Dear BEYSAD Readers,
In our March issue, we are coming together with someone who reminds us that all is not about work; someone who is always in a positive pursuit in addition to his excellent career, and is utterly a lover of Istanbul; we are with Mr. Andrea Ojetti, the Country Manager of Candy Hoover Eurasia Ev Gereçleri A.Ş. There is no need to say anything else; I am quite happy to present you our interview prepared with a substantial content. We are grateful to Mr. Ojetti for sharing their precious time with us.
Dear Andrea Ojetti; could you please tell us about yourself and your career so far?
I graduated from the University of Rome, Department of Mechanical Engineering; I obtained my PhD in the same field. In 1979, I served as Project Manager, Sales Manager, and General Manager at Nuovo Pignone SpA at Florence.
In 1986 I started working at Indesit Company, where I served in the same group for 26 years as General Manager at Merloni Asia-Pacific Singapore, Indesit Company’s General Manager for Argentina, and Channel Manager for the Eastern Europe Region. I came to Istanbul after serving in the Middle East, North America, Europe, China, Singapore, and Australia; and I fell in love with this city.
In 2005, I was appointed as Indesit Company’s General Manager for Turkey and worked in this position for seven years.
Since December 2012, I have been working as Candy Hoover Eurasia Ev Gereçleri A.Ş.’s Country Manager for Turkey.
What is the secret of your success? Could you please tell us about your way of working and your principles?
Even though the secret to being successful in business life is different for everyone, I guess the common priority is to love your work. This resonates with me: I am someone who loves his work; and even more importantly, someone who does what he loves to do. As to my way of working; I believe in planned, efficient, and shared work. Setting the targets competently, leading the organization to the right way, anticipating the future, sharing my experiences with my team, and having a realistic outlook on events are my standing principles.
Making good use of my spare time and my hobbies are important to me. I believe that my passion for sailing, paragliding, and athletics help me become more active and successful in business life.
After 26 years at Indesit Company, it must be quite a radical decision to move to another company; we would like to know your reason for this, if it is not private.
Working in the same group for many years surely provides certain advantages and gives you significant experience. However, after achieving certain targets, when you encounter an opportunity that rejuvenates you, pushes you to new excitement, you have got to make good use of it. After a 26-year Indesit experience, taking the offer from Candy Group has been a right decision in terms of personal renewal and getting under way for new targets.
Turkey is a country abounding with opportunities thanks to its vibrant economy as well as active and energetic character. Candy Group’s investments in Turkey excite me; becoming a part of these targets will make me very happy.
Where do you stand in Candy-Hoover’s management chart? Could you please inform us about the management chart?
I serve as Candy Hoover EuroAsia Country Manager for Turkey. I am at the head of the production, sales, marketing, and finance organization in Turkey, and I work under Candy Group Italy’s Overseas Countries Manager.
In an interview you told “Candy is not making commercial investments, but rather industrial investments”. This observation is quite valuable for Turkey. Could you please give us information about Candy’s structure?
Candy Group is one of Europe’s largest companies in white goods sector. It manufactures at nine factories located in seven countries. It has two international brands as Candy and Hoover, and seven national brands as Rosieres (France), Iberna (Italy), Jinling (China), Otsein (Spain), Süsler (Turkey), Vyatka (Russia), and Zerowatt (Italy).
Candy Group made significant investments a short time after coming to Turkey. When we take a look at the Group’s performance in Turkey, we notice that it pursues a strategy focused on investment. After “Doruk Ev Gereçleri” with the brand Süsler was acquired in 2007 and made into the Group’s oven and cooker production base in Europe, the company’s investments in Turkey continued with the addition of a dryer machine factory in 2009.
The company also contributes to the domestic economy through the employment that has been created with these two major investments, which resulted in reaching a capacity almost equal to the factory in Italy. These two factories are located side by side, and share logistics, management, and services. They constitute an industrial complex on a 56 thousand m2 enclosed area with an annual production capacity of one million units.
As Candy Group, we regard Turkey as the home base of our long-term investments. We keep on contributing to the industry of Turkey in ever-increasing speed with our employees, supply industry, and dealers.
How would you evaluate the level the white goods industry has achieved in Turkey? Where does Candy stand in this development?
As we all know, the white goods industry of Turkey is Europe’s largest manufacturing base with an annual production capacity exceeding 25 million goods as well as 21 million goods actually manufactured. The most important factors serving as the basis of the sector’s rapid growth are quality and flexible production, positive developments in supply industry, innovative products, and the emphasis placed on design and R&D. Alongside with the favorable conditions in manufacturing; Turkey’s stable economy, dynamic workforce, young population, the modernization of its lifestyle, and the speed of change have a positive effect on white goods sales. We anticipate that the white goods sector will grow by 5% in 2013, in parallel with the growth target of the economy.
