Dedeman: the curious story behind the EUR 1 bln name

Aurel Dragan 26/06/2018 | 16:42

Dedeman, the biggest private owned Romanian company has an interesting story on how the founders choose its name.

Catalin Ivan, marketing director at Dedeman, present at ZF Romanian Brands conference, said that, in 1992, the first name they had chosen was already taken so they decided to find something else. The first D in the name comes from Dragos, the second D comes from Denise, his wife, M comes from the wife’s mother and A comes from Adrian. So they ended up with Dedeman, a name with German resonance that led them to the success they have today.

Dedeman has become, during the last few years, a unique company in Romania: it is, by far, the biggest Romanian-owned business built by local entrepreneurs, (the turnover in 2017 was EUR 1.13 billion) posting higher growth rates than the economy and impressive profit rates. And there are few chances that other Romanian-owned companies to approach it: the second biggest local business had half its turnover in 2017.

Dedeman’s success story is one of a first major player in a small market, avoided for decades by large foreign companies. The company was founded in 1991, but change its strategy in 2001 to become a leading force in the DIY sector. The strategy change came after a visit of its owners in Austria and Italy, when they saw their big DIY stores.

The strategy they made proved successful. The company took advantage of the lack of major foreign investment in the local DIY sector until late 2000’s and built the first major national DIY network in Romania.

Dedeman’s owners, the brothers Dragos and Adrian Paval, were small local entrepreneurs in Romania’s poorest region, Moldova, owning a local network of furniture and interior design solutions.

Now, Dedeman is by far the largest DIY retailer in Romania and the biggest business with Romanian owners.

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