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Foreign Entrepreneurs On The Trail Of Turkish Companies

There has been an increase in the number of requests that Turkish companies with high quality production, branding and regular exports have been receiving from abroad for dealership agreements. Jus...

Son Güncelleme: 01.09.2005

There has been an increase in the number of requests that Turkish companies with high quality production, branding and regular exports have been receiving from abroad for dealership agreements. Just as they do in Turkey, companies have now begun to conduct a significant proportion of their sales via local distribution channels and distributors in those countries.

The general manager of a medium-sized Turkish company starts by saying: “What we have experienced in the last 10 years is really incredible.” He explains: “It was the mid-1990s. We decided to enter the German market and were looking for a comapny to handle our distribution. But we were having problems finding even a single company. We found one and, as a result of the business we conducted with it, others followed.”

“We had quality products, good prices and a very modern plant. But were having problems explaining ourselves and finding a distributor. Now everything is exactly the opposite. It is not just in Germany, we are receiving request for distributor agreements from Europe, the former Eastern Bloc, even from Africa. This represents an incredible transformation.”

This businessman is not alone. Tens of companies in a large number of sectors from foodstuffs to household textiles are experiencing the same transformation. Businessmen who at one time had problems finding a company to handle their distribution are now having problems keeping pace with the requests from people who want to be distributors.


Commenting on this change, management consultant Ali Nail Kubalı says that the pace of the increase in demand over the last 3-4 years is unprecedented. Moreover, the number of requests is continuing to increase. Kubalı believes that the most important reason for this change is the investments that have been made in branding.

“It is no longer just the textile and clothing sectors,” explains Kubalı. “Now every company is going on the offensive. For example, a company which produces parts for the machinery industry has become a leading brand in Europe. It is receiving a lot of very serious requests for distributorships. The same is happening in foodstuffs. For example, the olive oil industry has launched some very serious initiatives in terms of branding. Previously olive oil was sold in bulk. Now it is possible to market Turkish brand olive oils to Europe and America.”

The information we have received from conversations with 21 firms in sectors ranging from clothing to furniture, ceramics and jewellery confirm this trend. Moreover, the requests are not limited to specific regions. Requests are coming from many places, from the Far East to the Middle East, America and Europe. One of the companies which is receiving requests is Vitra, which exports 80 percent of its turnover. Vitra, which has now become a global brand, has nearly 1,000 authorised dealers all over the world. Distributorship requests for its brand are coming from Europe, the CIS and the Far East. Vitra Marketing Manager Berna Erbilek says: “Ten years ago it was we who were looking for dealers. Today we are sifting through the requests we get from companies and choosing our dealers.”

Çimsa works in 40 countries

Çimsa, which is one the largest cement manufacturers in Turkey, markets its products to 40 countries. With the exception of three countries in which the company has its own organization, it uses distribution channels in every other country. In recent years there has been an increase in requests for distribution agreements from countries in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The company exports 45 percent of its production. The increase in demand has been attributed to the firm’s effective promotion in foreign countries and the quality of its products. It evaluates targets for its distributorships in accordance with its production capacity. It has plans to increase exports to Northern Europe and Western Africa.

Interest in Beymen from the Middle East

Beymen, which is one of the leading players in the clothing sector, is another company which is receiving requests. In fact, it does not have any distributorship organisation abroad. But it is receiving requests. Beymen General Manager Esel Çekin says that they have received requests from virtually every country in Europe and from Iran and the UAE. At the Beymen Group the demand is mostly for Club Beymen. The main reason for this is the fact that it is a single brand and the size of the store.

Recently, requests for large format Beymen stores have come from countries such as Iran and Syria which are beginning, or will soon begin, to open up to imports. The increase in demand followed on from Beymen opening stores abroad with its Cairo operation.

DemirDöküm has created a difference through its use of technology

Some Turkish companies have attracted interest as a result of their use of innovation to get ahead of their foreign rivals. For example, foreign sales account for 40 percent of DemirDöküm’s turnover. The target is to increase this figure to 50 percent. At the moment, it has four companies, two representative offices and 90 distributors in Europe and Russia. The company accounts for 8 percent of the panel radiator market in the UK. In China it has two companies, one in production and one in marketing.

Türk DemirDöküm General Manager B. Lütfü Kızıltan says that they have recently attracted a lot of interest from Europe in particular and comments:

“Rising labour costs and declining productivity have resulted in European countries losing their competitive advantages in many sectors. They did not update their technology and made new investments, particularly in panel radiators, radiators and boilers. We have continuously increased our capacity through investments in high technology. The resultant high quality products are what has produced an increase in demand for our company.”

Kızıltan says that they have received requests from the Middle East. “There is serious interest from Algeria and Iran in particular,” he says. Kızıltan states that their target is to become one of the leading three companies in the world within the next five years and, in this regard, stresses their interest in the American market.

How much foreign demand has there been for 22 brands?

Brand   Amount of increase in demand

Alferno  The company, which exports to 40 countries, has been receiving requests from Europe and the Middle East, particularly from neighbouring countries.

Altınbaş  Receives 25-30 requests for dealerships each year. Its target is to increase the number of its dealers abroad to 50 within two years.

Atasay   The company has two distributorships abroad and plans to increase this number to 70-100 within four years.

Ayakkabı Dünyası Has been receiving requests for foreign distributorships since 2000. Has been experiencing an increase in demand over the last year in particular.

Ayyıldız  The brand is sold in Arab countries and the CIS and receives requests every day via its website.

Beymen  The company does not have any distributorship organisation abroad. But there has been an increase in distributorship demand from the Middle East.

Big Blue  Foreign sales account for 80 percent of the company’s turnover and it continues to receive requests from European countries.

Çimsa   Its products are sold in 40 countries. In recent years there has been an increase in demand from Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Damat   The brand has 43 concept stores in 20 countries and has been receiving requests from Spain, Germany and the Netherlands.

DemirDöküm  The company sources 40 percent of its turnover from foreign sales and has been the subject of intensive demand from the Middle East in particular.

Fuga   FG Froup has sales offices in Europe and Moscow and receives requests for dealerships from the countries in which it is active.

Goldaş   The company experienced an explosion in demand during the first half of the year and will have 30 stores abroad by the end of the year.

İstikbal   There has been a significant increase in demand over the last two years. It receives 80-90 requests each year, mainly from Middle Eastern countries.

Koleksiyon  The company has 18 dealerships abroad. It has been experiencing an increase in demand from the Middle East and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Koton   Demand has increased together with its concept stores. At the moment it receives around 20 requests for distributorships each year.

Linens   It has 18 stores abroad. The trend is for an increase in demand from Western Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Pakpen   Has over 200 dealers spread over a wide area ranging from the Far East to Western Europe. Demand from these countries is continuing.

Sarar   Has experienced an increase in demand over the last three years. The number of requests, which used to be 3-4 per year, has now doubled.

Step   Sales in more than 10 countries from Japan to Spain. Demand is continually coming from abroad.

Süvari   The clothing brand of Çoskun Tekstil, it has been attracted interest from abroad for three years. It receives at least 10 requests for distributorships each month.

Vitra   Intense demand from Europe, CIS and the Middle East. It will increase the number of its authorized dealers from 1,000 to 1,200.

Yataş   Exports to 45 countries. Over the last year the number of requests for dealerships has increased by 60 percent.