Turkey 2014 | ICT | B2B: SERVICES

As government support and international attention grow, the ICT sector is offering ample possibilities for Turkey's young, skilled population.

Osman Erkan
Şekip Karakaya

What are the main drivers behind the success of this company?

OSMAN ERKAN Kron has never lost focus on what it is doing, and the ICT sector is quite large in Turkey. We were in the right place to create our technology. We have also invested more in human capital than in anything else, ensuring that we have the highest-quality resources and staff. We have patents, are driving innovation, and are trying to make it part of our corporate culture. Economic support, in the form of incentives from the government, gives us an advantage when developing our new ICT projects. There was a government initiative for small companies, like Kron, to finance themselves through IPOs, which we took advantage of. Even though this is not a preferred finance methodology, in Turkey it works well.

ŞEKİP KARAKAYA We were the first to install a system for a Turkish municipality. And today, we control over 60% of the market. ICT has been crucial in developing open and democratic societies, increasing citizens' participation in the political process, developing safe, healthy, secure, well-functioning living spaces, and improving cities socially, economically, and environmentally. These are our main areas of interest. We work closely with the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). In 2004, we created a common project called the Intelligent Cities Automation System (AKOS), leveraging our decades of experience. We trademarked this system in 2004, and it can be used anywhere, and not just in Turkey, to determine which buildings are unsafe for habitation in order to then demolish them.

How important is R&D in attracting foreign interest to Turkey and to your companies?

OE R&D centers require resources and human capital. The good thing for Turkey is the high-quality human capital we have that is closely integrated with Europe. With one flight you can be almost anywhere in Europe within a matter of hours. The universities in Turkey have always selected the best people from the university entrance exams, and for the past 20 or 30 years the highest-scoring students in computer science and electronics have been accepted to engineering faculties. This encourages clever people to apply for engineering. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, Turkey has invested in human capital for the past 25 years by sending the top 5,000 students to engineering over other disciplines. We are enjoying the benefits of these 25 years of investment.

ŞK We have to make our infrastructure perfect, and then expand and grow. Over the past few years, we have undertaken some important work in developing new technologies through R&D investment. We offer good, affordable models and systems for municipalities, as well as creative and flexible payment methods and systems. We are heavily involved in EU urban city projects, as part of NESSI and Euro Cities, and initiate and develop projects throughout the bloc. In 2013, we received an award for public IT integration and application works from EuroCloud.