Tuygan Göker joined Roche 31 years ago in response to a newspaper advertisement. As a result of his determined efforts he progressed rapidly within the company. In Indonesia, Roche has become a legend, rising within a year from 17th to the market leader. Successes all over the world have resulted in him being appointed to head operations in 110 country. This year Göker is managing a budget of $4 billion and, after taking up this position, says that it is not very important to him whether or not he becomes CEO.
Tuygan Göker is an executive at a global leader. He is responsible for a population of 3 billion in 110 countries in the Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and India region. He manages a budget of $4 billion a year. The thousands of people under him realise his strategies and present him with reports.
Tuygan Göker, the Roche President for the Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East, Central Asia and India Region, explained to Capital the course of his career and Roche’s targets for Turkey.
- You are responsible for 110 countries. How do you manage your time?
I have divided the countries I manage into 13 regions. I spend a lot of time travelling. I was on the road for 80 percent of the first three months of this year. I am following new chnages for 7 potential countries. Since the beginning of the year, I have seen nearly 3,000 personnel at various meetings. I shook each of them by the hand.
- How many steps are left after this before becoming Roche CEO. Will we be able to see you as CEO?
The position we hold is a CEO position. We control a budget of $3.5–4 billion. But, after this stage, then one handles completely at political factors. Roche is 51 percent family-owned. They are members of the board of directors but not responsible for the running of the company. There are 3-4 colleagues in the company who are in the high level management and can be promoted to the next stage. In these companies, once you have come to this level, there is no difference between rising to the top level or not rising to it. When you get there, you will become more of a politician.
- In the last few years, what kind of growth performance has Roche achieved in Turkey?
I think the performance has been very important. Because four years ago we experienced a very unfortunate event. Whether we wanted it or not, there were various images in people’s minds. We doubled our sales compared with 2005. In four years, our turnover has grown by more than 100 percent. At the end of 2004, we had a turnover of TL 126 million. At the end of 2008, it was TL 354.3 million. At the moment, we are targeting TL 500 million. We want to double $500 million in the next five years.
- Will there be consolidation in the sector?
There won’t be such a thing in Turkey. Most recently, we bought the remaining 44 percent in Genetech, which is well known for its cancer research and of which we already owned 56 percent. Our aim here was to consolidate our investments in the US. In the short term we are not thinking of any investment. In any case, the acquisition I mentioned was around $47 billion. But if small or large opportunities appear then I am sure that investments can be made. Our goal in Turkey is to develop our clinic here prove in the best manner its standards to the rest of the world. To show that it is possible to develop in Turkey, that there are very valuable scientists and that, as a result, it will be possible to conduct research at a future date.
Photo: Gökhan Çelebi