Industry Profile: Bodie Kelay, Managing Director, Bauformat

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With 30 years of experience in the kbb industry behind him, Bodie Kelay is well renowned within the Kitchen market. Having worked in almost every role, from order processing to truck driving, sweeping warehouses, to technical design, Bodie is now at the helm of one of the most respected brands in the market. As MD of Bauformat, Bodie sees the brand celebrating 40 years in the UK market, and 60 in Germany. We caught up with the man himself to find out more about his life, work, and future plans.

What first drew you into a career in the KBB sector?

It was by accident! I trained to be an accountant and then decided it was not for me. So I took a job in the Sales Office of Lager Kitchens a small family owned kitchen manufacturer, whilst I looked for something better – I’m still looking!!

The new Linea Piantra Handle-less collection by Burger, launching at kbb 2014

The new Linea Piantra Handle-less collection by Burger, launching at kbb 2014

Could you tell us a little about the history of your company?

Bauformat was founded in Löhne, Germany in 1954 by the Baumann family; 60 years on the company is still family run by the third generation. Exporting to over 30 countries worldwide, Bauformat celebrates a landmark year in 2014; with its 40th UK anniversary and achieving the highly acclaimed Golden ‘M’ quality award. Bauformat employs around 800 people across its Bauformat and Burger manufacturing facilities and together they manufacture over 500 kitchens a day!

If you could describe your work in three words, what would they be?

Rewarding, Challenging & Frustrating!

What do you think is your key strength?

A good mix of life, product knowledge and commercial experience

Who or what is your biggest inspiration?

I am inspired when I hear retailer feedback from Bauformat consumers delighted with their new kitchen or bathroom.  We work closely with our retailers to ensure consumers achieve their lifestyle dream!

What is the biggest challenge in your working life?

My never ending quest for perfection!

What is your favourite item within your own range?

Our Cube Purista Handle-less collection, each year evolving to offer consumers something extra special!

The Cube Purista Handleless from Bauformat

What do you most enjoy about your current role?

Working with our close knit UK and German team to deliver the highest level of quality products and customer service to our loyal retailers. 

What advice can you offer young people just starting out in the KBB world?

Enjoy and soak up everything the industry has to offer as there are many avenues to follow! It’s a constant learning process, whether it’s your customers, suppliers or the trade media take note of everything and put it to good use for present and future!

Where do you go (or where would you like to go) from here?

Aruba please! – Commercially though, to continue to develop and support our loyal retailer network whilst providing them with the products to impress consumers!

To see Bauformat and many other exhibitors, register for kbb Birmingham now!