Oren Cable Trade Manager Serdar Baykal:
"We left behind a very successful year and made an investment of 2 million euros for CAT 7 cables in 2017 and created our new
Turkey's first cable manufacturer of coaxial cable, Oren Cable which has a history dating back to 40 years left behind a successful year. We asked Oren Cable Trade Manager Serdar Baykal about the new vision and targets of the company which completed 2017 with restructuring and new investments.
What is your view of the year 2017 from the beginning to this day? Can you make an evaluation from the perspective of your company?
As Oren Cable, we entered a restructuring process in 2017. With our almost 40 years of deep-rooted past, we aimed at growing through becoming a corporate establishment by getting out of the known family business identity and achieving sustainability by adopting corporate management. We have made improvements and introduced novelties in all our commercial policies, vision and management team. With the power we get from our long history, we continue to provide service to our sector in 2017 with a modern, innovative, dynamic and young team. Our company Oren Cable, which has a significant position in terms of the production of low-voltage cables both in Turkey and worldwide, has created its new corporate identity that reinforces its leadership in the sector as Turkey's first coaxial cable manufacturer. We have also renewed our visual identity to reflect our new position.
Along with our new visual identity and all these changes, we have redesigned our logo in order to better publicize our new global branding position and to better represent that we provide value-added services in our market. We aimed at readjusting and simplifying our brand identity and making it consistent in all the geographies in which we operate. We have moved our central sales office located at Perpa Trade Center 11th floor to a bigger office at the 2. floor of the Perpa Trade Center.
Known as Turkey's first coaxial cable manufacturer, our company turned its route, besides coaxial cable group; to the production of control cables, halogen free flame retardant / fire-resistant cables, data communication cables, closed circuit camera system (CCTV) cables, fire alarm cables, internal telephone cabling, bus cables and special cables in the coming years and has recently shown a significant growth with its CAT 7 cable investment in the amount of 2 Million Euro. . We intend to consolidate our expertise by developing our product groups and consequently enhancing our income increase more and more and to make the products and services that we provide more and more visible for the existing and potential customers. We started 2017 with a road map covering all these elements. When we evaluate the results of all these activities according to past years based on measurable data, I see that we have left behind the most successful year of the recent years in the year of 2017.
Did you determine your 2018 road map? Could you share your goals and projects with us?
Our brand and image investments that we had initiated in 2017 and our activities related to brand awareness and accessibility will continue in 2018 as well. We aim to continue our way in 2018 and the following years in a stable, visionary and systematic manner. It is clear that we have a talented team, a technological infrastructure, a visionary perspective and a strong capital structure that is able to accomplish this. .
Unfair competition is at the top of the most complained problems in the cable sector? Is unfair competition more prevalent in the domestic market? Is there unfair competition in exports?
When we look at the building standards, we see that there are not very clear data in most of the foreign standards about the cable-related areas which is our proper business. All electrical, physical, mechanical and other properties are given by drawing the boundaries. Our work is not finished even when we get a product certificate according to these standards in Europe. The inspection mechanism and the sanctions imposed are very important. If you make a non-standard production, you can not sell your products to that company anymore and even your name is deleted from that country for ever. In such a case, you are not faced with unfair competition arising from production.
There is a criticism in Turkey which can be summarized as follows: "The names of 3-4 brands are written in the specifications of the major projects in Turkey. If a factory is shot down, the officials even do not know that it is shut down and they write the name of that brand in the specification again. " How do you evaluate this situation. Are other companies not capable? Is there a wall that can not be destroyed? ...
As the quality of projects in our country increases, as the number of mixed and prestigious projects increases, the purchasing criteria become more strict and specifications are prepared accordingly. This achievement is very important for producers who try to do their job properly like us. As the quality of the projects increases, the criteria of project design as well as the procurement criteria rises and the number of companies that can address the demand decreases in reverse proportion. In this sense, we have project companies that do their job very well. I do not want to be unfair to our companies in this respect but when we have a general look, the biggest problem that we see and sometimes experience is that the quality consciousness of the project companies is limited to having TSE and TSEK certificates and they can not go beyond this. If we think that the brand is written based on catalogue values, the companies must comply with the structures and values declared by the producers. Of course, there may be changes or innovations in the cable production after the issuance of the catalogue, but we still face problems such as the inconsistency between the proposed cable structure and the produced cable structure. Unfortunately, in our country there is still no mechanism that can control this and enforce sanctions. We, as a sensitive partiy about these issues, are negotiating in order to take corrective action, but the process of correcting these mistakes takes a very long time and the practice continues as before during that period. In addition to these, producers who have received projects with such practices in the past continue to receive projects using these references. We know that one of the most obvious criterions for being included in the specification in the weak current cable sector, where information is unfortunately inadequate, is a reference. Unfortunately the companies which do their job properly suffer the most from a mistake made while writing the brands for the Project. Cable business is not an easy business Of course we can not expect the engineers who write the names of the companies for the projects to be as knowledgeable as a cable producer, but we think that the mistakes made in the projects can be prevented by the control mechanism.
