Capital: How would you describe yourself as an entrepreneur? What criteria do you consider when making an investment?
- There are no specific criteria. When our company was small, my older brother and I would make decisions together. When it grew, then we began to take decisions with professionals. When I get something in my head, then we talk about the pluses and minuses, the budget and what may happen in the future. In the end, it is not good to move quickly. One needs to be calm when making a decision.
Capital: How do you see yourself in terms of taking risks? Are you bolder now than you were in the past?
- I was bolder in the past. When you really grow then your responsibilities and risks increase even more. In the past we were bolder but now we have to be more cautious.
Capital: You have grown from nothing. What role has luck played?
- People create their own luck. In any case, if you are really very lucky then you gamble. When I enter a new business then I am ambitious but not unrealistically so. When I don't make any money, I am very good at calculating how much of a loss I shall make and what the business will cost me.
Capital: You are saying that a successful industrialist should have a good nose for scenting opportunities... How does this happen?
-One must look at the world and be a global player. Then you will feel better. What was in my mind was to make Vestel a global brand. We became a global company but we were unable to become a global brand. In order to become a brand, an industrialist must have a very good relationship with the state. Our rivals received a lot of support from the state. I am not saying that the state should provide us with support in order that we can become a brand, but one has to consider these things.
Capital: Which sector excites you the most today?
-After we withdrew from the financial sector in 2006, we began to become heavily involved in energy, real estate and mining. The fact that we have $10 billion nickel mines has surprised people. But this is not something that can be done in 3-5 years. First it will be processed, then a $500 million investment will be made and then $250 million a year of minerals will be extracted. I mean, it is not something which can be suddenly pumped up. It will take 20-25 years. Energy is one of our most important sectors.
Capital: You set a target of 100 percent growth in energy and real estate in 2010. Did you achieve this target?
- We are handling the largest real estate project in Turkey and in Europe. The Zorlu Center is unique in the world. The investment cost of this place is over $2.5 billion and it will open in 2012. At the same time, we are building a very beautiful modern business center in Levent where Deva used to be. When we look at it all together, we are investing a net total of $3 billion in real estate. To date, we have realized investments of $1.8 billion. In the last three years, we have invested over $2 billion in energy.
Capital: Are you interested in any new sectors?
- We already have a presence in many sectors anyway. It would be a mistake to become too diffuse. Now we think it would be good to evaluate and consolidate some sectors. Because it is not good to become too diffuse and lose focus.
Capital: You set a target of $20 billion in 2015. Have you revised this goal?
- We shall achieve this in 2020. Next year, our turnover including real estate will be approaching $10 billion. We have begun to see turnover in energy. We shall achieve our targets.