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Turkey 2020 | INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

Diversifying its portfolio of products, services, and sectors, Eaton is prepared for slower global and domestic growth.

Yılmaz Özcan
BIOGRAPHY

Yılmaz Özcan is country manager for Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Uzbekistan in the electrical sector of Eaton. During his career, Özcan has gained broad experience across various heavy industrial, machinery, and oil and gas sectors, with senior sales and marketing management roles in automation products, process control, electromechanical drive systems, and service businesses. Özcan received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Yıldız Technical University in 1998. He later received an MBA degree from Milano Bocconi University in 2012.

As the manager of Eaton's electrical business in Turkey, how does your business segment fit into the company's overall operations?
Eaton has three legal entities in Turkey. One operates our hydraulic manufacturing facilities, another is our electrical operations business, Eaton Elektrik. The third is Ulusoy Elektrik, operating our switchgear factories in Turkey. I am responsible for Eaton Elektrik's operations. From a business point of view, we are focusing very much on the construction sector, including commercial and industrial buildings. In addition, we are also providing electrical products to machinery OEMs. We are also actively targeting some specific industries, such as cement, metal, and oil and gas.

Why did Eaton enter the shipbuilding industry, and what subsectors are you focused on growing?
The Turkish marine industry is well developed and large, and the country has more than 70 shipyards. There is huge potential in Turkey. Eaton's product portfolio fits the marine industry's requirements extremely well. We offer various types of products such as CCTV systems, UPS backup power, and circuit protection products. The niche shipbuilding industry in Turkey has grown considerably in recent years, and we have expanded with the sector. As a result, we work with shipbuilders that are building commercial fishing boats, ferries, and tugs. We work with all segments of the marine industry, and it is one of the key sectors we are focusing on.

How has Eaton's diversified business helped ease the burden of last year's economic slowdown?
This is definitely a strength of ours and an advantage in terms of our competitiveness. Eaton's wide portfolio has allowed us to approach other sectors as some have slowed down and others have grown. Moreover, we are fairly active in the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) industry, which is more resilient than purely domestic-focused companies. Our OEM customers in Turkey export their machinery to Europe and other regions. We saw great advantages working with our OEM customers; export business has continued to support the wider Turkish economy and our business.

Can you break down Eaton's annual revenue in Turkey between products and services?
Our service-related revenue is around 10% of our total revenue. However, our service business is an important growth factor for us. We sell many products, and most of them require servicing. If one has a proper service organization, they can also bring a great deal of added value to their customers, generate additional revenue, and enable their customers to use their products more efficiently, reliably, and for a longer period of time. Our strong service offering is an important driver of growth for us, and we made investments in 2019 to capture more of the service market. We are strengthening our service organization and increasing our staff numbers. The cost of ownership is important to a business—companies should consider not just the cost of buying a product, but also the cost of running it. To use a product efficiently, one needs regular maintenance—preventative maintenance is key. In the past, the industrial sector had a reactive service approach. Today, new technologies allow businesses to monitor the operations and condition of its equipment and determine if maintenance is required before a product fails. This prevents costlier fixes for failed pieces of equipment and money lost from stopping production. Even if the cost of fixing the product is minimal, stopping production is always costly. We call this a proactive service approach.

What are your investment plans and primary objectives for the next 12 months?
We have already started to improve Ulusoy Elektrik's product portfolio. We plan to use our international resources to expand our product portfolio over the next 12 months. We will also increase the diversity of Ulusoy Elektrik's product portfolio. It is particularly focusing on construction, industry and the marine segments in Turkey right now, and we will continue to target these in 2020.