Dear BEYSAD readers,
We continue to make interviews with the main industry officials and ask them questions on behalf of supply industry firms and introduce them to you more closely. In this issue, we have interviewed with Mr. Turgay Dağ, Sales Director of Indesit Turkey. Following his role as the Factory Manager of the Manisa Plant, Mr. Turgay Dağ moved to Istanbul and we believe he will continue to contribute to the overall success of Indesit. He has told us about his personal achievements and evaluated the importance of the Turkish appliance industry for the global sector. We believe you will find this interview very useful and would like to thank him for sparing his time.
Could you please briefly tell us about yourself and your past experience?
I was born in İzmir in 1969. I completed my high school education in 1986 at İzmir Çamlaraltı Private High School. I graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Department of Dokuz Eylül University in 1991. Between 1996-1998 I completed my post-graduate degree, while improving my foreign language skills at the same time and came back to Turkey in 1998. In 1998 I both worked and completed a masters degree in marketing at Dokuz Eylül University.
I started my career in 1992 at Meltem Isıtma ve Soğutma Sanayi operating in İzmir and I worked there as a production engineer. After I spent two years there, I left as a assistant production manager and began to work as a planning engineer for Elbo (Elginkan & Bosch Joint Venture) based in Manisa. I left Elbo in 1996 in order to study in the UK. For two years I attended a language course and a special pre-MBA program in the UK and returned Turkey for a new job offer.
Then, I started to work as the Factory Manager of Omega Environmental A.Ş. based in İzmir Free Zone. I worked there for 1,5 years and received a job offer from Merloni, with its current name Indesit Company, and started to work for Indesit Company as a production chief. I was appointed as a quality manager after two years. During my tenure as a quality manager we made considerable progress in terms of field problems associated with our products, which yielded to my promotion as a production manager first, followed by technical manager position. I worked as a operational manager between 2003 and 2005. In February 2005 I was appointed as the first Turkish Factory Manager of Indesit Company and I performed this role for six years. In 2011, I was transferred from the Industrial Division of Indesit Company to the Commercial Division as a Commercial Director, which was a first in the global organization of Indesit Company.
What is the underlying factor behind your success? Can you please tell us about the way you do your job? What principles do you adopt?
I believe I have made remarkable contributions to all the firms in my professional career; however, what we achieved during my position as the manager of the Manisa Plant of Indesit Company is the most important of all, as this facility adds value not only to the local economy but the overall national economy. Being successful in life takes diligent working and zeal. The progress we have made since the opening of the Manisa plant is an apparent proof of this.
For instance, when I began to work as a factory manager in 2005, we used to manufacture 450,000 refrigerators annually with a headcount of 600 people. During those years, the company had 17 plants: 4 in the UK, 2 in Russia, 8 in Italy and 2 in Poland. Due to logistics and labor cost advantages the Polish market was the favorite of the Group and had a considerable industrial attractiveness for the Group. As soon as I started my new role, I made an analysis of other plants. As a team our first action was to change the philosophy of our plant. We stopped using the words "no" and "impossible", changed our organizational structure at a dramatic level and closed most of the traditional units. We brought together our production units under one roof and we significantly reduced our fixed costs.
With our new and more dynamic structure, it was time to attract a new investment in Turkey. Such decisions were usually taken by the headquarters and the factories did not have a say at that stage. We changed this structure and after each "no" answer, we revised the results and made a new proposal.
I want to assist in the establishment of new factories in Turkey as a result of increasing sales volumes and creation of a new sales region encompassing neighboring countries under the leadership of Turkey and contribute to boost Turkey's position as a country managing the business. Finally, I would like to lead this process, if conditions would be suitable. Acting in a planned manner and working effectively and steadfastly are my main principles. I ended up at a commercial division after spending 20 years in industrial operation and I was able to be successful building on these principles. Good planning and team formation result in success in the industrial manufacturing sector; however, there are many external dynamics affecting the business life. Therefore, I am aware that I have to work even harder and be more innovative in order to reach my goals and be successful in the field. Finally, I have to say that I disagree the saying "Sentimentalism and professionalism does not coexist in business life.", although there are many books supporting this view and I have met many senior executives holding the same opinion. My philosophy is that people can only be successful by acting on the basis of their sentiments and commitment to their job. Being successful and leading a team in this direction may sometimes require us to make sacrifices from our life. I had to come back to the office on the next day of my marriage. I could not be with my wife, when our first son came to world. Sacrifices might be sometimes necessary for being successful.