Its was a mistake to have too much confidence in myself

The result was an interview filled with lessons to be learned. Here are the details.

1.07.2012 00:00:000
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Its was a mistake to have too much confidence in myself

Capital: How did you continue your career after Garanti Bankası?
- I received an offer from the Çukurova Group. At that time, Yapı Kredi and Pamukbank belonged to Çukurova. I received other offers but I chose not to work at these two big banks but at the Uluslararası Endüstri ve Ticaret Bankası (International Trade And Industry Bank). Later I became general manager of that bank and I changed its name to Inter Bank. We handled around 10 per cent of Turkey's exports and imports. It was a very successful experience for me.

Capital: How did you leave Inter Bank?
- At that time, Mehmet Emin Karamehmet was the owner of the Çukurova Group. He had to spend two years in Switzerland. During that period, despite all the problems, Mr. Hüsnü and I kept our banks afloat. Later I asked for shares from the bank. I asked Mehmet Emin Karamehmet for a 20 per cent share but he did not agree. At that time, the Denizli-based İktisat Bankası was in considerable difficulties. I asked for a 67 per cent share. They accepted because it was in a very bad state. At the beginning, I was a partner with Mehmet Emin Karamehmet.

Capital: How bad a state was İktisat Bankası in when you bought it?
- It was much worse than when I started at Inter Bank. It had massive debts. Human Resources were very bad. I did the same here as I had done at Inter Bank. Almost half of the personnel from Inter Bank came to İktisat Bankası. Later there were a lot of rumours. People said: “The management at Inter Bank is a shareholder at İktisat Bankası and will take customers from one to the other.” In fact, there was no possibility of this happening but it made me uncomfortable and I resigned from my position at Inter Bank and focused completely on İktisat Bankası.

Capital: What innovations did you introduce at İktisat Bankası?
- I established the first factoring and leasing companies in Turkey. I introduced the first credit card that could be used abroad. This card made things much easier for people. We developed the first risk management in insurance. The period from 1994 to 1998 was a very successful one for me. In fact, the most important factor in this success was the management of human resources. I had the potential to understand the needs of consumers and I used to use it and I had an entrepreneurial spirit.

Capital: Did you like to take risks?
- There are risks in everything in life but it is extremely important to be able to manage risk. You can do business with people you know and with those you do not know. This is also a risk that if you do something you do not know with somebody you do not know then the risk becomes multiplied. According to some people, I took risks at İktisat Bankası and Inter Bank. This was not a risk to me and there was no risk.

Capital: What are you doing now? What are your expectations from the legal cases?
- I see myself acting as a lawyer. Because I    earn revenue from the cases I have brought to regain the rights that were taken from me. 20 per cent of Kablo TV is mine. There is a chance of getting back some companies but it will take five to six years. If I get them back, will I become involved in running them? I do not know.


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