Please tell us about yourself.
I was born in Gaziantep, and as a member of the Altınbaş family, I started to work with my siblings under the supervision of our father Mehmet Altınbaş. After Gaziantep, we started to invest in Northern Cyprus, and following the opening of our first jeweller’s shop there, we entered different sectors like energy and finance. Since 2013, I have served as the CEO of Altınbaş Holding. I am also the Chairman of the Mehmet Altınbaş Education and Culture Foundation. Additionally, I serve as a Member of the Board of Trustees at Kemerburgaz University, which was established as the social responsibility project of the Foundation and which welcomes over 4 thousand students from the Middle East, Balkans and Africa.
Could you tell us about Altınbaş Holding?
Altınbaş Holding’s establishment dates back to the 1950s with trade in Gaziantep. Today, the company has turned into a big family with 4 thousand employees and a turnover of over 8 billion lira. We continue to create added value for our country with 21 companies that are growing and employing more people each day, among them Altınbaş, Assos, Alpet and Creditwest. We operate in jewellery, finance, energy, logistics and education. In addition to our 21 companies, we also carry out social responsibility activities via education at Kemerburgaz University.
What are some of your investments for the future?
Altınbaş Holding concluded the previous year with a 15% increase in revenues to reach 8.9 billion liras. We expect to grow around 15% this year, as well. This growth will take place in our existing sectors. As a Holding, we will invest 1 billion liras over the next 5 years, with 250 million liras planned to be invested this year. We will especially grow in energy with Alpet. We plan to increase the number of gas stations to 500. We are also building a medical campus in Bakırköy with an investment of 100 million TL. In the jewellery sector, we are well on our way to becoming an international brand, and we will continue to make investments in this area. We also continue to grow in finance in the 3 countries where we operate with the Creditwest brand.
What do you think about the state of affairs in your sector?
What does the domestic landscape tell us? After going through two elections in 2015, we expect that this will be a more stable but cautious year. Similar to last year, we expect to grow by 10- 15% in all sectors. It looks poised to be a year of calculated growth for all sectors.
Altınbaş is a family-owned company. We know that family-run companies who manage to institutionalise and establish a system can be even longer lasting than empires. Where are you and what are some of the things you’re doing on this front?
The Altınbaş Family sincerely believes in the importance and advantages of institutionalisation. This is why we employ professionals in our top management. Additionally, all of the siblings take turns as the CEO every 5 years. We believe in and exercise democracy as a family
You’re one of the leading brands in the sector to use ERP. How did you decide to adopt this system?
The intense competition in the business world makes it imperative to have quick access to the right information as well as to use this information correctly. Another important factor in staying ahead of the competition is the ability to respond quickly to customers. In order to be fast and access the right information in the business world, you need to establish and integrate your company’s business processes well. The best way to do all of these is by using a good ERP system.
Do you think investing in ERP was a profitable move?
Yes. Firstly, quick access to accurate and trusted information provides a great advantage in terms of establishing the right strategies. There’s also the cost advantage due to the automation of processes. ERP also offers speed and cost advantage by enabling the coordination of units in distant locations.
How did you establish a solution partnership with CPM for ERP?
Our solution partnership with CPM dates back to 2003. Our business relations started with Alpet and went on to include our other companies over time; today, most of our companies use CPM, with the exception of those that have sector-specific properties. Since both the Altınbaş Group and CPM are always open to improvement and have the vision to meet the requirements of this age, I believe that their harmonious relationship as solution partners will continue for many years to come.
Do you have hobbies outside of work?
Sports is a vital hobby of mine. I especially love to swim. We most recently set a new record by swimming 80 kilometres from Anamur in Mersin to Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus to draw the attention of the business world to Northern Cyprus.
Is there a place or city that you particularly love?
I’m from Gaziantep, but Cyprus holds a special place in my heart. We’ve been believing and investing in Cyprus since 1974. I love every part of Northern Cyprus.
What advice would you give to young people who are embarking on their careers?
I believe in the importance of always researching as well as being curious and open to learning. This is also what I advise to young people.