EXTRA Wheelchairs is a new sports wheelchair supplier on the market. We talked to their Managing Director, Demirhan Şerefhan about the business strategy, the feedback from superstar Özgür Gürbulak and the plans for the upcoming months.
Mr. Şerefhan, how does EXTRA Wheelchairs intend to position itself in the European market and stand out from its competitors?
“EXTRA has been formed after a long survey which covers the needs of the users and the market. After the survey, we saw that most of the wheelchair models sold in the market are more or less of the same quality.”
“Many brands are using the same raw materials from the same suppliers which are being purchased within Europe or the USA. At this point, we say that the difference is hidden in the details.”
“The design of the camber bar inside the main axle, the joints of the forks, the castor wheels and some others. We are paying maximum attention to these points. We are making strong and light sports wheelchairs. We are experimenting our wheelchairs with the fastest and heaviest users. I want to express that up to now on none of our users have came back to us and told that their wheelchairs have been broken. Of course, this doesn’t mean that EXTRA wheelchairs cannot be broken. But they are difficult to give damage to during a game. Another point is the pricing. Other brands are selling their products at very high prices. We want players that can reach out to EXTRA more easily as we sell wheelchairs at affordable prices. When you add up all these facts, i.e. quality, design, strength and pricing, EXTRA is a good choice within the European market.”
Please describe in a maximum of three sentences what makes the EXTRA sports wheelchairs unique?
“As I said before, EXTRA provide high quality made-to-measure wheelchairs. All phases of production make EXTRA unique. Shaping the frame, welding, special heating process, painting and the accessories which are produced by us with special methods makes EXTRA unique. Besides that, the extra options at other brands are standard and already included in the pricing of EXTRA. In one year, everybody will see that other brands will not be able to compete with the quality and pricing of EXTRA.”
What was the feedback on the wheelchair from top players such as Özgür Gürbulak, Cem Gezinci & Co.?
“Özgür Gürbulak is an icon in wheelchair basketball. Everybody in Europe knows him and his skills very well. He is a hero. He has been chosen MVP many times at European and World Championships. He was using another European brand for many years. But he started to use EXTRA two years ago. He is an open-minded player and he says that: “EXTRA is the best wheelchair he has ever used.” Özgür is one of the players like so many others whose life is wheelchair basketball. He would never use a wheelchair which he doesn’t like.
“Cem Gezinci is one of the successful players of Besiktas and the national team. His height is 2.03 mt and his weight is 130 Kg. The Turkish national team has bought him several basketball wheelchairs from European companies, but he did not want to use them. He liked EXTRA very much and for two years he is capturing glory and victory in an EXTRA basketball wheelchair.”
Where can German and European athletes turn for more information about EXTRA Wheelchairs?
“We have just started distributing in Europe and other countries. We don’t have an agent in Germany yet. If they don’t have an EXTRA representative in their country, they can get in touch with us directly. We have a very simple measurement/order form. Our website is www.extrawheelchairs.com , they can also follow our Facebook and Instagram pages. They can also email me at: email@example.com”
Mr. Şerefhan, in five years EXTRA Wheelchairs will be…
“…the market leader in basketball wheelchairs who always stand behind their players.”
Thanks for your time.
Interview: Martin Schenk | Photos: private