Dear BEYSAD Readers,
In this issue of our magazine we have made an interview with İbrahim Hatipoğlu, General Manager of Egebant. Since we first met İbrahim Hatipoğlu at our member visit to their firm and saw how visionary their company was, I have wanted to host him on these pages. We had the opportunity to get to know him better during our US visit to 3M facilities. I would like to thank Mr. Hatipoğlu for sparing his time to this interview and sharing his experience and knowledge with us during our visit to 3M.
Can you please first tell us about yourself?
I was born in Şanlıurfa in 1969. I graduated from Mechanical Engineering Department of Istanbul Technical University in 1991. I did my master’s degree at the same university in the field of automotive. I am married with two daughters.
Can you please inform us about Egebant and its business activities?
The story of Egebant dates back to 1969. Mr. Salih Egeli, the founder of our company, first started his own business in Perşembepazarı, Karaköy (Istanbul), thus planted the first seeds of Egebant. Starting its journey with the sales of import abrasive products Egebant began to deal with the manufacturing of these products over the time. After investing in the production of self-adhesive tapes in 1992, Egebant included self-adhesive tapes and bonding products to its product portfolio. When the job safety and personal protection products were added to the product range of Egebant in the late 1990s, it further expanded its product portfolio. In 2008 the company moved to its new facility of 13,500 m2 closed space located in the TAYSAD Organized Industrial Zone in Gebze. It has successfully upgraded its production capabilities in order to meet all the customer needs across its field of activity with significant investments and reached a headcount of 185 people.
Egebant has created a strong product portfolio by entering into collaborations with many international firms. It acts as the distributor of 3M, Honeywell, Klingspor, Eurocell Sicad, Naxoflex, Dynabrade and Osborn.
When did you meet Egebant?
I encountered Egebant when I was doing my MA at the university. While continuing my master’s degree in 1993, I started to work as a sales engineer at Egebant on three days of the week. The Turkish automotive industry was then making a remarkable progress. I was focusing on sales to the automotive industry within Egebant. Prior to this date Egebant was offering products more to the hardware sector, but after my participation Egebant began to offer products to the automotive sector, thus to the final consumer directly. I became a company partner in 2004 and since 2000 I have been working as the General Manager of Egebant.
Can you please tell us about the organizational structure of Egebant?
Egebant has a strong organizational structure consisting of production, logistics, sales & marketing and finance units. It employs a significant human capital within this organization. Abrasives, adhesive tapes and job safety products are offered to our customers by three different sales units. Each unit is led by different sales managers who have their own dedicated teams. Performing services across the country, we have regional sales specialists assisting us in İzmir, Bursa, Ankara and Kayseri. Having a customer portfolio of almost 3000 companies, our company is able to respond to customer orders within one to three working days. With our recently restructured export department we also offer products to overseas market. In addition to our facilities in Gebze, we also have a sales store in Perşembepazarı, Karaköy, which was our first location in the sector.
To which industries do you offer your products?
As an outstanding feature of our product group, we can offer services to almost all the industries. However, when we look at their shares in our sales, it is seen that most of the sales is made to the appliance and automotive sectors. These two sectors are very important for all of our three product groups. We have been working with many appliance and automotive firms – both main industry and supply industry – for long years. Aside from appliance and automotive sectors, we offer services to such different sectors as metal, stainless steel, furniture, aviation, marine, glass, porcelain, textile and hardware industries.
What is the percentage of exports in your sales and which country is your biggest export market?
While Egebant focused mostly on the domestic market in the previous years, it has recently begun to export products to overseas markets. 8% of our annual turnover consists of export sales today. Our major export markets include Switzerland, Germany, Romania, Russia, Algeria, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and Iran. However, as our products are in the industrial consumables category, they are used as intermediate products in many export goods, so they are sold to overseas markets indirectly.
We are making investment in a new factory in order to boost our export strength. Enjoying the new incentive system offered by the government, we have started a production plant investment in the Şanlıurfa Organized Industrial Zone. The plant will be in partial operation as of end of 2013 and we will manufacture job safety gloves and flap disk abrasives. Our new products will be more competitive thanks to the advantages of the new incentive system and we plan to export these products primarily to the Middle East countries and other world markets.
What makes Egebant different from its competitors?
Egebant’s biggest advantage is that it can come up with fast and reliable solutions to customer problems and needs. We provide our customers with the most innovative and high quality products of the global leader brands with which we cooperate and ensure they have access to these products under the most competitive conditions and with the most professional approach.
We keep abreast of fast-changing technology and make necessary investments in order to meet customer needs on time. Another factor making us different is our experienced staff members who have long been working for Egebant and do their best to provide our customers with rapid and innovative solutions. This ensures Egebant is a widely known and preferred brand. Our 44-year presence in the sector has paved the way for our perception as a “reliable supplier” and this makes us even more different from our competitors.
What are your opinions on our visit to 3M USA?
On 24-30 June 2013, we made a very successful visit to 3M facilities in St. Paul, USA thanks to the organization of BEYSAD. The theme of the visit was R&D and Innovation. This event carried special meaning for us, as Egebant is one of the first dealers of 3M in Turkey and we have been working together for more than 25 years. Moreover, this was our first participation in a BEYSAD event as a new member. I believe the trip was very useful and brought together many important people. We had the opportunity to grasp better how 3M became a world giant and what the role of R&D and innovation was in reinforcing this position. We were also able to understand why and how 3M products could be so much different from its competitors. We witnessed the vital role of innovation approach and R&D investment in making organizations successful and larger. We, of course, informed 3M officials about our emerging and growing country. We gave them detailed information on the Turkish appliance sector which is the largest appliance manufacturer in Europe.
The event agenda and presentation prepared by 3M officials were very professional and successful. Although we have been working with 3M for many years, this was the biggest event I have joined. Therefore, I would like to thank 3M and BEYSAD officials for their efforts to organize this successful event.
What are your expectations from BEYSAD as our new member? What can we do for you?
First of all, we are all delighted and proud to be part of this unique community created by important representatives of our sector.
When I reviewed the BEYSAD Strategy Paper, I saw that all of our expectations were addressed and very important action plans and targets were set out. It is apparent that the Strategy Paper has been completed in the aftermath of painstaking efforts and I believe once the targets of this paper are achieved, all the parties involved will be satisfied with their expectations.
One of the underlying reasons for Turkey’s becoming a major appliance manufacturer in the global arena is that it has a strong supply industry. Bring together this strength under one roof, it is very significant for us that BEYSAD continues to focus more on analyses of global markets and support its members’ competitiveness.
BEYSAD clearly helps Turkey achieve its objectives of the 2023 Vision and its efforts are worth appreciation. We would like to thank you for your interest in Egebant.