Five minutes with... Özcan Karadogan, Managing Director of Vestel Germany GmbH
Bavaria's economy is full of life – and the people who live and work here make the biggest contribution to this. In our monthly “Five minutes with...” section, we introduce an interesting person from business and research. This month, we talked to Özcan Karadogan, the Managing Director of Vestel Germany GmbH. The parent company Vestel Group, headquartered in Turkey, is one of the fastest growing companies in the EMEA region.
Congratulations! Vestel Germany has recently achieved a new sales record – with 1.2 million devices over the past year... What does this success mean to you?
This success is not least thanks to Germany's good economic situation. The World Cup in Brazil was also a key contributing factor, luring a great number of viewers to their television screens in 2014. Within the highly competitive field of consumer electronics, we have managed to attain excellent sales figures in the television segment in particular. In addition, people in Germany have been spending more money on their homes in recent years. We are reaping the benefits of people being more likely buy an expensive television or electrical appliance rather than a new car or holiday. Technological innovations in television sets and increased awareness of energy consumption in the home have further reinforced this trend. This growth and the success it brings will continue over the next few years, giving rise to a new labour force and distribution channels in Bavaria.
The Vestel Group is active in many market segments and exports to 131 countries around the world. What advantages do you think your site in Munich will add?
We deliberately opted for Munich as a location for our site for a number of reasons. The close proximity to the airport is certainly one convincing argument. First of all, the direct flights from Turkey help us to maintain a close link to our parent group. Secondly, we are able to reach our customers all over Germany very quickly. For instance, we can set off to visit our customers in Hamburg in the morning and be back in Munich again by the evening. And when we visit our customers in southern Germany, we can take advantage of the well-developed motorway network. Munich is also an attractive city and appeals to new arrivals due to its high standard of living. This makes it easier for us to recruit international staff, too.
You have just mentioned your international employees. Was it difficult to hire them in your company?
As we sometimes employ people from outside Europe, of course we have had to overcome a number of bureaucratic hurdles. This has not generally resulted in any major problems, but it would be better if the length and complexity of the procedure were reduced. What do you like to do in your free time?
What are your favourite places in Munich and the surrounding areas?
Personally, I appreciate being close to the mountains, especially during the winter as I love snowboarding. In summer, I look forward to long motorcycle trips in good weather. One thing I find very appealing about Munich is that it doesn't take long to escape the city and enjoy the great outdoors.
First of all, the direct flights from Turkey help us to maintain a close link to our parent group. Secondly, we are able to reach our customers all over Germany very quickly. For instance, we can set off to visit our customers in Hamburg in the morning and be back in Munich again by the evening. And when we visit our customers in southern Germany, we can take advantage of the well-developed motorway network.