One of the brightest new tenants to have joined us here at the BDC is Zumtobel Group an innovative lighting company and global leader in lighting design, suppling their high quality products to over 90 countries.
November saw the grand opening of their new Light Centre here at the BDC, during the LiGHT 23 exhibition, where they showcased some of their most state-of-the art lighting solutions they have on offer.
We sat down with Neil Raithatha Head of Marketing UK & Ireland and Tom Lobak, Regional Director London, to get the inside scoop on Zumtobel Group, what the new Light Centre means for the company and how their move to the BDC is going so far.
So first of all, Neil and Tom, could you tell us a bit more about Zumtobel Group?
They were both started by Jules Thorn and Walter Zumtobel, who are Austrian. They started these two brands, Zumtobel 75 years ago and Thorn 95 years ago. Now they are truly global brands in lighting of all applications from airports to street lighting projects, to infrastructure projects to offices, schools, arts and culture.
Neil: We’ve done lighting for major suppliers including the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Red Bull Racing, Durham Cathedral, Wembley Stadium, multiple Universities and offices around London.
That’s extremely impressive! So, please could you explain your roles at the company.
Neil: I’m head of Marketing for the UK and Ireland. I’ve been in the company for nine and a half years. Why did I join the company? I’ll be honest, I didn’t actually even know who the Zumtobel Group were. So I don’t have a lighting background but actually that excited me quite a bit; to come into a company where I get to learn and share ideas from a totally different industry that came from, which was a facilities services company.
So, I’ve been here for nine and a half years. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Every day is different. I think the highlight certainly for 2023 has been the opening of the London Light Centre in the BDC.
Tom: My name is Tom Lobak, I am the Regional Director for the specification arm of the Zumtobel Group in London. I’ve been with the company for 25 years. I’m originally from Austria and came over here 20 years ago. My team and I are in the midst of shaping specifications with designers, consultants and clients, offering lighting services of all kinds to our London clients.
Excellent. So, what made you decide to open your new lighting showroom here at the BDC?
Neil: We’d been looking for a Light Centre for a number of years, then obviously Covid came along and things changed. We wanted somewhere where there’s an opportunity to bring clients, but also where clients have natural footfall, and the BDC was naturally an attractive place for that.
Tom: Thanks, Neil. I mean, for me, lighting needs to be experienced, really. It needs to be felt and to be believed. This Light Centre is really a first step into experiencing our lighting solutions. With extensive controls we have installed, we can adapt the lighting to showcase different colour temperatures for different environments
What are you most looking forward to being at the BDC and in Angel, Islington?
Tom: For us, the location is brilliant. Because we’re a national lighting company. So to bring people here, for our salespeople to come and also clients, it’s pretty easy. We have a big manufacturing site in Durham. So again, getting from Durham to Kings Cross and then up to Islington is very easy. So, from a location perspective, it works brilliantly. There’s a lot of places in the area as well, where we can entertain clients in the future. The opportunity is big for us.
Glad to hear that you are enjoying the area. And so how does it feel being a part of such a large community of businesses and tenants? Do you like the networking opportunities that the BDC provides?
Tom: Yeah. I think for us, it takes the pressure off slightly. Where we don’t have to be completely independent. And we rely on the community and pull from the BDC’s experience. What you will find often with us is while we may not necessarily be part of a show we will have our doors open. We will be accessible for anyone who wants to find out about lighting.
We have already touched on this, but I was going to ask if there have been any highlights from your time here. I’m guessing the grand opening of your Light Centre?
Tom: So, in November, we had over 500 visitors, which is fantastic in our first month. The three key events were our VIP event, opening to our internal staff and then, of course, LiGHT 23, where we opened up to our community, client base, as well as our competitors.
That’s great to hear! Last question to finish, how would you say your overall experience has been opening your Light Centre here at the BDC?
Neil: If I said one word? Brilliant! Really good service and great team effort. They’ve been behind us, with the opening of the Light Centre and have supported as much as they can and this goes for everyone from catering staff, security staff, to the events team, the organising team and up to Dominic. Everyone’s been very supportive. So, it’s kind of helped us get to that end goal.
Tom: It’s been a fantastic journey and we couldn’t have asked for more support.
Well, you heard it here from Neil and Tom. Thank you very much guys and we look forward to seeing what the future holds for your new Light Centre.
If you, like Zumtobel Group, would like to join the diverse community of business here at our historic venue then get in touch to find out about our available showrooms and office space.