Dear BEYSAD Readers;
Our guest in this volume is Rıfat Öztaşkın who, beyond his professional support, like a brother to all of us with whom I shared the same office for years and who have always provided us with sectoral synergy. Although you must have all heard of TÜRKBESD, the Association which he is the General Coordinator of, we would like to welcome him in this issue so you can know him better. We would like to thank him for his time.
Mr. Rifat Öztaşkın, could you tell us briefly about yourself and your work experience so far?
I was born in 1950. 41 years ago, I graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1973. Until I did my military service, I worked for Seydişehir Aluminum Plants. In 1976, I started to work in the sector with my job at Eskişehir Arçelik compressor factory. I held various positions there. In 1982 I quit Arçelik and started to work for Cankurtaran Holding that wanted to get a bigger share in the industry. I initiated the Rowenta Vacuum Cleaner project.
At the end of 1989, when, in the time of Asil Nadir, Vestel wanted to start manufacturing white appliances, I was transferred to Vestel in order to establish the system. I was the General Manager of Vestel White Appliances. I founded the Vestel factory which is now Indesit. When the company owner had difficulty due to another business, in 1993 Merloni bought the entire company.
With this new development, I went back to Istanbul to become the General Manager of Auer. Auer was already in a tight spot due to the crisis of 2001 and was frozen by Yapı Kredi Bankası, its owner then, and sold. I managed the selling of Auer and then I got retired.
In 1986, when TürkBesd was founded, I started to undertake responsibilities here.
Could you please tell us about the objective, structure and members of TürkBesd?
Abbreviated as TÜRKBESD, the Turkish White Appliances Industrialists Association was founded under the name White Appliances Industrialists Association (BESD) in 1986, as the leading white appliance companies in the sector came together. In 1999, since the Association became a member of CECED (European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers), a European Union’s industrial supreme organization, it was entitled to use the country name in its name according to the decision of the Council of Ministers, thus changed its name to Turkish White Appliances Industrialists Association (TÜRKBESD). The Association now has 6 members, which are Arçelik, B/S/H, Candy Group, Demirdöküm, Indesit, and Vestel.
The Association was founded based on the idea that “Union is Strength”. The objective of the Association is to develop the white appliances industry in Turkey, to improve the quality of service in the national and international standards, to increase the export rate, to make the brands manufactured become globally known brands, to carry out projects on manufacturing techniques, energy efficiency, environmental compliance, etc. and to enable the technological development of the industry.
The objective and goals of the Association include to use the potential of the region and the sector based on the goal of contemporary civilization in order to contribute in the economic and social development of our country; to contribute in establishing national economic policies and in the national development; to develop projects in order to accelerate international sector integration, especially sector integration to the EU and the regional and local development; to carry out projects to inform the public and respective authorities about any problems and solution offers and to abide by the energy efficiency and environmental compliance laws and regulations in the name of its members and the sector.
Moreover, to improve the practices of reuse, recycling and recovery of electrical and electronic waste to prevent waste formation and to reduce the amount of waste to be disposed of and to carry out activities to these ends; to deal with electrical and electronic waste management; the Turkish White Appliances Industrialists Association Waste Management Commercial Enterprise was established on 12.02.2013 as per the Article 17 and other relevant provisions of the Regulation on Electrical and Electronic Waste Control.
Could you please tell us about your management chart? We would like to inform our readers about your Chairman of the Board, members and Association employees?
The Association is managed by a Board. As of this year, our 7-member Board now has 10 members. We try to have at least one representative in the Board from our 6 members. The General Assembly elects the Board, and then in the first Board meeting, a Chairman is internally elected and every month Board meetings are held. Now our Chairman is Özcan Aydilek.
Besides the Board, we have a very important committee: Marketing and Technical Committee. This Committee functions to develop, implement and update regulations in the EU harmonization framework and according to the EU standards and inform the respective Ministries of the opinions of the sector regarding such. Since all of these are very technical topics, their content should be carefully reviewed, detailed and accordingly, an opinion should be formed. Based on the significance of the topic, several meetings may need to be held on one topic. For some topics, there may be guests to submit their opinions.
