Can we get to know you and ERAI?
After graduating from Galatasaray University, Department of International Relations, I started my career as a consultant in the Turkish representative office of a French bank. In the meantime, I completed my Master’s degree in Political Science at the same university. I continued this task, which was based on the development of trade and economic relations between the two countries, as a project manager in another consultancy firm with French partners. Afterward, I took the role of Turkey’s country manager of the economic development agency of Lyon and the surrounding region of France. When this agency was closed down in 2015 due to political reasons in France, I bought the company’s Turkey operation and continued my work under the umbrella of ERAI Turkey. In this adventure, which I started alone while establishing the agency’s Turkey office in 2010, today, with a multicultural team of more than 30 people, we both provide strategic consultancy for foreign companies’ projects in Turkey and provide management support to facilitate their daily activities.
For more than 18 years, I am a Communication Management Consultant and Communication Activist with a sociology degree who has been in the press and communication sector. I have worked as a senior manager in national and international communication agencies that are well-known in Turkey and ranked in the top 10. I have provided consultancy to companies that provide services and solutions in many sectors on a global and local scale. I have managed the campaigns of many brands in the global context. In Turkey, I have my direct signature on the local campaigns of important associations and brands. I have not been involved in the corporate and press side of communication. Still, I can say that I have a good command of the processes related to both sides since I regularly work together with press laborers and carry out the communication activities of brands/institutions. For a long time, I have focused on organizations that focus on technology (not just technology brands), and I am also interested in platforms where young people are present. In addition, my technology and agenda-oriented articles are published and continue to be published in important media in Turkey.
What kind of a market is Turkey for foreign investors? In which sectors are the opportunities particularly intense?
Turkey, despite all its economic, political, and social-cultural challenges, is still and always will be a market with high potential for foreign investors. With 85 million inhabitants, its domestic market on the one hand, and the neighboring markets it can easily access on the other, it remains a target market for foreign investors. The fact that Turkey acts as a bridge between the three continents of the so-called old world and connects these three continents culturally makes the importance of the market always up-to-date. This potential increases in parallel with the risk appetite of investors. Investors always look for a safe harbor, but it is a risk that creates profit. For those who can see, the risks in the Turkish market are measurable and assessable. In this context, companies that recognize the market and are not afraid of taking risks continue to invest. Especially in production-based industrial sectors (automobile and sub-industry, aviation, defense industry, chemistry, food, machinery industry, industrial equipment production, etc.), the potential continues to increase day by day. Turkish industry has to keep up with its domestic market, reach neighboring markets, and export to almost the whole world, especially to European countries. The fact that it is also dependent on foreign markets for raw materials and semi-processed products makes the market in industrial products trade highly potential on both sides. With its young, educated, and technologically inclined population, the IT sector based on services and new technologies is also among the high-potential industries. Finally, Turkey, which is highly dependent on imported energy, will soon need renewable energy investments.
Investment and business management strategies need each other for success. What kind of a roadmap do foreign investors need to blend and nurture both in the right way?
First of all, the investor’s motivation must be complete. Unfortunately, the Turkish market is not suitable for half investors. What I mean by half is the investor who uses the limited budget with fear. A limited budget can be considered reasonable, but venturing with fear can create dangerous results for this market. After this first stage, it is also very critical to choose the right product. For this, it is necessary to know the market well. For this reason, product and brand-based market research is inevitable… After deciding on the right product, we should look at the structure under which the market entry will take place. Should a company be established through a distributor or an agent, or should the positioning of competitors in the market be analyzed? Also, what kind of an interlocutor does the end user want to work with? This point should also be considered… How should marketing and sales strategies be developed after this step? Here, the question of whether internal resources will be utilized or external resources will be used will be answered by the budget. Working with the right business partners and people for the optimum management of all these processes has a very strategic value. In this context, with the holistic services we provide as ERAI Turkey, we have been offering the most realistic and sustainable support to investors who want to enter this market for 17 years.
Of course, there is also a communication aspect of success… Companies and even individuals want to gain a reputation in the sector they address. How can they benefit from communication management?
Right, communication is an important aspect of success, especially in business and personal development. Communication management enables companies or individuals to build a reputation by communicating effectively with their target audience. Now, let me list the benefits that communication management can provide, but these are not the most important ones. Let’s talk about the important thing after the ranking. Reputation Management comes first. Reaching the target audience, Increasing Interest, Crisis Management, Competitive Advantage, Collaborations and Partnerships, Customer Relations, Strategic Direction, etc. We can extend the list. Let’s come to the main point: Managing Communication. In every medium and on every person, in particular… What does this mean? Whoever is in that organization and wherever they represent their brand, needs to stick to the common language to manage communication. If the person in question is the main spokesperson of that brand, that person should also have a ‘persona’ of his/her own. Communication management is a long-term process that requires a great deal of effort, and the identity to be created in this process and its management in a communicative context must be left to professional management and consultants.
As you know, most of our readers are CIOs. Our leaders both manage a large team, meet with boards of directors, and share their experiences with their colleagues as panelists at various events. Although they are professionals on the technical side, the most attractive way to transfer this information and projects is effective communication. What kind of gains do CIOs achieve in terms of trust, reputation, team management, etc. through communication management?
Communication Management can help CIOs achieve various gains both within the IT team and throughout the organization. Again, let’s first list these gains, as is customary, and then consider the issue from another perspective. Trust and reputation, assuming a strategic role, team management, managing change, and being prepared for crisis. All of them are the subject of an article on their own… For me, managing change comes first because defining these people as managers who are only responsible for information technologies means putting them in a certain mold. Therefore, in this context, the mere fact that they are responsible for information is enough to define the burden on them, and while this information requires having good communication and persona in a constantly changing and developing world, it also requires being a good communicator. Communication is no longer only the job of marketing, corporate communication, or digital communication; in short, it is not the job of those who have communication at their center. Communication is the most critical discipline that should be at the top of the agenda of every department (even sales) and every manager. Managers who have effective communication and act with the awareness of where and where to direct it are becoming the most successful ones. For CIOs, effective communication includes being able to communicate technical issues understandably, listening, and empathizing. These skills can support both successes in technology and leadership roles within the organization.