We have witnessed a rise in foreign investment in recent years. A large proportion of the foreign investments which have come to Turkey have been in the retailing, banking, telecommunications, insurance and energy sectors. So, if the expats living in Turkey were entrepreneurs rather than executives, in which sectors would they invest?
They all came to Turkey as professional executives. Some have been living in Turkey for only a short time, others have been here for years. They monitor developments not only in their own sectors but also in others. They all agree that certain sectors in Turkey have developed very rapidly. So do these successful executives who have come to Turkey also dream of one day being an entrepreneur in Turkey? And if they were to want to be an entrepreneur, in which sectors would they invest? When describing entrepreneurship, almost all of them thought that it was necessary to invest in sectors which had future potential and high returns. They thought that in Turkey these lucky sectors include tourism, construction, automotives, retailing and information technology. It is Turkey’s geographical location which makes these sectors successful. For example, Michel Akavi, who is DHL Express Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, says that as a result of its proximity to Europe most European automotive manufacturers export products from Turkey. As a result, he advocates entrepreneurs investing in the automotive sector. On the other hand, HP Turkey Operations Manager Achim Baumgartner says that there are several sectors which are attractive for making investments but that the telecommunications sector in particular has developed rapidly on account of Turkey’s large population. Reckitt Benckiser Turkey General Manager Richard Neergaard says that if he was an entrepreneur he would choose to invest in the retail sector, which has recently begun to be organized in Turkey. Capital studied the entrepreneurial dreams of the expats living in Turkey.
Akavi’s Favourite Sectors
DHL Express Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey Michel Akavi says that if he was an entrepreneur he would invest in the textile and automotives sectors. Akavi believes that these two sectors have very important advantages for producers in Turkey. He stresses that, from the perspective of investors, Turkey’s geographical location and production advantages mean that it is a very good production base. “There are a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs in automotives and textiles,” he says and has the following to say about these opportunities: “The automotive sector is one of the largest export sectors in Turkey. Because Turkey is close to Europe and has a strong infrastructure it is supported the most by European producers. Turkey’s cheap labourforce makes it an ideal location for production. In addition, when it comes to fashion and textiles, Turkey has secured a place for itself in European countries such as France, Spain and Italy.”
“Enter Rapidly Growing Sectors”
HP Turkey Operations Manager Achim Baumgartner thinks that certain sectors in Turkey have progressed rapidly and that investments can be made in the gaps in these areas. One of these sectors is infrastructure. Baumgartner says that there has been a real boom in infrastructure in recent years in particular and adds: “If there is no economic crisis, this sector will continue to grow.”
Another sector in Turkey which has caught Baumgartner’s eye is telecommunications. Baumgartner says that Turkey’s large population makes telecommunications a very attractive sector in Turkey. “Some very large investments have been made in this area. And competition will increase even more in the years to come,” says Baumgartner, adding that banking is another sector with the potential for high growth. Baumgartner notes that in recent years in particular there has been increase in foreign investments but that, when compared with Western Europe, banking still has the potential for even more high growth. Baumgartner believes that other sectors with great potential are health and information technology(IT). He identifies the increase in consumer income and commerce as the reasons why IT has done so well. Baumgartner continues his evaluation of which sectors are suitable for investment as follows: “Logically, investors should always invest in sectors which are growing rapidly. Turkey is a very interesting country in which to invest.”
“If It Was Up To Me, I Would Be A Retailer”
Reckitt Benckiser Turkey General Manager Richard Neergaard looks first at the sectors with a high potential for growth. He believes that sectors which address consumers – such as GSM, banking and retailing – are very profitable sectors for investments. But Neergaard notes that sectors which target middle-class consumers in Turkey have grown particularly quickly. Neergaard says that if he was an entrepreneur he would invest in local retail chains and continues: “Because the retail sector has only just begun to be organized and is growing rapidly. I would also invest in banking. Because, in the banking sector, people are just discovering what the banks can do for them. Another sector in which I would like to invest would be in GSM services. These sectors are growing very rapidly in Turkey.”
Fulvio Villa Would Invest In Construction
Fulvio Villa is Gefco General Manager for Turkey, which is one of the leading companies in the transportation and logistics sector in Turkey. He notes that construction is the fastest growing sector in Turkey after automotives. Villa warns entrepreneurs that one of the points they should bear in mind before making an investment is that the sector in which they are going to invest should have a high rate of return. Villa says that if he was an entrepreneur he would benefit from Istanbul’s geographical location and invest in the construction sector. He thinks that the reason for this is that the construction sector is suitable both in terms of being a sector which is both ripe for development and one in which it is easy to secure a return on investment.