Forum by Nowy Styl ‘challengineering’ feat



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Jakub Rachfalik at Coliseum MENA Image: Jakub Rachfalik, Zaha Hadid & Hufton + Crow

A soft-spoken person, Jakub Rachfalik, Managing Director of Forum by Nowy Styl, Poland, is beaming with pride and he has reasons to be on cloud nine – his company is filling six out of seven Qatar 2022 stadiums with both VIP and regular seats. This is a major project which the Forum has landed in its kitty.

Rachfalik is adept in managing large-scale projects, whether it is providing 95,000 seats for two stadiums in France or over 60,000 seats and rails to the 67,215-capacity Puskás Aréna in Hungary.

His role in Forum by Nowy Styl requires him to develop the brand all over the world, closely cooperating with multiple divisions within Nowy Styl and he has a huge team working under him. Rachfalik was instrumental in the Forum striking a deal with Coastal Qatar as a result of which Forum by Nowy Styl seats will fill six stadia during the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar. A great feat indeed!

The 2022 FIFA World Cup™ is scheduled to be the 22nd running of the FIFA World Cup™ competition, the quadrennial international men’s football championship contested by the national teams of the member-associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Qatar from November 21st to December 18th, 2022.
 

Forum by Nowy Styl

Krosno (Poland)-based Forum by Nowy Styl has been providing seats and telescopic grandstands to large stadiums and sports halls, concert halls, cinemas, theaters, and auditoriums for more than a dozen years now.

The company is a European leader in the sector of office furniture. Ergonomics, design, acoustics, safety, and durability – the company guarantees top quality products and references from all over the world bear testimony to it.

The company manufactures its products in 18 production plants equipped with the state-of-the-art technologies that are located in Poland, Germany, France, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey.
 

Comfort seating

Sophisticated and comfortable seating arrangement in stadiums leads to positive spectator experience. Most plush stadia in the world today are mixed-use facilities and venues pull out all stops to provide an enchanting experience to fans.

The safety quotient in the seating arrangement in a venue – along with other premium facilities – provides the paying spectators with a trouble-free event. Ensuring appropriate type of seating plays a key role in enhancing the fan experience in an arena.
 

Plum deal

One of the greatest feats of Forum by Nowy Styl is pulling off the deal to fill six stadia built for Qatar 2022 with the brand’s seats. The seats have been manufactured by Nowy Styl Group’s partner in Qatar – Coastal Qatar.
 

Coastal Qatar

Coastal Qatar is all about constantly taking on engineering challenges and pushing the boundaries of engineering innovation – ‘challengineers’. What began in the 1970s, soon established itself as a brand that is synonymous with successful integration capabilities. With a string of prestigious projects under its belt, the company is all about the integrated engineering specialists.
 

Forum by Nowy Styl has entrusted Coastal Qatar to provide seats for six (6) Qatar 2022 stadia:

  • The 50,000-capacity Ahmad bin Ali Stadium;
  • The 60,000-capacity Al-Bayt Stadium;
  • The 40,000-capacity Al-Janoub Stadium;
  • The 45,350-capacity Education City Stadium; and
  • The 80,000-capacity Lusail Stadium; and
  • The 40,000-capacity Stadium 974.

 
In an exclusive interaction with ‘Coliseum’, Jakub Rachfalik gives details as to how Forum by Nowy Styl struck a deal with Coastal Qatar to provide both VIP and regular seats for the above six Qatar 2022 stadia and how the entire exercise to strike the deal was fraught with challenges galore and the tactics the firm adopted to turn things to its favor.
 

Qatar 2022 seats

Jakub Rachfalik started off with many firsts as he put in, “For the first time in the Middle East region, the FIFA World Cup™ will take place. For the first time, it will be held during Winter and for the first time Forum by Nowy Styl has entered into a partnership in this part of the world.”

He dished out details of his company – “Forum by Nowy Styl is the leading furniture manufacturer in Europe and has completed 30 years of existence.”

Founded in 1992 in Krosno in Poland as Nowy Styl, at that point of time it specialized mainly in office chairs. Today, the firm sells products related to interior design, furniture and stadium seatings.

Continued Rachfalik, “We are not only stadium seat manufacturer. In the last 30 years, we have gained vast experience manufacturing furniture for offices, hotels, etc.”
 

Major acquisition

The Forum by Nowy Styl brought under its wings the renowned company Kusch+Co (Germany) in 2019 which boasts extensive experience in providing furniture in airports, healthcare and the hospitality sectors.