Do you agree that the requirement of the application of CPR-EN 50575 criteria in the EU would significantly increase exports to EU countries"?
The EN 50575 standard, which regulates CPR's applications in the cable sector, sets the criteria for the fire response performance of all the cables used in any structure, including building and infrastructure, the tests related to these criteria and the conditions for assessment of compliance. I agree that these requirements would have a very positive effect on cable exports to EU countries. The creation of a common language within the framework of regulation in this respect is a condition that would prevent the unfair competition we have just mentioned. I see the CPR Building Material Regulation as an important opportunity for being an international brand for every manufacturer which is trying to do its job correctly, have principles and produces quality and reliable cables in accordance with the standards.
We always take up the problems you experience with your colleagues or competitors in Turkey.. So what kind of problems do you experience with your competitors from different countries in international markets? Do you see deficiencies in their products in terms of quality, functionality etc.?
Our most important problem is that our firms are also competitors to each other abroad. Many Turkish companies abroad are participating in the same tender, becoming rivals and reducing prices too much. As the competition in our sector is a price-focused competition we see and experience similar problems abroad as well.. At this point, it is important to define the cable producering in our country and restrict the entry to the sector. The fact that non-competent firms undertake business abroad makes it impossible for them to complete their work on time and in the desired quality and this ruins our image as a country. .
Technology-based transformations are taking place in recent years. Digitalisation in production, Industry 4.0, Innovations... are frequently discussed subjects... What do these concepts mean in terms of your company? What is the point of this process? Where are you in this process as a company?
The development of companies and eventually countries depend on the decline in the final costs and overall productivity increases as a result of scientific and technological progress. The main reasons for the disparities of costs, efficiency and competitive power between underdeveloped, developing countries and developed countries are the insufficiency in the speed of technological development and innovation-oriented activities. Therefore; technology and innovation have become prerequisites for economic growth and development in developed countries. Companies that give importance to technology and innovation, which have a strategic importance for economic growth and development, are increasing their competitiveness through the productivity and cost advantages they have achieved in their production, and consequently increase their economic growth performances.
One of the most important consequences of globalization on the world economy is intense competition in national and international markets. This intense competition is accompanied by many difficulties such as the introduction of more strict standards in terms of product quality, production technology, technological developments and marketing in the case of producers, despite the fact that positive results such as cheaper prices in international markets arise in favour of consumers. Especially companies aiming to open up to global markets have to produce more efficiently and at low cost. The most effective way to increase competitive power in global markets by producing more efficiently and at lower cost is through technology and innovation. Companies that do not have made the necessary investment in innovation and technology will have to withdraw from the market after a while. For this reason, the concept of technology and innovation has become the two most strategic concepts of the global world in terms of growth and competition in recent years.
Sustainable economic growth comes from the joint combination of many economic factors and variables. Traditionally, a large part of economists argue that economic growth depends on production factors (labor, capital and land), while others argue that explaining economic growth only by production factors is not enough. According to these economists, one of the most important determinants of economic growth is technology and innovation. However, due to the problems encountered in the measurement of the contribution of technological changes and innovations to economic growth, the factors of technology and innovation were previously not included in studies on economic growth but technology and Innovation is accepted as the center of economic growth in the actual studies conducted today.
Although expressed with words such as "innovation, renewal" in Turkish, it covers all the processes carried out to develop new or improved products, services or production methods and to make that activity into a source ofc commercial income.
Technology is moving at a dazzling pace. We live in an age in which even the previous year is regarded as a very old time. We are in a totally different world where production and services do not the recognize boundaries.
Competitiveness is driven by two important factors: productivity, and innovation. They can not be disconnected from each other, nor one is less important than the other. But what is more important is to have knowledge ... Knowledge is light.
What kind of activities do you focus on to increase your market share?
The cable industry is a very large market ... You are not alone in the cable industry as in every market and you have many competitors. Of course, brand awareness holds an important place in order to come to the forefront among numerous competitors. In order to increase the awareness about us, we put in place many marketing activities such as advertisements, pr, promotions, sponsorships in line with our strategies. Of course, public awareness alone does not make much sense to activate the impulse of buying. At the same time, you have to be a well-known brand. In this sense, we have the greatest assurance that we have a reputable company structure with a long history of almost 40 years. Besides all these, our accessibility activities continue. We are also engaged in organizing a structure that would meet the demand that we have created through our stock-keeping dealers.
Especially the sensitivity about the issues such as vocational training, climate change and environmental awareness have increased in recent years. Would you share with us your social responsibility projects and your approach to this issue as a company?
The basis of our basic understanding of social responsibility is to use the resources of the world efficiently, not to be insensitive to social problems and fulfil our duty to non-governmental organizations which carry out activities aiming at contributing to the development of the human resources of our country. I see corporate reputation which can be gained as a result of the activities in that direction as our strongest value. Our activities are carried out by our purchasing and quality management department in coordination. We are aware that the most important indicator of the level of development of our country is a high level of education in society and social sensitivity. We know that we also have duties as a corporate entity.