It all began 80 years ago in Tel Aviv.

The Kashtan family history is intertwined with the establishment and flourishing of the city of Tel Aviv – Jaffa. The fourth and fifth immigration waves (1924-1939) contributed to the city’s development due to the large number of immigrants from central Europe. It is in this period that Tel Aviv began to form its bourgeois and fun loving character.

Among these immigrants were two 10 year old friends, Abraham Osherovitz and Itzhak Kashtan. After graduation from technical high school, the friends both worked as interns at the Siemens factory.

In 1932 after each earned 25 British pounds they opened their electrical shop at 121 Allenby Street, when the street was still a sandy road. Shortly after, Abraham returned to his family's textile business, while Itzhak continued to focus on the electrical shop. The store sold equipment such as reinforced switches, home switches, ceramic fuses, bakelite and metal boxes, and pipes. This equipment was imported mainly from England and Czechoslovakia and other European countries. In those days, business was carried on without fax or e-mail, using only regular mail, with very few and far between commercial flights at very high costs with merchandise arriving in crates at the port, waiting to be loaded and unloaded. The equipment was sold to contractors who built factories and residential homes for the Hagana and later for the Ministry of Defense.

As a result of the harsh economic, social and political conditions at the time, several Jewish entrepreneurs joined forces and decided to take action to promote trade in Palestine, and the chamber of commerce was established in 1919. The foundations for the entity that subsequently became the Jewish Chamber of Commerce were laid in those days. In 1936, through the initiative of the Chamber of Commerce and other parties, the first Jewish port – Tel Aviv Port – was established in order to release Jewish traders from their dependency on Arab suppliers and to open new horizons for commerce. Subsequently, in 1938, the first electrical power plant was built also built in Tel-Aviv.

In 1956, I. Kashtan Electrical Supplies became a limited liability company (Ltd). After the recession in 1959, I. the company became the twelfth member of the Chamber of Commerce. This provided Kashtan with an exclusive permit to import electric equipment, thus turning the shop into a wholesale business, selling equipment to competitors at a pre-determined price. The company developed slowly and wisely, refraining from accepting representation of super-brands that dictated trade policy and would have undermined the company’s local, Tel Aviv character. In 1963, after graduating from Max Fine Vocational School, Boaz Kashtan joined his father’s business and began a legacy of over 50 years that continues today. With his first earned paychecks, Boaz bought model airplanes, trains and cars, a hobby he still enjoys today.

As the years went by, and despite his waning health, father Itzhak continued to work every day and skillfully manage the company. His son Boaz nursed him for years until he passed away in 1980. Boaz then took the reins and continued to develop the company. Two major moves contributed to leveraging the company’s strategy and future success. The first was in 1975, at the Electris exhibition in England where Boaz met the owners of Friedland Co., Europe’s leading home doorbell manufacturers and distributors, who marketed doorbells that played special tunes. The second was the cooperation with Katzenstein Adler and the purchase of 50% ownership in Astragal Ltd., a company founded in 1968 as a subsidiary of the Katzenstein Adler Group. Astragal’s business was import and distribution of switching and command equipment for electric panels and was among the first companies in this sector; thus enjoying the opportunity to generate business contacts with the world’s leading international manufacturers. These moves opened new and expansive markets and enabled the company to thrive and expand.