As Candy Group; we are aiming to increase our current market share of 0.6% in 2013 to 3% in three years. If we are to itemize this target; we are aiming 5% in domestically manufactured goods and 2% in imported ones.
Could you please tell us about Candy’s long-term targets? To make sure that your supply industry is ready for new developments, we would like to know your projects for new product ranges.
Candy Group has made significant investments to become environment-friendly for a long time now. Especially in the early 2010s, on basis of our understanding of selecting nature-friendly materials, we are supporting our design investments with products that are environment-friendly and have minimum carbon footprints in nature, from the raw material phase until the recycling of the product. Thanks to its efforts concerning environment, Candy Group is among the few institutions to receive certificate from the British Green Ray company, which certifies that the Group manufactures nature-friendly goods.
The projects of our Group’s new products are prepared in 3-year plans. In our entire product range, designs are underway for innovative, functional, energy-efficient, and environment-friendly products that are compatible with the needs of the market.
We would not be wrong to say that your Hoover brand has been known in Turkey for many years. Could you kindly mention your brand strategies?
In Turkey, everybody knows Hoover thanks to its vacuum cleaners; the company’s brand recognition is quite high. However, we observe that we have been lagging behind in terms of promoting our expanding product range to the consumers in Turkey.
Today, we have a very wide product range at Hoover Turkey. Our goods are classified in 3 main groups as Solo Products, Built-In Products and small appliances, and they provide the customers with great advantages as to innovation, environment-friendliness, functional design, energy efficiency as well as price-value ratio. Our aim is to convey these to the customers in Turkey, to make sure that people know about all the goods of our brand, and to increase the use of our goods.
As we are quite new in Turkey, we currently do not possess our desired market share. In 2013, we are keen on becoming much more active in marketing. The management in Italy is very enthusiastic and their hopes for the Turkish market are very high. As Candy Hoover Turkey team, we want to meet these expectations.
I do know that you achieved many important developments at Indesit. I am sure you will create visible changes at Candy. What will happen at Candy in 2013 and beyond? Could you please enlighten us about your targets as a company and your efforts to achieve them?
First of all, we are aiming to strengthen our distribution network. Afterwards, we will gear up communication and advertisement efforts. As an additional note, last month we moved our operations office to our new location at Kozyatağı, Istanbul. We are currently working hard for the strategic plans on basis of which we will be operating in the next five years.
Candy Hoover has 300 service points which work in a good and efficient manner. Our current market share is 0.6%; our target is to obtain 3% market share in Turkey, which we want to achieve in three years.
Improving the dealership network is surely one of the most important pillars of this development; can we learn about what has been going on in this regard?
We place a significant emphasis on the dealership network. Our dealers are the faces of our brand’s products towards the consumers and they possess a strategic importance. Above all, we provide our dealers with the advantage of a brand which is well-known and has innovative targets. We regard our dealers as business partners, and make a difference by ensuring a higher profit margin.
We have approximately 300 dedicated dealers; our aim is to engage 1000 dealers. We are also working with the modern channel; the techno-markets. We believe the modern channel has a significant place in terms of promoting our goods, especially for small appliances. In each channel, we are very sensitive about the price policy; we do not want to affect our dealers’ profit margins. Our true distribution channels are dealers in the traditional manner. We are keen on growing along that channel as the traditional channel constitutes 89% of the white goods market.
In addition to hard work and money, I think these improvements should also have something to do with an even more important factor as quality human resources. Can we learn about your human resources strategies?
As Candy Group Hoover Turkey, we are a member of a large family with 560 personnel, 120 of whom are white-collar and 440 blue-collar. The median age of our team is around 32 to 35. Our staff includes 40 engineers and 25 R&D personnel. We strive to produce the best goods and provide the best service to our customers in awareness of the value we add to the industry with our production, sales, marketing, and other teams.
As someone who worked in several countries, what is your observation on the employees in Turkey?
Turkey’s economy has a dynamic and changing character; it also possesses opportunities and innovations at the same time. Looking at the management profile in Turkey, I do not see any difference from European managers; dynamic, hard-working and good managers abound, I specifically observe that the management staff is getting younger.
Could you please tell us about your R&D activities?
In the white goods industry, quality and affordable manufacturing has become a value that can be adopted by all producers thanks to increasing technological developments. Under these conditions, the most significant distinction which will create the difference between manufacturers is the investment they make in R&D. As Candy Group, we place great emphasis on design and R&D in our goods. We have developed many innovative products as a result of the R&D works we have undertaken in energy-efficient and environment-friendly goods. The innovative traits as well as the quality of our goods throw a strong light on our determination and distinction.