We have 4 employees;
I am the General Coordinator and we have one Office Assistant. As the electrical and electronic waste will be one of the most important work items of the Association, we employ an Environmental Engineer and a Financial Manager.
What percentage of the “Turkish white appliances sector” does your Association make with the current members?
Although 6 companies may seem few, their market share is almost the entire market. The Association represents approximately 90% - 91% of the sector. There are certain criteria to make up the remaining 10%; we have such conditions as “A prospective member should be manufacturing at least one of the 6 main products in Turkey” (refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, dryer, oven, deep-freezer); however, the sector also includes importers; the structure of some companies may not be fit to be a member; there are certain responsibilities of becoming a member and some companies have difficulty in fulfilling them.
Besides us, there are companies generally in the cooker group, which do not want to be involved in such an association. Although we held a number of meetings with such companies, their structures are not compatible.
Another condition we have for membership is that the prospective member should fulfill certain important legislations on the sector applicable in Turkey. If there is any hesitation, we do not accept their membership.
Do you have projects to meet 100% of the market and I would also like to ask for our sector, what would you recommend to this end?
In such cooperations, I think the high rate is not very important. Mutual benefit is what is important. That is,
The Association should be beneficial to the members and the members should contribute in opinions formed by the Association.
Our structure is not quite compatible, but I could recommend this to Associations with a structure like yours: What companies are active in this sector should be found out. Unfortunately, there is not a database on that in Turkey, you cannot just enter a website or ask an organization. You can get your support from major manufacturers.
Another aspect of it is that the company should have a certain size in order to be a member of an association, namely, the general manager of a company with a few number of employees may not be able to leave the company and spend time on the projects of the association. Companies with a certain level of corporate structure can give more to and get more from the association.
What kinds of companies apply to you for membership and on what conditions do you accept them?
I explained about this in detail above; however, let me add this: Not every applicant can become a member. After submitting the application, the company should be able to fulfill the membership conditions. As specified in the regulations, membership can be accepted by the approval of the Board.
We have heard that you took important steps regarding electronic waste, could you please inform us about any developments?
It is a structure that was started to be discussed in Europe 10-11 years ago and included in the EU legislation.
Since the consumer and informatics electronics (mobile phones, tablets, TV’s…) have a much shortened lifetime now, they are quickly considered outmoded. Accordingly, this system was founded to build a proper structure in terms of environment and economy. This type of waste includes precious metals, steel, plastics, etc. They can be reused. Some of them contain harmful substances. They need to be properly separated, collected in a harmless way and properly disposed of. They should not be thrown in the trash.
This topic was published on the official gazette in May 2012. It was not very easy to implement it fully because one legislation was not sufficient, subordinate application conditions also had to be established. For instance, the legislation includes a comprehensive definition of “manufacturer” that includes importers and those who work with contract manufacturers, as well. These manufacturers had difficulty in taking a step.
It is not very rational that every manufacturer in Turkey deals with this on its own. Therefore, non-profit organizations that will represent manufacturers are needed. Such organizations should be established and work after being authorized by the Ministry.
We are trying to become an authorized body in order to carry out such works. In May 2014, the general principles and conditions of the topic were determined. When TürkBesd fulfills these conditions, we will be able to officially carry out such projects.
This activity will not be open only to our members, but also other manufacturers who want to benefit and receive service.
The cost is really high; transporting goods from the collection center to recycling facilities cost 120 million Euros in Italy. Logistics account for more than 70% of the cost. If you think you apply this procedure in every corner of Turkey and recycling facilities are located in certain places, you will see it is a really big work. It is because of reverse logistics, which meanswhereas in the case of regular logistics, the main product goes from manufacturer to consumer, in reverse logistics, the product turns back to manufacturer from consumer.
There might occur extra recycling costs. There might be products that require special processes. A really good analysis and collection and recycling is necessary based on product groups.
