Darty, which is the third largest electronics retailer in Europe, is entering the Turkish market. It was Nesim Esgin who persuaded Darty to come to Turkey. The company, which will open its first store in December, has some ambitious targets. Esgin is the company’s CEO for Turkey and he says that they will definitely rank first or second. “We are not coming here to be fourth or fifth,” he says.
He called a halt to his career when he was at the peak of his profession as general manager of Arçelik, the largest industrial company in Turkey. His departure was much talked about. Everyone was curious as to why he left and what he was going to do next. When he said he was going to rest no one, not even his family, believed him and joked that he was a secret agent. Nedim Esgin is one of the most important professionals produced by the Turkish business community and he was virtually deluged with offers after he left Arçelik. Esgin turned down all the offers and spent 7-8 months concentrating on family relations, traveling and chatting with friends.
Later he served on boards of directors in Turkey and abroad. Then, after the CEO of Darty, the French electronic retailer, asked him “Is the Turkish market ready?” he began a process of personally persuading the company to come to Turkey; and he re-entered the Turkish business world as a partner and CEO of Darty Turkey.
Darty CEO Nedim Esgin gave his first interview about his new job to Capital. The answers Esgin gave to our questions are as follows:
* There are already a number of players in the field you are entering and some of them are strong. Will it be difficult for Darty to establish itself?
When you look at the range of products and include white goods, then Electronic Partner has the largest product range. Teknosa is like Radio Shack. I mean, a company which does business in 200 square meter stores and knows very well how to expand its business. But recently they have begun to open 1,000 square meter stores and, from what I have heard, they also want to get into white goods. But the stores are mostly small format. As a result, I think that we are just about the first.
The leading players in Europe are, in order, Media Markt, Dixons, Darty and in fourth Fnca. With the exception of Darty, they all have audio products and sell DVDs. Fnac also sells books. Such products account for a significant proportion of these companies’ turnovers. Darty doesn’t have any of these. Darty is the only one in its format. Vatan and Gold concentrate mostly on IT and they do it well.
Darty does all of these products well. It establishes a relationship with the customer based on trust.
* Your first store will be opened in December. What kind of growth rate do you anticipate?
We are currently putting the final touches to our plans. But in principle we want to be in a good shopping mall. We plan to open a store but this means that it is dependent on the schedules of these malls. For example, originally we were going to open three stores in quick succession. But the scheduled openings in the malls were continually changing. But we shall soon open a sales outlet on the Internet. We shall also establish a separate bricks and mortar store and we shall provide our services to the entire country. Together with our partners, we have made a plan to open 20 stores over the next five years. We are planning large stores of 1,500 – 1,800 square metres.
* What is your target? For example have you set yourself a target of being the number on the market?
We shall definitely be one of the leaders. We are not thinking of coming here and being fourth or fifth. We definitely need to be number one or number two. For example, when somebody in France needs a refrigerator they says: “I shall go to Darty and buy a refrigerator.” This is a major difference. This is our goal. I mean, we want to become a reference point. We want to transfer this image, which Darty has created in France since 1957, to Turkey.