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The man behind the boxing glove

We could watch the Saman gloves at “work”, as the competitors from the red and the blue corner do their job in them. This time we did not ask our boxers, but we asked Dávid Csaba Székely, the managing director of Székely Budo-Sport Kft. about the famous sport equipment.

When and how did this road start into the world of the martial arts related products?

The Székely family established a company in 1792, my predecessors dealt with leather goods and made belts in Szatmárnémedi, which city is in Romania today. My grandfather moved to Budapest to handle the market here also, and my father, Sándor Székely took over this business from him, who started to do karate in the 1980s, which was a rare thing in that time, like the supply of this sector with clothes and equipment. My father caught this opportunity and thanks to him the portfolio of the company widened with hand protectors, gaiters and karate belts as well as classic leather bags and canvas shields from 1985. With time to meet the newer, wider customer needs, we started to sell other brands’ products at our shop.

So, that how we started our way to the world of martial arts, where the karate and the box became our priority sectors, furthermore the other sports, where the participants use gloves.

When did you start deal with boxing?

After a while at our shop customers could buy almost everything at the martial arts segment, and boxers also started shopping from us. After this process we stepped forward to a higher level in this way, plus we wanted to support this sport, therefore our aim was to achieve the highest level of corporation with the Hungarian Boxing Association. There were two reasons behind this, on one hand to support their job, on the other hand we could promote also our own brand, Saman.

We have the exclusive rights to sell TopTen products in Hungary for three years. This brand has AIBA classification also, which is a really important aspect if somebody wants to participate at an international competition.

You mentioned Saman, what was the basic concept, what did you want to achieve with this product line?

When we started this road in the 80s, we had to come up with something, because there was not other available product on the market. My father dealt with leather goods, therefore he made himself the products for sale to satisfy the customer needs.

Later the company grew, and we sold other brands and at the end of the 90s, that was the time, when I started to work at the company, and we had an idea that we could solve ourselves the production instead of the Far Eastern production, because we had the appropriate partners for that. The main point of our concept was to produce products in better quality and in better price-value proportion like other brands do. This was not a simple task, because we had challenges in communication level with the manufacturers despite of the common language, which was English. Do not forget that we talk about the 90s, when we handled most of the orders on a fax machine, while nowadays I could watch on a video conference, what the manufacturer would like to sell to me. Back in time it happened, that I travelled to the manufacturer for 10 days to check a bigger order to avoid problems in connection the production, and later, when the products arrived to us, we realized that we could throw the whole package away. So, we paid the price of the learning curve long time ago.  

The biggest part of my job is the continuous quality control, monitoring; and the continuous communication with our manufacturers helped a lot regarding that. Here, at our company besides the appropriate quality level, it is also very relevant to find the appropriate pricing mechanism, and to maintain this balance is a really hard task.

How is your company’s relationship with the Hungarian Boxing Association?

Our relationship is an old one, with 8-10 years history and I could tell that we could establish the conditions with the association to have good communication and successful corporation.

Does the managing director take a glove to test the product, or just do some exercises sometimes on a boxing bag?

Of course, without personal test this cannot work. Earlier we did not do the test in connection one product, and later we realized that the equipment does not meet our expectations. This happened only once, and this was a really good lesson for me.

Do you have plans for 2018?

We have great plans for this year, but I would not like to talk about them yet. We will continue the road, which we started in the past couple of years, because based on the feedbacks, we are doing right.

We would like to develop ourselves, because the company, which operates on the market for 33 years, cannot follow the others but must be the leader on the market. In addition, we would like to satisfy the martial arts related athletes needs.

The pictures were made by József Bilics Bill.

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