In this area, there will be born a number of different lines of work. It is a job that requires good organization and the cost should be kept as minimum as possible.
Where does Beysad stand?
I only talked about the part after the product fulfills its lifetime and is disposed of. There is another aspect of this: some of these products contain certain substances that are unpermitted to use in raw materials of components manufactured by your members (RoHs Directives) and this ban was communicated from main industries to suppliers long time ago and has been implemented.
The objective here is to develop technology giving the least harm to the environment.
Although the companies you represent are big-scale firms, we can say that your Association as an NGO represents the Turkish White Appliances sector. On which local and foreign platforms do you represent the sector?
TÜRKBESD represents Turkey in CECED (European Committee of Domestic Equipment Manufacturers) of the EU, a platform where house appliances manufacturers come together and make decisions. The EU-related projects are carried out via this membership and the technical specialists of member countries attend to the technical committee projects of this organization. CECED is an umbrella organization based in Brussels. It has two types of members: 1) direct members, which are main manufacturers, e.g. Arçelik, BSH, Indesit, Candy, etc. 2) country associations, which is our status. Via this organization, TÜRKBESD tries to explain about the sector’s situation in the country to the European Parliament and its authorities, to become a part of the efforts to comply with the legislation to be issued by the EU and it gets a bigger say every day.
If needed and demanded, the Association makes statements to respective Ministries, non-governmental organizations and the media (Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning, Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Customs and Trade, General Directorate of Protection of Consumers and Competition, Turkish Union of Chambers and Exchange Commodities, Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade, Turkish Central Bank, Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association).
Could you please tell us about your thoughts on the sector in the first half of 2014 compared to 2013?
As of the end of April 2014, when we compare it to the same period of last year, we see 6% growth in exports until 2013. This is a very good step. There is 2% decrease in manufacture, which is caused by shrinkage in the domestic market. The situation of Turkey in 2014, that credit cards are no longer instaled or the elections have slowed the domestic market down.
Considering a long time span, the sales of 6 main products were about 5 millions per year. 3-4 years ago we increased it to 6.5 million items. In this aspect, the sales seem to be over 5 millions this year. However, they will be a little below 6.5 millions, which is very natural; they peaked all of a sudden, as in the stock exchange, but they will be balanced. I guess they will not close the year with much decrease.
What percentage growth do you expect in the sector in 2014? Will Turkey continue to be the white appliances leader in Europe?
This sector exports 75% of its production; therefore, we will still be the production leader in Europe. Seeing these figures, we realize how powerful this sector is in the world. We hope that there will be more opportunities with new investments. It would not be surprising while updates and new product investments continue in each company.
The growth is the same as last year and we do not expect a significant growth.
Would you like to add any comments and suggestions on BEYSAD or the sector?
The works of associations such as ours cannot be compared to previous years in a short time span; they should be evaluated in a longer time. If these associations are evaluated in short periods of business, you would get an inaccurate conclusion. Especially when it comes to associations, the assessment should be based on a longer time of activity. In time, we have come a long way. When we had just founded the association, nobody knew about us and nobody would ask about our opinions, but things changed since 1986 and associations like ours are considered important references and our opinions matter. What the industry needs or lacks, what data and figures represent the sector… We are the ones people turn to for answers to these questions. Also, we can make joint decisions with the government and relevant authorities regarding topics related to us.
When you work with the state, progress takes time, but you have to be patient and hard-working. It is against the internal structure of the private sector, but unfortunately this is the case. It is not very easy to establish good relations with them. Companies do not communicate their problems directly, instead they prefer being represented by an association.
BEYSAD has been carrying out very significant projects. In the last 3-4 years, it changed its shell. Especially the rejuvenation movement is really positive. Seeing the sub-industry of this sector in good hands makes us proud as well, being a person who has worked in the sector for 38 years. I am glad to see how far the sub-industry of the past has come, that products that were so hard to be manufactured in Turkey can now be easily made, and that sub-industry also brings foreign investment and exports.