Eti is one of the companies which is synonymous with biscuits and chocolate in Turkey... The company is continuing with the changes that it initiated several years ago. The CEO Hakan Polatoğlu, says that the changes have resulted in them growing more rapidly than the sector and enabled them to increase their market share. He cites the increase in their market shares of bakery products, chocolate and cake as examples of this. He is very upbeat when he talks about the future: “We are a company which is competing with itself. We shall make our brands into regional brands. It is not enough just to be a national brand. A company the size of Eti needs to carry its success to the international arena.” Polatoglu gave the following answers to our questions.
You started in your post in May 2011, What were your priorities?
- I started at Eti in 2000. Before I was appointed board chair, I was head of the group’s procurement chain. Before that I was group president for technology and product development. I also worked in other positions. The group has grown a lot since then and become more institutionalised. It is currently one of the most institutionalised companies in Turkey.
What kind of action plan did you formulate? What results did you achieve?
-- Our priority was developing managerial knowledge. It was necessary to develop our HR functions in order for them to take us to the point where we wanted to go. This is what we prioritised. We focused on processes which had become blocked, slow and unproductive, such as product development, which is critical from the perspective of competition. Of course, change was an important priority for me. Our sales system has really changed a lot.
You have been at Eti for 13 years. What do you believe is Eti’s most important characteristic?
- What defines Eti is its search for perfection and its earnest desire to better itself. Eti is a company that has been founded on this general concept. Being imitated is the most important measure of leadership. We are such a company. Our products, our production processes, our purchasing methods, our packaging and the sales system we have established on the market are all imitated. We are very happy about this.