Burgeoning demand for energy means industrial companies have to be on hand to provide solutions.

Hakan AkçIçek
Çiçek Elektrik
Gökhan Akçiçek
Orta Direk

How was 2013 for the company?

HAKAN AKÇİÇEK The company grew by 33% and we experienced a solid turnover. In 2013, we also completed a number of important projects. Meanwhile, we managed to increase our capacity as well as the number of personnel working for us. In addition to this, we also increased our investments, and our stocks laid the groundwork for four major new projects. We are talking about one of the most prominent real estate and housing projects in Turkey. In 2014, we plan to expand our business into industrial estates, as well as continue with our large-scale housing schemes. We have made arrangements for a project featuring 15,000 houses. To give you a brief idea about the company, my brother Gökhan and I manage two different enterprises. There are 27 people working here, some developing projects and others on-site, doing the actual work. The average age of our staff is 25 years. When we undertake a project, we first assemble the team and figure out the energy supply for the project and the main grid to be utilized. After arranging the main supply, we continue to work on planning and distribution within the facility. All work is done in-house without any need for outsourcing. Before supplying energy in Turkey, you require permission from official agencies. On average, we complete roughly 50 projects per year, many of which are trade centers, hotels, universities, shopping centers, housing projects, and industrial estates. This is the basic outline of the company.

GÖKHAN AKÇİÇEK For Orta Direk, 2013 was a slower year compared to 2011 and 2012, given scarce demand. Many core buyers in the countries we operate in were affected by local elections, as a result of which most projects were suspended. In the long term, we want to get away from bulk production and put much greater emphasis on special products, while also paying more attention to decorative products. In addition, we will spend time on developing our renewable energy products. Currently, 90% of our output is standard production; therefore, we want to shift toward value-added production.

What are your expectations for 2014?

HA We have three major projects that excite me. Two of them are with clients we have worked with in the past, and one is with a new client. One of the projects is unique and will be a first for Turkey, having already been awarded. The KozaŞehir project involves a forest of 65 acres where all trees come from Brazil, and features a 35-acre lake with a wave-making system. The scheme features four different blocks that do not overshadow each other. The lake will have two beaches with imported sand to heighten the experience. We have been cooperating with Tema Park on this scheme for around a year, in what is the largest private project in Turkey.

GA We are launching a new renewable energy project, which we plan to market particularly in Africa. We will also carry out certain common projects with a partner in Europe, including a lighting project that uses solar as well as wind energy. This will be a fully integrated renewable energy project. The scheme will be suitable for all climatic conditions, which means universal application. It will also be cheaper than similar products currently on the market. In fact, Africa is not the primary target; we want to launch the project all over the world simultaneously. However, we do anticipate it seeing the greatest popularity in Africa. Currently, Central Asia and the Balkans are becoming significant markets for us. And now, we are commencing talks with European companies with regard to our new renewable energy product. Due to the production cost advantages Turkey offers, our prices are similar to those of China; however, the quality of our products is much higher because we have invested in high-tech automation equipment.