SKIN IN THE GAME

Turkey 2020 | INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

Cosmetic products are in big demand in Turkey and the region, resulting in rapid growth of Kopaş' product lines to the global marketplace.

Onur Özyurt
BIOGRAPHY

Onur Özyurt graduated from Boğaziçi University's business administration department and received his MA degree in finance from the same university. He went on to study in Harvard Business School's management program. Özyurt joined Kopaş Kozmetik in 2013 as board member. He has served as general manager since 2014. Before joining Kopaş Kozmetik, Özyurt worked in the private equity and investment banking industries for over 13 years, participating in several transactions in Turkey, the Balkans, and the Middle East. Throughout his career, Özyurt has held board level positions in the entertainment, retail, and pharmaceutical industries.

Kopaş is a market leader across its brands, which are found in four main market categories. What drives Kopaş' considerable growth?
We doubled our turnover in the past three years. We plan to do it again in the next three. We have four main categories and four main brands, the biggest being baby care, Dalin. Dalin has 45% market share in this category, whereas the second player only has 21% market share. The category is growing by double digits, and Dalin helps drive growth in the category, which is supported by strong population growth and other positive demographic trends in other consumer businesses in Turkey. We are growing our market share within the category by increasing penetration and improving customer perception of our products. The second-biggest category is hair removal products. Its market size is bigger than baby care products for toiletries. Our Sesu depilatory product is the number-one selling item in its specific category, where we have 24% market share. In that category, demographics and penetration do not drive our growth. Instead, it is about introducing new products. The third pillar is perfumes and deodorants. Our brand is XO in that specific category. We did a re-launch in August 2018 and more than doubled our market share in only five months. It has been extremely successful for us, though this category is highly fragmented. The fourth category is hair colorants. Our products are being sold in the professional channel, namely to hairdressers.

Kopaş also has two additional business lines: a distribution services portfolio and contract products. How much do each of these contribute to Kopaş' turnover?
The distribution services portfolio business line provides distribution services to multinational companies seeking to enter the Turkish market without establishing their own sales and marketing operations. We provide distribution services only if we believe in and feel these are complementary to our own branded portfolio. This business line is relatively new—we are halfway through it, and in the past two years, we have introduced five brands to the market.

Looking to Kopaş' exports, where do you expect to see growth, and what new markets do you want to penetrate right now?
In overall consolidated sales, our export figures account for less than 10%, though our plan is to increase that figure to 40% in five years. In the most recent strategic plan, we determined three business units based on geographies. The first is called Turca, which is Turkey and Central Asia. The second geographical category is EMEA, namely Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa as a whole, but particularly sub-Saharan (Nigeria and Kenya). We are in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya already and will be in Algeria soon. We hope to be in Morocco in 2019 as well. For 2020, the big target is Nigeria and Kenya. The third geographic unit is APAC, which stands for Asia Pacific. We are currently in Malaysia and will soon be in Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines. We selected these regions because they have the youngest populations in the world combined with generally high GDP growth rates.

From an investment standpoint, what are your biggest plans over the next two to three years?
Over the next two to three years, we will expand our logistics and warehousing infrastructure because our existing production capacity is good enough. Abroad, there are plans to start local manufacturing, one in Africa and one in Southeast Asia. Turkey has a free trade agreement with some of these countries like Malaysia and Morocco.