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INTERVIEW Jan Ameloot

The Delta Light is the Belgian lighting manufacturer with more than a quarter of century of history. A family-owned business with west-Flemish roots which has built a worldwide reputation based on in-house research and development. Questioning Jan Ameloot, the managing director and head of corporate strategy, we understand the reasons why it has been running so brightly. IInterview by Tiago Krusse Photographs: Delta Light

What spirit drove to the start of Delta Light? Before Delta Light founder Paul Ameloot owned Stereohouse, where he offered sound solutions for residential projects, nightlife and hospitality. During the eighties – in particular after the release of the John Travolta dance movies – it struck his attention that his clientele started giving more and more attention to lighting, and how to apply it as an eye catcher or for atmosphere. They were in need of advice. Paul saw an opportunity and went for it. He designed a custom rail and lighting system, which was the start of a new business. He presented one of his first designs – the Phantom – at a lighting fair in Hannover. People loved it and it turned out to be a great success. It’s such a simple fixture, but still in the collection today. You could say that John Travolta inspired him to move into the lighting industry. Who were the mentors of the company and how it is like to run a family business? Inspiration comes from many different things, from art to architecture to aerodynamics, and much more. We are fascinated by movement, be it cars or planes, boats etc. From little things in everyday life. Shapes and materials that are all around us. At the same time we love to be challenged by the needs of people that we speak with. We travel a lot, and meet people from all over the world. We love to listen to their lighting needs and expectations, and think about how Delta Light can provide a solution. We are in the business now for 26 years, working on small and large scale projects all around the world. Rather than focusing on short term trends we have tried to build a range of designs that stand the test of time. As such, every time we launch new collections we combine extensions and improvements of existing ranges with completely new designs. We respect our past and work hard to keep our creative team alert, in order to stay ahead of the market. 34

Paul Ameloot started Delta Light in 1989. His two sons Peter and I – currently managing the company – grew up with Delta Light from very early age. In today’s world we notice that the personal touch and passion can really make a difference. As a family-owned business we have a personal stake in keeping our clients happy. We are committed to making a difference through original designs, outstanding service levels, eye for detail and personal contact, striving to be the best in all we do. The beginning of the nineties brought new social, cultural and economical cycles. How did a small company built the strategy concerning its values and mission? Over the years we have chosen to be very close to the market, and be in contact with all stakeholders in a project. We have built a high-quality network of partners, but we also have our own in-house people spread all over the world. Being close to decision-makers and influencers provides us with invaluable insights on each project, and the evolution of the market in general. This information helps us to forecast economical tendencies and changes in behavior. Is there a formula of gathering management, team building, motivation, productivity and communication? The main formula is to stay close to your people, listen to their needs and ideas. Throughout our entire process we have different processes to involve employees, from directors to assembly line workers, in decision-making procedures. We strongly believe in involvement as a key source of motivation, but also to help grow the business and improve productivity. Why underlined the focus on architecture? Light always makes a difference. It has a big impact on how you perceive and experience a room,

DESIGN MAGAZINE 27 (JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2016)  
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