Turkey. For hundreds of years a bridge between East and West. Istanbul - the current capital of the country - once was considered the center of the civilized world, and now dazzles tourists, amazed by the remnants of the ancient power of the Byzantine Empire and great sultans.
Turkey – Gate of the Orient, fascinates artists and dreamers, being the eternal source of inspiration. Placed between two worlds, the country is home to strong, enterprising people, proud of the great achievements of their homeland. Today, Turkey plays the role of the economic leader in the region and, as in the past, stimulates the imagination of the merchants – now called investors – operating in all sectors. Turkey remains an important business partner for companies from all over the world thanks to its favorable geographical location and the ability to use the enormous potential of people who every day carry out their dream of their own companies. One of such people is Mrs. Bihter Kocum- International Marketing Manager of Kervan Gida A.S. – a globally recognized company, who agreed to be interviewed. Thanks to her we can understand the specificity of business activity of one of the most recognizable commercial organizations in the world and find out why the industry in which Kervan Gida operates is so demanding…
17 years of stunning development
Kervan Gida A.S. is one of the leading manufacturers and exporters of confectionary products in Turkey and its sweets and beverages enjoy the position of most beloved snacks of Customers around the world. It’s hard to believe that the company needed only 17 years to achieve such a significant role in the market. The firm with headquarters in Istanbul was founded in 1995. It started from the production of chewing gum and although dynamically expanded its palette of products, the beginnings of the company’s business activities still have a huge impact on the excellent condition of Kervan Gida A.S. today. Just three years after the company was born, Kervan’s authorities made a strategic decision to launch a new production line and expand the firm’s business activity. In 1998, Kervan Gida presented its first fruit jellies brand – Bebeto, which has greatly influenced the excellent competitive position of the company. Clear, consistent development strategy of the company soon began to bear sweet fruit: the following years were marked by investments in infrastructure and modern machinery, there has also been an increase in employment, Kervan Gida was still climbing up the global ranking of the largest companies. A new factory was opened, the world got to know the taste of other products bearing the company’s logo. Characterized by the highest quality, quickly conquered hearts of Customers on several continents. No wonder that the dynamic expansion of the company lasts for couple of years now: in 2011, the company established an agency in the U.S., a year later - in Russia. At the moment, Kervan Gida A.S. is on the 616th place, among the largest commercial organizations in the Turkey. The company has few direct competitors in its industry – Kervan Gida is the number one exporter of jellies on the Turkey market. Its achievements have been recognized by both the institutions awarding prestigious awards at home and abroad, as well as Customers. The company’s future seems bright, yet it is worth noting that for me the history of Kervan Gida A.S. is even more fascinating. I feel especially curious about the secret recipe for the success of the Turkish organization, thanks to which Kervan Gida achieved such a significant competitive position on one of the most demanding markets in the world in just 17 years!Mrs. Bihter Kocum- , the company’s International Marketing Manager will help us to understand this phenomenon.
Solid basis for the development
Every company in the world has to meet certain conditions to plan the direction of its development, achieve success today and maintain or strengthen its competitive position in the future. An absolute basis, necessary to achieve the company’s goals must be the unique management philosophy, based on certain inviolable foundation. This philosophy, as well as the culture of the organization, takes shape slowly, but is also the result of constant assessments, building quality procedures in all areas of business activity and influences relations with partners and Customers. A major, widely-recognized global company such as Kervan Gida, which is proud of its reputation, pursues a policy aimed at ensuring total Customer satisfaction for many years. To achieve this objective, the company follows the stringiest quality standards and realizes its mission. Mrs. Bihter Kocum presents it this way: “To strengthen our products through knowledge and experience we have gained our particular industry, laying emphasis on the development of our surroundings as well as our Employees, growing, producing and managing assets in manner which adds value for our shareholders.” Simple, isn’t it? Unfortunately, only on paper. Mrs. Kocum also points out the key factors, thanks to which the company earns the trust of Customers around the world. They affect all aspects of the company’s activity and include concern for the health of Customers as the most important priority, and are aimed at maintaining the strictest standards of hygiene, provisioning all necessary certificates, which guarantee the highest quality products, flexibility and timely delivery, anticipating problems, maintaining partnerships with suppliers and much more. It is through effective implementation of these guidelines Kervan Gida is one of the most important companies in the industry. But you cannot achieve perfection without the proper support.
People and machines
Kervan Gida A.S., like most commercial organizations in the world, points Employees as the key element, responsible for the company’s success. Mrs. Kocum says: “There are 810 Employees of which 145 are white collar Employees. Kervan is fully aware of its responsibilities for the Employees and provides social welfare to its Customers. The atmosphere in the workplace highly depends on a peaceful environment. Our Employees are enable to constitute permanent friendships thanks to the atmosphere. While you are in the company, you can feel the same as if you are at home. The primary factors which provide this peaceful atmosphere are stated below as dynamism, fun, trustworthiness and honesty.” In addition, it is worth mentioning the latest technology in the service of the Employees. Through years of development the company invested significant financial resources in this area. The combination of activities mentioned above with the expanded R & D department, and openness to ideas from outside, determine the strong competitive position of the company and make it truly innovative.
International expansion and plans for the future
The main result of such an HR policy and wider – management philosophy, is Kervan’s international success. “We have been effectuating exports approximately to 80 countries in the world. Most of them are from Middle East and Arab Peninsula. Moreover, we have been chosen as first option by the majority of the Customers thanks to our unique products, and also our awareness concerning Customer satisfaction about the issues such as quality, on time delivery, etc. We respect all our partners and we are sure that they are well aware of the fact that we did and will do the best we can, in order to be sure that they ultimately satisfied with our services. The most vital thing for us is the mutual trust between us and our beloved and venerable Customers” – summarizes Mrs. Kocum. Of course, modern, characterized by the highest level of business acumen company, which is Kervan Gida, operates on the basis of the stringiest standards related to environmental protection. Also in this area, the company has acquired a number of professional certifications and the company itself has been honored with prestigious awards and distinctions. “We have been granted International Quality Awards and European Quality Awards which are considered as the most significant awards. In addition to these, we have all necessary and mandatory certificates that a sugar confectionery company may obtain such as IFS, AIB, BRC, ISO 22000 (Quality and Food Safety Systems) ISO 9001 & HACCP (Quality and Food Safety Systems). Above all, our Bebeto brand has been included in Turquality list since 2010 which is a state-funded branding program that supports some of the pioneer companies in their own fields. We are amongst 80 elite companies category in the Turquality list” – emphasizes Mrs. Kocum. The company is among the global leaders in one of the most difficult and demanding markets. After all, as Mrs. Kocum said – the recipients of the company’s products remain mainly the most demanding Customers in the world – children. Despite that fact, Kervan Gida A.S. is doing quite well and we can be sure that we will hear more than once of the Turkish organization. And it’s not just marketing kindness – simply try the Bebeto jellies and you’ll understand what’s the secret of the sweetest enterprise in the world!