is a good researcher... In his own words, he is an inventor who
discovered innovation 70 years ago. We are talking about Jak Kamhi, the
doyen of the business community.
Kamhi, who lost the Profilo brand which
at one time was Arcelik’s greatest rival, says: “We are still alive but
we are not as strong as we used to be.” He regards the partnership he
made with BSH as his greatest mistake.
He says that it was his rivalry
with Vehbi Koç that pushed him into this partnership. “My greatest rival
was Vehbi Koç,” he says. We talked with Kamhi about the collapse of the
Profilo brand, where he made a mistake and his extensive experience.
You are 88 years old and still working, Do you come to work regularly every day?
I have an office at home. I work at home until noon, In the afternoon I
always come to the office every day. Those who love their work don’t
get tired. It was the same in the past. I would start working at 8 in
the morning. I would not go home until 8 in the evening.
How long have you been involved in business? How did you become an entrepreneur?
I had a windfall. At the beginning of World War 2, it was difficult in
Turkey to import raw materials. At that time, the owner of a factory in
Beşiktaş making rubber shoes was a friend of my father’s.
I was a child
of 14 years old and used to read books a lot. Monsieur Varak, the
factory owner, told my father that he would have to close his business
because no raw materials were coming. I suggested that he should look at
recycling, melting down rubber to produce raw materials this way. This
is how I earned my first money at the age of 14. It gave me great
pleasure. I began to make my own inventions.