As a leader, social responsibility and sustainability have a very important place on the agenda of Mustafa Koç, the chair of Koç Holding. Indeed he personally takes the lead on these projects. Other important items on his agenda are closely monitoring opportunities and taking the group into the future. “New projects and growth plans will be on my agenda. We are closely following developments in Europe and in developing markets. We are on the lookout for risks and opportunities,” says Mustafa Koç. Last month Koç was invited to Özyeğin University by Yenibirlider, which was founded by Kerem Kamışlı and Cem Garih, as the guest of the young students. I was the moderator at this event, which was closed to the press. Mustafa Koç, the chair of Koç Holding, which closed 2012 with growth of 13 percent and TL 84.8 billion in turnover, answered questions from me and from the students.
Capital: What should come to mind when people talk about sustainable growth and sustainable business?
- The world economy has rapidly acquired a globalised structure over the last 15 years, This has brought with it many new problems with regard to social, economic and environmental issues. For a company, ensuring sustainability means successfully integrating all of its operations, from production to marketing, economic priorities and environmental and social issues. Today, this had become an indisputable reality. This has meant that for companies the main factors which determine their levels of success are both the management systems they have established and how they manage their relations with stakeholders,
Capital: What kind of results do companies which are successful in this area achieve? Does it mean that they end up increasing their profits?
- Sustainability results in companies shifting their focus from the short-term to the long-term. Companies which believe in sustainability don’t go running after short-term earnings but follow strategies for healthy, profitable growth in the long-term. This growth is achieved not despite all the stakeholders - I mean, customers, employees, the environment and society - but together with them. As a result, it is an exemplary business model in which the company, the value chain and society all benefit.