Tamer Özmen

CEO, Microsoft Turkey

Our growth has been double the addressable market in Turkey, which has also been growing at 9% on average. We have grown about 21% annually on average over recent years. With that, Microsoft Turkey's prominence has increased in the Microsoft system. More Microsoft resources have also started coming into the country. Microsoft then started to evaluate different R&D opportunities in Turkey, especially in the education arena. We have already invested in the Koç University R&D center, ATOM, and some other university projects. Also, we have an innovation center in Microsoft Ankara office where we support start-ups with our technologies. We believe that the FATİH project, an initiative to get more technology into public education, also creates R&D opportunities focused on education. With 20 years of experience in Turkey, Microsoft has a strong presence in the country through its partnership network, and currently has around 11,000 technology partners, both small and large.


Yuichi Aoki

Turkey Representative, Mitsui

We consider our business as providing more value to society. That is a key point of the continuation of sustainable business. Sometimes we fail. However, if our businesses add value to society, it is difficult to fail in the long term. This is one of the key factors in the sustainability of our business. I believe that it is one of the main considerations that has enabled Mitsui to continue as it has for 130 years. Our business model has not remained the same throughout our history; we change it on a case-by-case basis depending on the needs of society. We always consider our business decisions in relation to society, so that we can continue to have success. Domestic energy resources are a good example of this. Turkey clearly needs domestic energy; so if we could provide it, our business would be guaranteed.


Rainer Genes

President & CEO, Mercedes-Benz Türk

Turkey is becoming increasingly important for the global automotive business. The Turkish automotive industry fulfills the demand in domestic and export markets. The interest of foreign investors in this sector is increasing continuously. The reason for this is that Turkey has a highly educated and competent workforce, favorable labor costs, solid know-how, and a growing domestic market. This adds up to a promising commercial environment, and we seek to strengthen our position in it. Of course, the labor costs in Turkey aren't as favorable for us as they are in certain Eastern European countries, but the combination of factors like the quality of the workforce, the level of competency, and labor costs makes the environment highly attractive. In the last 10 years, we experienced a very successful period in Turkey driven mainly by the real estate and construction business, and also private consumption, which are the main pillars of growth.


Axel Hamann

CEO, Bayer Türk

We operate in over 140 countries, but Turkey has long ranked among the top-20 countries for Bayer in sales terms. As a sizable country, it, therefore, holds a prominent position in the Bayer universe. Turkey's greatest opportunity lies in its underlying macro-economic parameters, with demographics being one of the driving factors. The average age of Turkish citizens is 28, which differentiates Turkey substantially from other European countries. The number of people who need access to medicine, therefore, is also growing, which looms large in terms of our healthcare offering. Hence, we support and do business with farmers keen to increase their yield. Turkey is also a major base for the automotive, textile, electronics and construction sector. Bayer's Material Science subgroup is aiming to further grow its market share in these areas to continue to be the primary supplier with its innovative solutions and technical know-how.


Raouf S. Ghali

President of International Project Management, Hill International

We have extensive experience in real estate, as well as infrastructure, and I expect both to remain quite active in Turkey. On the real estate front, Turkey has many major developers realizing megaprojects inside and beyond Turkey. We can add value to these as the funding institutions most of the time require independent management to ensure compliance with funding conditions. Prior to this, most developers were funding and constructing their own projects, leveraging their construction arms. Today there are consortiums of developers and investors coming together to create projects. The market dynamics have changed, and when you have different partners you definitely need an objective observer, someone who knows how to report independently and record on progress, as well as ensure the quality that stakeholders expect to get out of the project.


Hasan Alemdar

President, Henkel Turkey

Henkel was one of the first multinationals to realize Turkey's potential. We were quite fast coming into Turkey, especially with the laundry and homecare and adhesive technologies business segments. It was important for us because of the size of the market and the growth potential we found here. Each move we make into a new market is based on the respective size and growth potential of the market there. Our first move here was in the B2B industrial area in adhesives technologies in 1963. In 1965, we brought in laundry and homecare products because, at that time, the Turkish market was relatively large in terms of laundry detergents, plus there were a range of opportunities for dishwashing agents and softeners. There was untapped potential in the market. Henkel was the first company to introduce dishwashing liquid, and followed this with softeners and other products. In 1997, we introduced beauty care products.


Selçuk Yorgancıoğlu

Regional Head & Partner, Abraaj Group

Turkey is a part of our group's hub system. It is not only Turkish business that we manage from this office, we are also responsible for Central Asia, where we have a sizeable business. In addition, we are expanding into Russia and Eastern Europe in the near future. All of that is managed out of this office and the reason is very simple; Turkey is an important part of the global financial ecosystem, and it is one of the more important growth markets, as opposed to an emerging market. We like food as an industry, and, in our view, Turkey is the food basket for the region because of its fertile and arable lands, large population, and solid export opportunities. One advantage Turkey has is its banking system, which is very healthy and highly liquid, with most banks boasting capital adequacy ratios of around 12%, significantly higher than the European average.


Belkıs Alpergun

CEO, Coface Turkey

Turkey is one of the few countries in which Coface wanted to have a presence in from the outset. Coface is 100% owned by Natixis bank, and is a wholly private entity today. In 1998, we entered the Turkish market to assess our potential role in it. The diagnosis was not good for Turkey at the time, as it suffered from dramatic fluctuations and high inflation. Coface wanted to actually explore the market with conventional insurance companies, which didn't go well as conventional insurance and end credit insurance business lines do not fit together well. It is a niche business and 85% of the global market is actually owned by three companies and one of them is Coface. The market is also more of a niche market, as there are not a lot of players. After the 2001 crisis, in Turkey the banking regulations were actually reformed, and a more solid financial basis was established. Meanwhile, our business has grown by approximately 30% to 40% since 2009.


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