Demet Sabancı Çetindoğan, who has worked in the textile sector for years, says that she has reached a turning point in her career. Çetindoğan, who works as a high-ranking executive at Bossa, Yünsa and Demsa, says: “From now on I may continue my career in a completely different sector.” “I am receiving offers from various sectors,” she continues. “For example, there have been offers from the health sector. In all probability 2006 will be a turning point in my business career.”
Textiles became part of Demet Sabancı Çetindoğan’s life while she was still a child. When she was still little, she was used to go with her father Hacı Sabancı to Bossa. For Çetindoğan it is as if it was those times which determined the stage she has reached today… When she remembers those days she says: “Sometimes my cousin Emine would come as well and we would turn the factory upside down. It was like our playground. We used to chat with the workers, the secretaries and the managers. I was really affected by the stacked bales of cotton, the bobbins of yarn, the raw cloth and the excitement of the printing presses.”
Today she is deputy chair of the board of directors of Bossa, Yünsa and Demsa. In addition, she works outside the group in Demsa in which she is a partner with her husband Cengiz Çetindoğan. Demsa brings world famous brands to Turkey and serves as their representative here.
* Could you tell us a little about yourself? How did you start your business career and how did you come to where you are today?
I was born in Adana. After graduating from Adana Anatolian High School I was educated at Richmond College in London. I began my business career in Texas. I worked in various departments. At the moment I am deputy chair of the board of directors of Bossa, Yünsa and Demsa. I am also deputy chair of the Turkish Businesswomen’s Association and the chair of the board of directors of the Creative Children’s Association.
* Is the textile business a strategic sector for Sabancı? What is the position of Bossa in the Sabancı Group?
Textiles was the first industry that the Sabancı Group entered. Indeed, Bossa was Sabancı’s first industrial plant. It accounts for 6 percent of the group’s non-financial turnover and 12 percent of the group’s turnover from its industrial companies. Bossa accounts for 65 percent of the textile group. Textiles are an important part of the group. Our approach to the sector is determined by growth and sustainable profit.
* What was Bossa’s turnover in 2005 and what are the expectations for 2006? What percentage growth are you targeting?
2005 was a very special and, for our sector, a very difficult year. Bossa had a turnover of $165 million and exports of $100 million. We have budgeted for growth of 20 percent in 2006.
* Could you tell us something about your position and responsibilities at Demsa? What percentage of your time do these two companies take? In which company are you most active?
Until recently I was both deputy chair of board of the company and responsible for internal auditing in the company and the procurement of all services. But because I was wearing two hats I am currently only responsible for internal auditing and am deputy chair. As well as this, I was also a shareholder in Demsa, even if I was not very involved in the day to day operations. But I can say that I currently divide my time equally between the two.
* Are you thinking of transferring to a different sector in the future?
From now on I may continue my career in a completely different sector. I think that sometimes people should have different challenges in their lives. I am receiving offers from different sectors. For example, there are offers coming from the health sector. 2006 will probably be a turning point in my business career.