Bosnian brothers build on heritage

Bosnian brothers build on heritage

Muhamed, left, and Rudy Kadiric started their business in Muhamed’s basement but now have revenues of more than $12 million annually. Courtesy Titan Interiors

Growing up in Bosnia, Rudy Kadiric remembers handing nails to his father as they built a pole barn. Today, Kadiric and his brother, Muhamed, are continuing the family’s carpentry heritage in Grand Rapids.

The brothers run Titan Interiors, a company they started from Muhamed Kadiric’s basement on Forest Hill Avenue SE, before growing to now have 30 full-time contractors in the field at up to 15 projects at any given time in West Michigan. Titan Interiors generated $12.6 million in revenue in 2015.

“Our father was a carpenter and a couple uncles were builders,” Rudy Kadiric said. “It just seemed like a natural fit, coming from a construction family back in Bosnia.”

Between Bosnia and his emigration to the United States, Kadiric spent seven years in Germany before his wife’s cousin encouraged him to visit Grand Rapids.

At the time, in 1999, Kadiric said he was attracted by the availability of work in the area and the climate that is similar to Bosnia’s.

“We came, and we fell in love right from the get-go,” Kadiric said.

Kadiric worked various construction jobs while going to school at Grand Rapids Community College, where he graduated in 2005 with a degree in architectural drafting and design. In 2006, the brothers decided to utilize the family history and work experience as carpenters and opened their small operation.

The first project was a spec house on Fulton Street NE near East Beltline Avenue, and several residential renovations and remodel projects soon followed.

For four years, the brothers worked independently and would occasionally hire for help, often acting as subcontractors themselves for other subcontractors. The specialization in interior work, including drywall and metal studs, insulation and fireproofing comes from their own work history at other companies.

“We had always wanted to own our own company,” Kadiric said. “We wanted to live the American dream. We came here, to a land of great opportunity, and we talked about the things we could do and said, ‘Why don’t we start on our own and see if we can do it?’”

Following four years contracting work from other subcontractors and on small residential projects, the brothers decided to cut out the middleman and start bidding on projects with the area’s larger general contractors, such as Rockford Construction, Triangle Associates and Wolverine Building Group.

Titan Interiors started to secure larger jobs focused more on commercial projects, leading to the need to hire more employees. The brothers have gone from regularly working in the field to manning an office with five other employees, while more than 30 employees work on Titan projects that range from health care to educational, such as the new Jenison Performing Arts Center.

Recently, Titan Interiors finished up work at Fulton Place, a Rockford Construction residential development that helps support Grand Valley State University’s downtown campus.

“They were dedicated to making it a successful project,” Rockford Construction Project Executive Dan Behler said. “When we needed to quickly solve challenges, we appreciated their team’s accessibility and follow-through.”

Kadiric said the project was large and on a tight schedule. Projects, such as Fulton Place, keep a small contractor on its toes, something Kadiric said is one of the best parts of owning his own company.

“We’re always learning something new, meeting new people and developing those relationships,” he said. “We know we have to surround ourselves with great employees but also the companies we work for. It’s important to us that everyone we work with is skilled. That’s a huge part of success, is that those we work with believe in who we are.”

Kadiric said aside from working with skilled people and companies, he wants those who work for him to know they’re cared for. He said very little work by Titan Interiors is outside of West Michigan, because he wants his employees to end the day with their families.

The trade magazine Walls and Ceilings recently profiled Titan Interiors in a cover story, helping Kadiric to realize he might be close to his goal of being “the No. 1 drywall contractor in West Michigan.”

“I never thought we’d be where we are today. When you start so small, you don’t have big goals,” he said. “I want us to be No. 1, but it’s not about the volume or money. I want to be No. 1 in service; we want to be a part of the community and be able to provide for our clients.”

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