Kurtsan Group of Companies, which we know with the Otacı brand, was founded by the couple Niyazi Kurtsan and Meral Kurtsan, who set their hearts on the profession of pharmacy and continued its activities with firm steps on the shoulders of the 2nd generation. Meltem Kurtsan and Deniz Kurtsan, who received pharmacy education like their parents, succeeded in maintaining the innovative and respected brand image of Otaci, inherited from Niyazi Kurtsan.
After the death of pharmacist Niyazi Kurtsan, who brought many products and segments to the Turkish industry with their research and innovative efforts, in 2004, Meltem and Deniz Kurtsan brothers, who “shared the responsibility”, accelerated the steps towards institutionalization from the family business structure started during their father’s period. While many big holdings did not dare, in the Kurtsan Group of Companies, which got rid of its family business identity in the early 2000s, professionals came to the fore. The public had the chance to watch their effective services and the appreciation they received. While the shareholders devote time to their fields of activity in addition to their company responsibilities, professionals who are still working at the most effective levels within the body have the opportunity to train.
3rd Generation Roadmap
The road map of the third generation of the Kurtsan Family, which was still at the age of children, was drawn with its main lines at that time. Within the framework of the family constitution and intergenerational business rules laid down in the Niyazi Kurtsan period, 4 representatives of the third generation were primary partners in companies. While the first-generation Niyazi Kurtsan was studying in free boarding schools, the second generation was advised to attend public schools despite having won famous colleges. The rule for the third generation was as follows. It would be well-educated, worked in another company for at least 5 years, and earned at least two promotions. They would be free to work at Kurtsan.
The third-generation representatives of the family, Karatay Karayalçın, Bengi Kurtcebe, Saltuk Karayalçın, and Duygu Nahum, went through very different career processes. While Bengi Kurtcebe produces services in the field of social media with her profession as an influencer, in which she collaborates with global brands in gastronomy, Karatay Karayalçın is the manager of the natural life and healthy nutrition center called Herbafarm Academy, which founded in Bodrum with his mother, Meltem Kurtsan.
They First Agreed
I can describe Saltuk Karayalçın and his cousin Duygu Nahum as the names that started the third generation period in the Kurtsan Group. The story goes back 5 years.
After his good education, he preferred a professional business life and continued on his way with open positions in important companies, and the Kurtsan proposal, which came after the general assembly in 2017, became a turning point for the cousins.
The two cousins, who welcome the offer from the elders of the family, get together before starting the shift and create conditions between them. They will be arm in arm, they will carry out similar processes and tasks with the same status. If one wants to leave the company, promises are made that the other will leave as well. They make a goodwill contract written on a napkin in a cafe. Saltuk Karayalçın, one of the cousins, says, “We took the steps of institutionalization under the leadership of our mothers, and we tried to build a structure where we could keep the family’s passion for work.” “We came with the mission of keeping the company’s passion alive and designing the future of our companies. We have succeeded in building a strong and inclusive structure that includes professionals and shareholders.”
By 2027, The Share of Exports Will Increase By 3 Times
Two cousins, who came to Kurtsan with the experience they gained in valuable companies, are making a plan in the group. They create an orientation environment. An orientation committee of five people, including their grandmother Meral Kurtsan, is formed. All the orientation processes of the two cousins are audited and reported and their progress is ensured as if they were passing the class. There is a process in which a total of 14 departments are visited. Strategic Planning Director Saltuk Karayalçın and Marketing Director Duygu Nahum are on the executive and board of directors reporting to the CEO. Companies are overhauled one by one by the entire management team. Growth areas are identified and brand investments are made. Investments are being made that double production. Lean production, modernization, capacity increase, and digitalization are investment areas. Kurtsan Group of Companies replaces Kurtsan Holding’s legal entity.
In the Group, which operates in 3 main branches consisting of pharmaceuticals, medical, and cosmetics, the executive board and the board of directors are separated from each other. At the head of the Executive Board is Aylin Kurt, whom the family trusts and who gives years to the community. Elif Çelik, a professional member, sits in the chair of the board of directors, which consists of 5 people. Two cousins serve as vice presidents.
In Kurtsan, a roadmap until 2027 was created with 5-year planning. According to this plan, new investments will be put into use in the production facilities built on 80-decare land in Bandırma. Investments will focus on new capacity building, digitalization, communication, and coordination in the field and internally. The scope of the R&D center will be expanded and university collaborations will be developed. Saltuk Karayalçın, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors, said, “We are a 67-year-old company. The number of family businesses exceeding the 3rd generation is very few. We are creating the fiction for the next 67 years.”
In 5 years, the share of exports will be tripled. At this point, the growth towards cosmetics will be more. The food supplements area is also planned as a growth area.
As stated in the book prepared by journalist and writer Nilgün Uysal, founder Niyazi Kurtsan’s strategy includes using equity and company profits for investments. In addition to the third generation, this strategy is maintained in the new era that is advancing under the management of professional staff. Kurtsan realizes its investments through resources allocated from profit.
Gained Experience in Central Asia
Duygu Nahum completes her education at Robert College after Istanbul Boys’ High School. During the summers in high school, she starts doing internships at companies such as Arcon Kozmetik and Vestel. While studying Economics and Politics at the University of Virginia in the United States, she is studying Psychology as a minor. In the summers, she works in the Investment/Mergers and Valuations departments of Coca-Cola and İşbank. After graduation, she starts a job in an advertising company in New York with customers such as Microsoft, Ford, Walgreens, and Amazon. On the other hand, she is doing his master’s in Digital Marketing at New York University in the evenings. Then she returns to Turkey with a job offer from Coca-Cola Turkey and is promoted to the Brand Manager of Fanta, Sprite, and Schweppes, then Coca-Cola Turkey. Then it is brought to a position where all gaseous brands (Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, Schweppes) look at the countries of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. It takes part in projects such as Fanta Youth Festival, Coca-Cola Ramadan Campaigns, and Promotions, and Coca-Cola launches in Central Asia. “CocaCola was the most successful marketing school in the world in terms of the people I worked with, the teams I was in and the projects I managed, it was an inspiring experience for me,” she says of Coca-Cola.
We Will Create a Good Employer Identity at Kurtsan
Born in 1987, Saltuk Karayalçın has continued his education in England since 1999. He has been in London for 15 years. He studied design first and then business administration at the London School of Economics. It has won international awards such as Red Dot. He is now doing his Ph.D. at Geneva Business School. He is also a lecturer at Istanbul Kultur University.
His first job is to work at Indesit Company in Fabriano Village in Italy. He continues to work in the same company in Istanbul. He takes part in the store process of HotPoint. He works overtime in the opening operations of 385 stores across Turkey. He works on the formation of field teams, the establishment of digitalization processes, and the retail tracking system. After returning from the military, he starts working at Arçelik.
It continues its responsibility at Arçelik, similar to that of Indesit. It takes responsibility for retail development, establishes field teams, and creates technological investments that increase the store experience. He’s getting promotions. It moves from marketing to strategic planning and business development. It carries out the performance consolidation and market analysis of all foreign markets determines the opportunity areas and presents them to the top management. Regarding both companies, Saltuk Karayalçın said, “Indesit gave a collective self-confidence. Arçelik created a sense of family. At Kurtsan, we will establish the identity of a good job company.”