Our R&D activities in Turkey are carried out by a team of 25 personnel. Every year, we manage three large scale projects, five to seven medium sized projects, and approximately 150 special design change projects for global markets upon the requests of the sales organization.
We design built-in ovens, ranges, and cookers for global markets by taking customer demands into consideration. Our studies are carried out in coordination with the central R&D units located in Milan. We are capable of running the standard tests of both electric and gas-powered products, which enables us to implement our innovative ideas on our products. All our products are certified and manufactured in accordance with the norms required by the markets they are sold in. We are now focused on the new goods we are preparing to release in 2013. In addition to product design, we also develop the core technology on basis of which we manufacture our goods, which brings us great flexibility.
It would be nice to benefit from your experiences in various countries. Could you please compare the white goods supply industry in Turkey and abroad?
Turkey is the largest manufacturer and probably the largest exporter in Europe and the market here is quite competitive. Whereas European countries are undergoing a serious crisis, the market in Turkey is still growing, so everybody concentrates on this market.
In which areas would you suggest the supply industry to make investments in Turkey? Would it be possible for supply industries to unite under BEYSAD and produce in Turkey certain components not manufactured here? Would you be supportive of such an initiative?
Turkey has one of the most advanced and dynamic suppliers industry and many of the companies are also exporting their products abroad, serving global White Goods manufacturers. Our Company supports competitive Turkish manufacturers in their innovation processes in a spirit of full collaboration.
What are your policies concerning your suppliers? Do you have any messages for them?
Our supplier policies are essentially in line with the expectations of all main industries: to work with customer-oriented suppliers who constantly improve themselves, who are competitive in terms of quality-cost-delivery, and who are capable of meeting the needs of our company. Candy Hoover Group’s top priority is quality and customer satisfaction. We manufacture without compromising this principle; we expect the same from our suppliers and want them to consider the issue of quality as the main standard.
Additionally, considering the extensive competitiveness in white goods prices and the falling of costs, another significant expectation we have from our suppliers is that they increase their own efficiency to deliver their products in a timely manner and with good prices to maintain their competitiveness.
Our efforts for the drafted and soon-to-be-announced White Goods Supply Industry Strategy Paper continue with committee meetings. Just like other white goods companies, Candy also made contributions to these efforts. Even though it has been finalized, this strategy paper will be updated every year to make it a current document. What are your expectations from this paper? Which subjects you would like to have discussed in the document?
I believe that the Strategy Paper for Turkey’s White Goods Supply Industry, which BEYSAD has prepared and conducted with utmost diligence, is truly necessary and beneficial in that it will lead the making of strategic decisions within the context of global competition by providing the sector’s volume, dynamics, and their relevant data.
What are your opinions on and expectations from BEYSAD? In addition to the strategy paper, what else can we do for you as the supply industry of Turkey?
BEYSAD has made significant contributions to the development of the white goods industry and the increasing of service quality in Turkey. Moreover, I believe it is an efficient platform of dialogue for the supply industry to gather and determine their needs.
In a country with such a young population like Turkey, I expect BEYSAD to be more active in terms of increasing the cooperation with universities and establishing a joint study platform.
How would you like to be remembered after leaving professional life behind?
My professional life has given me the opportunity to work in many locations, travel a lot, and meet new people. I consider myself very lucky in this regard. After leaving professional life, which is quite early for that now, I would like to be remembered as someone who made maximum contribution to the companies and brands I served for and who is mentioned affectionately by the people I worked together.
I know you are a lover of Istanbul; where does that passion come from? What do you find beautiful in such a crowded and complex city? In your 8-year-adventure in Turkey, how have you overcome difficulties?
Istanbul’s historical texture and natural beauty as well as its vibrancy truly impress me. It is a city which can lead you to completely different feelings and moods at any time. These turned Istanbul into a passion for me. I am very happy to live here in spite of such factors as traffic and crowded population.
In fact, could the answer to this question lie in the occasion when all your friends went to Europe while you had to go to Alexandria, Egypt with a student exchange program, as well as the positive thinking a teacher of yours advised you?
That advice was critical to the beginning of my career, and is a beautiful memory now. I am more mature now; I make my decisions by using my mind and heart.
A last question will be about your enthusiasm for paragliding and travel, which I encountered and was quite surprised with when I was researching about you. Paragliding is not something for just anybody; we would like to learn a little about when you started doing it, your adventurous character, and how this character contributes to your work.
I started paragliding in 2001. I received its training in Italy. I am a member of Italy’s Free Flight Federation but I mostly fly here. Turkey has many nice locations appropriate for the paragliding sport.
In addition to paragliding, I am quite interested in sailing and athletics. I believe that such activities contribute to personal development and socialization, and they greatly develop the skills of being able to think from different angles and planning correctly in both business life as well as private life.