvili notes. The logo’s simple square design conveys a sense of stability and balance, while its main green colour symbolizes freshness, growth, and development. The screw in the design underscores the importance of attention to detail in crafting a quality product, Zaalishvili says.

That attention to detail has paid off as the company has developed. LTB is now the exclusive representative of renowned international brands such as Blum, Egger, CLEAF, SM'art, VIBO, Italiana Ferramenta, Roberto Marella, CINETTO, and others. This international collaboration enables LTB to provide customers with products crafted by industry-leading companies, thus ensuring both quality and innovation.

“Furniture parts made with the highest technology and quality simplify the work process for our customers, and help in creating the final version of the furniture,” says Zaalishvili.

New opportunities

After coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, which took a heavy toll on the economy in Georgia as elsewhere in the world, LTB started to look for new opportunities to develop.

The European Union’s EU4Business project and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) provided an ideal chance for LTB to boost its business with the EU4Business-EBRD Credit line – a joint initiative of the European Union and the EBRD.

The initiative aims to help Georgian small- and medium-sized enterprises finance investments and seize the opportunities offered by the DCFTA – Georgia’s Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU, which was signed in 2014 and came into effect in 2016.

In all cases, support is given so that companies can invest in new equipment and technologies that facilitate compliance with EU Directives.

With its credit, LTB bought a German tile-cutting machine and an Italian saw, which are now in use at one of their branches in Samgori. Additionally, Georgia's first automated laboratory, furnished with Italian equipment, was integrated into their Palitra painting house, which also helped to streamline operations and ensure high quality output.

As a result of this support, sales at LTB’s Samgori branch have increased by three times, which the company attributes to the exceptional quality of its products. Moreover, thanks to the new laboratory, Palitra can now offer an even wider range of colours – 2,500 hues – giving customers the ability to replicate exact shades with precision.

“This type of support makes our services more diverse, and customers have more confidence in our work,” says Zaalishvili.

“Perhaps the most important thing that came with the EBRD's and EU4Business’s support is the ability to produce technologically sound parts to the degree that we can develop an export line,” he adds.

Indeed, this year will see the company take part in an international exhibition, SICAM, showcasing its products on the global stage for the first time. SICAM, a gathering for companies exclusively engaged in furniture production, is an internationally renowned exhibition that takes place annually in Pordenone, Italy.

“We’re proud to be the first (such) Georgian company to represent our country in Italy,” says Zaalishvili.

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