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The Mission: Impossible team

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“We are known for doing things that others cannot or will not do,” says Mr. Coutaz, who joined Raboud Group in 2010. “We are the Mission: Impossible team for whom no challenge is too great.”

Sometimes this refers to structural challenges relating to the space itself or cultural differences. “We were contracted to design a new interior for a boutique in Riyadh,” explains Mr. Coutaz. “It was Ramadan, and we could only work after sunset while the local people were eating. We had to plan the work so that it was completed on time despite the fact that we could not work during daylight hours.”

This flexibility is one of the reasons for Raboud Group’s success. Another good example of this was an assignment to design and construct an interior for a boutique in Paris. Here the challenge was the extremely short time frame.

“We were brought in to create an entirely new interior design just four weeks before the grand opening,” says Mr. Coutaz. “Needless to say, we brought the project in on time and to the complete satisfaction of the client.”

That is Raboud Group’s motivation in a nutshell. “We know we have done a good job when the client is satisfied with our work, and we are never satisfied with anything less,” insists Mr. Coutaz. “We want to be involved in our clients’ projects right from the very beginning and see them through to their successful conclusion.”

In order to deliver a full solution, Raboud Group has its own fully equipped production workshops. It also works with local subcontractors in the fields of granite, glass, metal, electricity, case and cover making, engineering, and finishing.

This network serves to support the local economy and keeps vital skills in Switzerland. “We take on several apprentices each year in our various departments, thereby ensuring a steady supply of skilled workers for our company,” says Mr. Coutaz.

The company was founded in 1984 by Francis Raboud. After building up the business to international prominence, the founder handed over the reins of the family business to his two sons Vincent and Johann and to Mr. Coutaz as the third member of the management team last year.

He previously headed up his own company, providing services to Raboud Group. In 2010, his company was acquired by Raboud, and he came on board, first as Development Director and now as Commercial Director. Raboud Group has expanded through various acquisitions over the years which have extended its areas of activity.

Its historic activity is store interiors and shopfitting. In 1989, Francis Raboud launched Raboud Cuisines to build high-end kitchen furniture. In 2004, Expo Raboud was founded to fulfil the demand for exhibition stands. In 2008, the various companies were brought together under the umbrella of the Raboud Group.

Today the group operates in four key sectors. Professional layouts is the name given to the division concerned with designing and executing high-end interior designs for sectors including retail, gastronomy, office buildings and other projects.

Raboud Group is known for its modern designs incorporating a range of high-quality materials for a contemporary and welcoming feel. The company’s joinery skills are also put to use in its range of fitted kitchens.

A showroom at its head offices in Bulle gives customers an idea of the various options available. “Depending on the customer’s requirements and budget, we can custom-build a personalized kitchen featuring made-in-Switzerland craftsmanship,” says Mr. Coutaz. “We supply complete kitchen solutions including appliances.”

Finally, Raboud Group also builds luxury walk-in wardrobes. Projects for the private sector make up just a small proportion of the company’s activities. Around 95% of projects are B2B, and of these the vast majority are carried out on behalf of Swiss companies.

“Although the clients are Swiss-based, we find we are asked to carry out a lot of projects on their behalf in other countries,” explains Mr. Coutaz. “Around 40% of our work is international. We have completed projects in Mexico, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, South Korea and Japan as well as throughout Europe.”

The company’s wide-ranging experience in a variety of sectors is a key strength. “We are very flexible, and the knowledge won through work in one sector feeds into the others,” says Mr. Coutaz. “With years of experience in the various sectors, we know how to combine the latest designs and technical solutions to create effective points of sale.”

The future will see the company invest in its first foreign office to support its growing internationalization. Its new management team have their sights set on the USA or the Middle East.

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