Suddenly, I have been in business over 35 years. What have I done in that time? My answer is simple: established my own companies, developed them, and sold them. And today, using that experience, I focus on helping others to sell their businesses.
I do not know why I chose an undergraduate and graduate education in mechanical engineering starting at Bosphorus University and finishing at Northwestern University. Most probably because I was good at science subjects… I do not remember why I entered within 15 days of my graduation the professional management life, which would last for 10 years, instead of touring the world for a while. Someone must have pushed me in…
When I left Pimas, one of the companies of Enka Holding, as the assistant general manager, I had gained valuable experience in marketing products like UPVC window frames – first to the boss, and then to the wider market. As a result of the freedom given to me by the management team, I began to understand the underlying differences in the negotiation discussions of a businessman from Saudi Arabia and one from Europe. Everyone needs a great boss, and I would like to express my thanks to Mr. Sarik Tara, first for employing me and then for making it possible for me to develop myself.
At the end of 10 years of working professionally I must have developed myself sufficiently so that I left Pimas with Cigdem Dogruoglu, who is still my partner, to start together on a 25-year journey. I established Novak AS together with Cigdem – and some financing partners – as the first electronic security systems company in Turkey in 1984. We established three more companies as founding partners between 1984 and 1987: Modaks AS for producing bathroom accessories and marketing worldwide; Y24 Hizli Gida AS for producing and distributing sandwiches, and Modapa AS, which specialised in the designing and marketing of lighting systems. We sold our shares in these companies during the 1990s.
What next? Cigdem said that I didn’t have any hair left on my head and that we shouldn’t start all over again. So we decided to continue our business life as consultants. Our journey now continues alongside international M&A advisor BCMS Corporate Ltd. We worked with BCMS for eight years as market developers in Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria, assisting the company’s high-paced growth worldwide.
In this blog, I hope to examine the riddles of Mergers & Acquisitions, as I share with you some of the day-to-day problems I have faced across my business life. Perhaps you have faced – or are facing! – similar issues, and I hope that one or more of those topics will strike a chord.
If you are a SME business owner or shareholder, I suspect you might find answers to some of your own questions right here…