Meet Francisco Malcato, Chairman of Interfer
In 1979, Francisco founded INTERFER and began to conduct some business, continued to visit fairs abroad and bringing to Portugal the novelties that existed there. He started to own companies that manufactured the products inside Portugal, because importing was still unthinkable. Later he got the representation of some companies that wanted to sell in our country. With the entry of Portugal in the old CEE the business was evolving, and the imports began to be easier to do. It was then possible to settle the representations and with the facilitated access to credit everything was improving. Nowadays, INTERFER is a benchmark in the commercialisation of hardware and components for furniture, construction and bricolage industries. Since 1979, the company has been following trends and innovation, always looking to meet the needs of an increasingly demanding market.
How does a brand with so much history and experience adapt to the new needs of the market without neglecting its identity?
Every day new products appear, new competitors, new fashions and needs, but our values – integrity, professionalism and trust – remain, as well as our purpose to always better serve our customers. With this mission in mind, we are modernizing the entire operational and logistical side, betting on the digital relationship with our customers, and maintaining the continuous demand for new products, improving their quality, and service to our customers.
Currently, Interfer has two professional showrooms, in Lisbon and Baltar. Is it part of the company’s plans to open more facilities in the short term?
We are currently investing in the existing showrooms. With Lisbon and Baltar, we can be close to the vast majority of our customers and provide them with a space of excellence for the presentation of our articles.
Last March the mobile exhibition Hettich On Tour was in Portugal, promoted by Interfer. What news has this exhibition brought and what feedback can you get from the event?
The feedback was fantastic, both from the clients and from the universities we visited. The exhibition brought some new Hettich articles – such as the phenomenal Cadro aluminum structure system – and also others that, not being new, bring new interpretations and applications. Clients and students were able to see and experience in first person the AvanTech You drawers with LED lighting, which have had a huge acceptance in the market, the new Novisys hinge, and the TopLine XL, SlideLine M and WingLine L sliding / bellows door systems.
The winner of the I Interfer Universities Award, an initiative of Interfer, will soon be announced. What does this award consist of and in what context did the idea arise?
The Interfer Universities Award came with 3 purposes: to cement the relationship with the Academy, provide students with an opportunity to spread their talent and contact with the reality of the labor market, and cherish from an early age those who will be our partners in the future. It will be awarded through a Furniture Innovation Contest and will award the 5 most scored works. These 5 finalists, together with the guiding professor of the winning project, will make a visit to the Hettich academy and some of its factories (Germany). The winner will also receive a cash payment of €2000. Interfer will sponsor the construction and subsequent exhibition of the winning project, so the most interesting part of the award will be the possibility for students to follow the construction of the project and witness the transition from paper to the reality of its concepts and drawings.
How do you see the future of the brand?
At Interfer, we try to be very positive about the challenges ahead, so we are very optimistic about the future. The modernization of logistics operations, the Interfer Universities Award, the digital bet, and the new brands represented – such as the Swiss Lamello or the Spanish PortaSur that we will launch on the market soon – excite us a lot about tomorrow. We believe that we will continue to serve our customers better and make Interfer grow and cement itself as a brand synonymous with quality, integrity, professionalism and trust.