Akkok Holding Chairman of the Executive Board Ahmet Dorduncu, Dogan Holding CEO Caglar Göğüş, Limak Group of Companies Board Chairman Ebru Ozdemir, Pegasus Airlines General Manager Mehmet Nane, and Akfen Holding CEO Selim Akin attended the panel moderated by Vodafone Turkey Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board Ozlem Kestioglu.
DORDUNCU: 2021 WILL END GOOD DESPITE ALL CHALLENGES
Stating energy prices have increased all over the world since the second half of 2021, Akkok Holding Chairman of the Executive Board Ahmet Dorduncu added “This is very important for our energy sector group because we have a capacity of close to 1400 MW, 900 MW of this is natural gas sourced. There were cost increases in the production processes. For example, the price of coal, which was 70-80 dollars, suddenly increased to 170 dollars. It should not be forgotten that the problem experienced in natural gas is felt more in Europe and while it is largely political, it does cause significant concern. The second half of 2021 also enabled industrial activities to start working at full capacity as the pandemic conditions eased, but this created a demand explosion in energy. When negativities occur in almost all sources in energy production, a sufficient supply could not be provided in response to the demand. If we look at our group, especially in our energy companies, we have long-term foreign loans in our balance sheets and this creates balance sheet pressure on us. Currency losses put us in difficult situations. Still, as a player who has been in the market for 60-70 years, we accept energy as a long-term investment and we will continue to exist. Our companies in the chemical sector have worked non-stop and will close the year with successful results. When we look at our other business lines, the fact that China is seriously leaving the west has increased the logistics costs incredibly. For example, container shipping prices have increased from 800 dollars to 10 thousand dollars. Especially in the textile sector, this created a good opportunity for Turkey.”
Indicating they could not plan 2022, Dorduncu said “We have to present the budget and planning to the board of directors, and now we are preparing it with different scenarios. 2022 is still full of uncertainties. Logistics costs affect us a lot due to import and export. Costs in matters such as raw materials and energy also directly affect us. Volatility makes us difficult to plan. It is sufficient for the rate to be stable, not high. So we can prepare ourselves. However, rapid change in the short term puts us in a difficult situation. We can say that we have seen the benefits of being a holding. Despite everything, 2022 will still be good.”
Emphasizing the importance of green agreements and certifications for companies exporting to the EU, Dorduncu pointed out that Turkish companies should review their way of doing business from now on. In this regard, he stressed the importance of following carbon and water footprints.
GÖĞÜŞ: COST IMBALANCES WILL RETURN TO NORMAL AFTER THE SECOND QUARTER OF 2022
Stating they have invested 200 million dollars in many fields such as Flexible Packaging, Investment Bank, New Insurance Company, automotive sub-industry, renewable energy, real estate portal, industrial transformation with smart technologies in the last two years, Doğan Holding's CEO Caglar Göğüş said “We think that raw material prices will stabilize in the second 6 months of 2022, volatility will decrease, and tourism will return to normal. We follow the developments in the market. We pay great attention to short-term risks, short position deficits, and funding issues. But we strongly believe in Turkey's potential. We will maintain our long-term strategic perspective on investments. But besides all this, it is very important for us to become stronger in the world of employees in 2022. Sustainable growth cannot be achieved without sustainable human resources. For this reason, human resources issues such as competence development, working with the best human resources, creating more employment, backup, and career opportunities for employees are among our main priorities.
OZDEMIR: TURKEY COULD BE A GOOD TRAINING BASE FOR THE WEST ALTERNATIVE TO CHINA
Chairman Ebru Ozdemir of Limak said they continued their nonstop work in the construction sector, especially in large projects such as the Canakkale Bridge, during the pandemic process, and she continued as “In 2021, first the manufacturing and then the service sector took action rapidly and the demands were suddenly formed. Uncertainties on the one hand, supply and demand do not meet each other on the other hand, resulting in demand inflation. While there are high prices for materials in the entire production process, pricing for the workforce has also increased and should be rearranged. The whole world is under pressure on this matter. The biggest contribution of the pandemic to us has been in the digital transformation, which seems almost impossible for our industry; We were able to make a sudden transition. From a global perspective, relations with China are being reorganized and it is talked about whether Turkey can be a new production base. Turkey should evaluate these issues well and strategies should be determined correctly both privately and publicly, and NGOs base.
Ozdemir also said “When we look at the 2022 forecast, we see that even the world economies cannot make a clear forecast. Everyone is trying to take a position by following closely. The pandemic has been a very good test; taught to make quick and agile decisions and take action. Also, we started to make dynamic budgets, not static, because in a world where input costs are constantly changing, it is impossible to make a static budget. As an institution, we are making special studies to be more sustainable. If we look to the future, we think that infrastructure and energy will be very important in the near future because Turkey will grow in double digits and it will bring along with high energy needs. There is no point in investing without some energy sources. In our opinion, the most important sector of 2022 will be energy. Global development and environmental issues are too important to ignore, and what kind of world we will leave for the future is as important as a strong financial structure.”
MEHMET NANE: 2021 WILL END BETTER THAN 2020
Stressing that 2021 will definitely be better than 2020, Pegasus Airlines General Manager Mehmet Nane added that “Nobody managed 1920’s pandemic situation, and we are trying to leave the process behind by tearing ourselves apart without any experience today. From an administrative point of view, we can say that the strongest uncertainty environment has occurred with the delta variant in the middle of 2021. We were aiming to close the end of 2021 by at least catching the 2020 figures. However, the delta variant, the restrictions, and the excessive increase in the number of cases caused our country to be put on the red list. Only Russia opened its borders on July 1, so we suffered a great loss in the summer season. Britain is another important market, opened its borders in September. But it is certain that 2021 will be better than 2020. If we look at what are the CEOs' agenda in the world; inflation, supply chain and qualified employees are the most important topics. The restriction decisions to be taken by countries in 2022 will be on our agenda. If we look at Turkey, we will struggle with both global and local conditions. We always live with crises and it is up to us to turn this into an opportunity.
SELIM AKIN: 2022 WILL BE THE YEAR WE MAKE THE WAY WITH DAILY DECISIONS
Saying that restrictions disrupt the supply-demand balance, Akfen Holding CEO Selim Akin, “2021 was a year in which countries made concessions in their economies following the effects of the pandemic. In addition, pandemic restrictions disrupted the supply-demand balance. There is talk of interest rate hikes, but inflation expectations are also changing. We are entering a year in which we will feel the pressure of exchange rate and inflation. It seems that 2022 will be a year in which we will both follow commodity prices and change our daily strategy in our own companies. We are carefully monitoring all factors that may affect us in our holding. In summary, 2022 will be a year when we will make daily decisions. In our company, I personally had a goal of digital transformation, and cause of the pandemic, I was able to implement it quickly. While we can now make remote meetings online, we have also switched to a hybrid working routine with our personnel. We saw that it was positive in terms of performance and we even closed one of our offices completely. 2022 will be a year full of surprises. There will be some talk of elections in 2022 and that could create a little more uncertainty. For this reason, it is important that we stick together and move forward constructively, away from populist approaches in terms of economy.”