Tamer Saka, joined Kibar Holding in 2011 and this year was appointed its CEO. The experienced executive says that over the last three years the holding has undergone a restructuring process.
“We want to add another a large sector to metals and automotives,” he says and notes that there are several possible candidate sectors for this. “We haven’t decided which one it will be,” says Saka. “We are more inclined towards the services sector but it is not clear.
We are studying refuse recycling and different areas in the retail and energy sectors.” Kibar Holding’s new CEO Tamer Saka told Capital about his agenda and what he has done.
A CEO’s first 100 days are very important. How did you plan your first 100 days?
I knew the group. In any case, we had already initiated many changes and we began to realize the steps that we had planned towards corporate institutionalization. My becoming CEO was a continuing process. When you become CEO you begin to look at things differently.
You get more deeply involved in the business. As a team, our fundamental priority was to determine the starting point very well. We determined the existing situation in areas such as HR, organization, our business models and strategies.
How did the group finish 2013?
We had a successful year. We had significant growth in our participations. Our group’s turnover rose by 15 per cent to reach $4.5 billion. The number of our personnel increased to 6,500. Our investment in a stainless steel plant in partnership with Posco was completed in 2013.
It became fully operational in 2014. We doubled our production capacity at Hyundai Assan and reached a capacity of 200,000 vehicles. In brief, 2013 was a very important and busy year in terms of investments.
In the past you worked in risk management. Will the group now take more or less risks?
We take intelligent risks. At my previous workplace, I used to focus more on value management than classic risk management. What is critically important is to take manageable risks. In any case, we are not a group that likes to take a lot of risks. As a result, in the future we may take more risks than in the past but our basic mission here is to take understandable and measurable risks.
Are acquisitions on your agenda?
We are looking to create sustainable value. We won’t buy something just to buy it. We have established a new department in the group. Our strategy group is studying many sectors, companies and opportunities. This team is looking at tens of possibilities. Like a private equity company, they are evaluating a lot of businesses.
What steps are being taken in terms of restructuring?
First we established the strategy team. At the moment we are reviewing all of the strategies of the group’s companies. We are developing our road map. We are all putting our heads together to see what we can do.
We have considerably strengthened the structure of our holding. We have undertaken significant changes in our personnel in the HR, strategy, accounting, finance and legal departments. We have particularly tried to create a difference in terms of the understanding of management.
Now we are developing the projection issues of these functions at the companies. We are developing the reporting system. The process is continuing. We shall have made significant progress by the middle of this year.
What is the sectorial distribution of the group’s turnover?
Metals and automotives account for 75 per cent of the group’s total turnover. There has been significant decline in the automotive market. We are better positioned than the sector as a whole. We have increased our capacity in automotives. We are exporting 90 per cent of our output.
Demand in the sector fell by 25 per cent in the first three months of the year. We are not experiencing serious difficulties in production but there are problems in sales on the domestic market.
You have a 15 per cent growth target for 2014. How far ahead can you see?
Last year, for the first time, we made one year, three-year and ten-year plans. This year our new concepts of management are enabling us to make detailed five-year plans. We reassess these plans when there are changes in the conjuncture. We believe in the future of Turkey.
We shall be better positioned than in the last 6-7 years. Opportunities will increase. There has been progress in a lot of things over the last ten years. The privatizations are only just being completed. Turkey will enter a real boom period. We need to give greater importance to saving. If these things can be addressed, then everything will come together.
You give importance to brands and say that you will make investments. Why?
Kibar Holding is a group with a great potential. In the B2B field in particular it is very well known and has an outstanding reputation. We want to build a strategy that will bring a brand with permanent value to the fore. Maybe in one or two years we can go into retailing.
Maybe we can leave some of the business we are currently in and look for new excitements. We may enter different sectors. I can say that, in terms of our five year perspectives. one of the basic targets that we are focusing on is a public offering.
The holding’s aluminum and panel companies have significant potential in terms of public offerings. Maybe in the future our Hyundai and Posco participations can also go public.
Are you planning to use the income from a public offering to enter new sectors?
The companies in the portfolio need to balance each other in terms of revenue and profitability. We are looking at sectors that will give us this balance. The sectors that can ensure this balance are tourism and the hotel business. In fact, there is no sector in which we are saying we cannot have a presence.
At the moment, I have two main tasks. In the first I am focusing on improving our existing businesses. The second is adding new businesses to the existing ones. This must also mean creating sustainable value. This is not very easy. We are making a significant effort
How will the distribution of your turnover change in the next five years as a result of the new business areas you will enter?
Our automotive and metal companies are very large. It is not easy to change the balance in the portfolio. We want to add another large sector to metals and automotives. We have several candidate sectors here.
We have not decided which one it will be. We are more inclined towards the services sector but it is not clear. We are studying refuse recycling and different areas in the retail and energy sectors.