Informed Rachfalik, “In 2007, Nowy Styl decided to call the new brand Forum Seating which is Forum by Nowy Styl right now. In the last 15 years, we have gained huge experience vis-à-vis providing chairs in stadiums, indoor arenas and other facilities.”

He made it clear that the Forum is not just about stadiums and indoor arenas – “Our experience is really into custom-made, theaters, opera houses, cinemas, stadiums as well, and retractable, and that’s very often for indoor arenas.”
 

Skill set

The top official explained that Forum by Nowy Styl comprises 7,000 employees “And it is not just manufacturers but there is a bunch of people boasting deep knowledge and vast experience in project management, development of new customized products, and so on. So, we really want to be taken in as partners right from the time a venue is all set to be built. We have the expertise and experience from the past, we can really share our views and ideas on how to optimize and monetize in the future the venues.”

He advised that one should be involved right from the beginning when a venue is being built because later if some flaws come up in the structure, then it is too late to even overhaul the facility or start things from a scratch. And it is an expensive affair too.
 

…. And 6 stadia in Qatar with over 300,000 seats

A delighted Rachfalik exulted, “So, 2022 is about Qatar. It is due to our extensive experience that we have been able to do the seating part of Qatar 2022.”
 

Nowy Styl’s production capacity

  • 220,000 m2 of production space – “We produce in seven countries within Europe but we deliver in over 100 countries worldwide.”

 

Coastal Qatar story

He stated, “Coastal Qatar term themselves as challengineers which means you have to be both Engineer, Project Manager and should have the flair for taking up challenges. In the very beginning itself, when we landed the Qatar 2022 deal, we decided to manufacture locally. And, thus, Coastal Qatar became our manufacturing partner in Qatar. We knew that Qatar could be a really good hub for the Forum not only in regard to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region but also in regard to the MENA region and India in the near future.”
 

Challenges galore

Rachfalik made it clear that shifting the whole production business to a foreign country is not a cakewalk as the modus operandi of companies is very different in the Middle East region from what it is in Europe – “We had to develop cordial relationships with legal advisors, project managers, the technical team, the production team, and so on. And things really worked to our advantage as a result of which though initially we were asked to provide seats for three Qatar 2022 stadiums, but as we proved our mettle to the decision-makers, they decided to give us three more stadiums where we had to provide seats. To be more precise, we have provided seats to six-and-a-half stadia – the half one being the 45,416-capacity Khalifa International Stadium – where the VIP seats left a great deal to be desired.”
 

A perfect match (Forum by Nowy Styl-Coastal Qatar!)

  • A license to produce Abacus stadium seats;
  • Technological knowhow;
  • Modern factory;
  • Construction support; and
  • Launch of production.

 

Seat trivia

  • Three hundred and thirty thousand (330,000) normal seats where the general spectators will sit have been manufactured in Qatar locally;
  • Right decision to manufacture locally as things happened at a very fast pace – “All the stadiums in Qatar they are at a distance of 50-60 kilometers away from the factory. So, this led to the whole process catching momentum.”; and
  • With sustainability being the topmost priority for Forum by Nowy Styl, manufacturing locally led to reduction in carbon footprints as long-distance transportation was not required.

 
However, he was quick to add that “All VIP chairs fully upholstered or having wooden parts inside had to be manufactured in Poland in our factory and have been delivered here in Qatar.”
 

Sum-up

On a closing note he stated, “Forum by Nowy Styl is really a trusted, experienced and reliable partner. Over the last 15 years, we have gained extensive experience and have forged meaningful and significant partnerships. We have been providing seats for multiple venues worldwide and we want to be involved in a venue project right from the beginning and remain a committed partner. We want to be an intrinsic part of any venue project and not just be remembered during the installation of retractable and grandstands.”

He reminisced how during UEFA Euro 2012 and UEFA Euro 2016, Forum by Nowy Styl did its homework very well looking into every aspects of spectators’ comfort seating – whether visitors who have entered the venue late have been comfortably ensconced in their seats and several other aspects related to seating.

From smaller, cosy halls to large arenas that can hold a few thousand people, Forum by Nowy Styl products are used by fans watching unforgettable games and the company walks the extra mile to ensure that the comfort quotient is maintained.

Jakub Rachfalik’s steadfast devotion to his work and his determination to deal with challenges and overcome them helped him pull off a plum deal with Coastal Qatar that led his company to land the ‘challengineering’ task of providing seats for Qatar 2022.

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