We would like to extend my thanks to Alp Günvaran for his support. I share a great interview with you.
Can we recognize you briefly?
I am from Balıkesir. I am one of the two sons of the confectioner Orhan. I completed my primary and secondary education in Balıkesir. During my school life, especially during the holidays I worked in my father’s shop. I got my degree at Boğaziçi University, economics. While I was a student at university, I worked in Cumhuriyet Newspaper Sports Service.
I started my career as a Customer Manager at Procter & Gamble (P & G) in 1999 and by 2004 I was responsible for the different commercial channels at the regional and national level. In December 2004, I was transferred to Shell Turkey. As the appointed youngest Managing Director of Company Operations, I carried out the job about two years. I returned to P & G in 2006. During 10 years, I undertook a series of tasks such as Turkey National Team of Customer Channel Directorate; Eastern Europe Region Marketing Strategy and Planning Directorate; Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa Region Directorate of Global Customer and Turkey and the Caucasus Region as Commercial Operations Directorate.
In 2016, I started working as Turkey Pirelli Tires Industrial and Commercial General Manager.Also, when Turkey Industrial and Commercial Pirelli Tires appeared,I became CEO of Prometeon Turkey. At last, ın the world of prometeo, in January 2018 as the date, I was appointed as the CEO of the Prometeo Turkey, Middle East, Africa, Russia, Central Asia and the Caucasus.
I am married and I am the father of a boy.
What kind of student were you in your education life and did you have a career goal that you set during this time? What have you done to achieve these goals?
I finished Balıkesir Altıeylül Elementary School, Balıkesir Sırrı Yırcalı Anatolian High School and Boğaziçi University Department of Economics, respectively. I’m lucky because I studied good schools and had good teachers. I can not thank them enough. Especially Sırrı Yırcalı Balıkesir Anatolian High School, was a high school sending students to Turkey’s best universities .For example, I was the 222th one in the university exams, but in my class that we were 40 students , I was the 7th student who took the good point.
I believe that the choice I made during my university years played an important role in the point that I reached today. Instead of raising my average academic achievement, I focused on different work experiences and paid attention to social activities. They prepared me for business life. The companies that I found to work at the beginning of my career also added valuable knowledge and experience to me in the sense of leadership. Thirdly, some risky choices I made, have brought me to where I am today.
How do you have a working system?
I have two important methods. The most important of these is managing jobs as simple as possible. Secondly, to ensure that my teammates working with me should take responsibility at maximum level by trusting and to stand and support them when it’s necessary.
What do you do for yourself the rest of the time?
At any face of the time, I take time for what is important to me at that moment. This sometimes means surfing the net on Sunday night at 23.00, sometimes watching my child’s school show at 10.00 am on weekdays. I do not believe that the frameworks defined by thick lines on work-life balance are fruitful for me.
How did your paths intersect with Prometeo Turkey?
As a matter of fact, there is a marked turning point in my career. I decided to leave P & G 14 years ago after 6 years of work. When I left I actually felt like I was out of the room early. There was much more to learn there. I was glad that I returned to P & G 2 years later as a very exceptional situation and stayed there for further 10 years. At the point where I felt I was ready to leave the house, my way was with Prometeon.
Would you mind talking about the points you care about in marketing strategies and the marketing intricacies?
I want to share something that I care, not regarding marketing, but generally when managing things.
- Making the definition of success: Priorities are to identify targets and follow an action plan.
- Working as a team. Helping others succeed. Get ideas from your expert.
- Keeping it simple. Being lean as to be sure that you will understand what you say and what you do, as well as making your work easier by shortening the process of your employees.
- Being proactive. To know your stakeholders and competitors well.
- Always being on the scene – to watch and observe.
- Being agile – be prepared to change.
- Foreseeing unpredictability – hard work and ownership.
It is possible to say that this whole point of view is also valid for marketing. Of course, I must add that with all this, the director of the press, the ability to hold the pulse and the discipline in budget management is a must.
How do you look at the concept of greed? Do we have to be ambitious?
I care to be ambitious in order to be able to be successful when I try to do more. But I do not think it’s right if this ambition prevents the teamwork and ethical principles, and I can never accept that as a leader.
The most widespread business word in the last 10 years is entrepreneurship. What should a young person do to become an entrepreneur?
If you look at my career path, it started at the 9-square-meter candy store where my father has been operating for 50 years in middle school age. From my young age I started to help him every holiday. Sometimes the warehouse floods the goods to the shop, sometimes I keep the store in the shop and sometimes I stay in the shop. This habit is actually still going on. I go to Balıkesir before every festival and I help him.
Therefore, if I always work in global companies in my business life, I have adopted an entrepreneurial point of view with my contribution to this experience.
I believe that the success of managers with an entrepreneurial viewpoint and who are aware of risk, innovative, agile, lean, flexible in any conjuncture, result oriented, business unit and team oriented are inevitable. I believe that we leaders should not trigger the entrepreneurial spirit while managing our teams.
I should say that this formula goes through everyone owning their own business. In this sense, both organizational development and innovation come along.
What kind of features are you looking for in young people who will start work?
In fact, as I have summarized above, I care about having their own job. However, I am personally very positive behavioral supports the five principles we adopted as Turkey’s Prometeo. I can summarize them as follows;
- Being focused on result
- Having a team spirit
- To be open to continuous feedback
- Always find another way
- Acting like an entrepreneur
Could you give us advice on your way out of your life?
If you are acting with a sense of responsibility and acting with a focus on goal, success is inevitable if you are doing what you like.
Give importance to communication. Listen to the other to understand, not to answer. Communicate clearly and simply with both your superiors and with our friends we work with.
Always be on the field, keep your pulse. Do not cut off the deal with the end consumer, field and operations, come together often.
Believe and trust the different experiences that different pasts bring.
Do not avoid risk.
Always try to be more proactive and proactive in presenting more.