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INTERVIEW WITH MR. SEMIH KELLE, DIRECTOR OF GATES

News

INTERVIEW WITH MR. SEMIH KELLE, DIRECTOR OF GATES

INTERVIEW WITH Mr. SEMIH KELLE, DIRECTOR OF GATES
04 APR
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 How is your company positioned in Turkey and in the world?

Our company is a joint venture of the North American Gates and Stackpole companies. Gates is a systems supplier that manufactures belts, tension rollers, hydraulic hoses and equipment for automotive, energy, agriculture, mining, transportation and shipping industries with 15,000 employees worldwide. Stackpole, on the other hand, is an international company that manufactures oil and vacuum pumps and powder metal components for the automotive industry with 3,000 employees worldwide. We manufacture tension rollers on behalf of Gates and oil pumps on behalf of Stackpole in our factory in Izmir. Tension rollers and oil pumps are the most essential parts of an automobile engine. Our facility in the Aegean Free Zone is the only facility in Europe that manufactures these product groups for both Gates and Stackpole. 

Can you give an overview of the development of your company since its inception?

Although Gates and Stackpole companies have more than 100 years of history, we have only been operating in Turkey since 2009. We have seen an average annual growth rate of 25% both in terms of revenue and production. We are currently the largest of Gates’ seven tension roller factories around the world. By 2017, we will be the largest of Stackpole’s four oil pump factories around the world. 

Can you review the production, employment and investment data of your company?

In 2013, we earned a total revenue of 130 million euro by manufacturing 13.2 million tension rollers and 2.5 million oil pumps. Our company employs a total of 500 people, 110 of whom are white collar employees. Our goal is to increase our production and sales rates by 40-50% until 2017, and we’re designing our employment and investment plans based on this goal. 

What are the advantages of operating in the Aegean Free Zone?

Since we manufacture the majority of our products for European countries, the biggest advantage is the tax exemption in the Zone. Plus, we are able to purchase many services directly from ESBAS. Their customer focused approach is a major factor of satisfaction for us. There are other important advantages of being in Turkey and in the city of Izmir: 

• Proximity to the city highway, airport and port 

• The fact that Izmir is a city that exceeds European standards in many ways. 

• Specialized human resources in Turkey and especially in Izmir.

• Awareness of the automotive industry in Turkey and the ready-supplier infrastructure.

How do the foreign investors view free zones?

It`s a fact that companies, especially those that are seeking to invest for exporting purposes, prefer free zones because of the aforementioned. We believe foreign investment will increase even more if the government continues to provide support and take certain measures. 

How is your company affected by the recent economic developments that have been unfolding since the beginning of 2014? In what way does this affect the investments?

Our company has not been affected by this. The economic developments within the country don’t have an impact on our country as most of our customers are based in powerful regions of Europe. Furthermore, our purchase and sales activities are done through foreign currency since we operate in the free zone, which cushions the impact of fluctuations in the foreign exchange rates. 

Can you give some information about your social responsibility projects?

We have participated in many social responsibility projects in the past years. Our primary mission is to add value to the environment and the society we live in. We collaborate with widely-recognized and accepted associations and organizations such as the Aegean Forest Foundation, LOSEV (Foundation for Children with Leukemia), CYDD (Association for Supporting Contemporary Life), Foundation for the Mentally Challenged and the Red Crescent. We aim to give prominence to the moral side of the projects, and make sure that they are not simply “financial” projects. For instance, our employees visit children with leukemia in the clinics on official holidays to give them small presents and to cheer them up. They organize field trips for homeless children and go to natural parks together to have an entertaining day for the children. 

 

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