“The balance of high quality and reasonable price lies behind our success”

Cihangir Fikri Saatçioğlu, Deputy Chairman of Cift Kartal: “Cift Kart is a company that has been active in the sector for more than 45 years, exported to 80 countries, realized more than 600 flour facility projects, and improved its product range continuously. In the world market, where there are many alternatives and the sector is competitive, your most important qualification must be to find a balance between high quality and reasonable price. I think we achieved this.”

In the Technology Platform of this issue, we covered Cift Kartal Milling Machines that popularized because of its installation of facilities in Turkey and abroad. Fikri Saatçioğlu, Deputy Chairman of the Company, talked to our magazine during the IDMA Exhibition, a significant hub for the milling machinery industry. Saatçioğlu talked about the company’s activities, mission, and projects. Saying that Cift Kartal diversified its product range, he noted that the company increased its competitive edge in local and foreign markets and increased its market share; he emphasized that the company continues its work with a mission to become a world brand. Saatçioğlu underlined that the company gives great importance to know-how. “If you do not invest enough in this area, it is impossible to exist in foreign markets. If you try to continue your journey with daily policies, this understanding will spell great troubles for your company in the long run,” he warned.

The interview Cihangir Fikri Saatçioğlu, Deputy Chairman of Cift Kartal, gave to Miller Magazine is as follows:

Mr. Saatçioğlu, can you tell us about your company and activities briefly?
Çift Kartal Milling Machines started its production life in 1973 and expanded its product range more and more every day. Our areas of activity are R&D, engineering, flour mills, corn flour mills, semolina mills, feed mills, flour silos, grain storage systems, transport-loading-unloading equipment and drying systems. We offer turnkey mill plant projects with quality-oriented products ranging from 30 to 1000 ton/day capacity. In our 15.000 m² closed area factory, we produce the required mill machines with our modern manufacturing technology in order to obtain flour which is one of the most important products of the food industry.

Cift Kart is a company that has been active in the sector for more than 45 years, exported to 80 countries, realized more than 600 flour facility projects, improved its product range continuously, and aimed at new markets. We gave great importance to know-how. Cift Kartal aims to be a prominent company in the sector.

You mentioned that the company exports to 80 countries. Can you tell us how this adventure started and evolved?
We started exporting 35 years ago. Particularly we started with countries that geographically close to Turkey, especially Central Asia and African countries. Now, we export to 80 countries and feel the excitement in our heart. Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Botswana, Mozambique, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Iran, and Russia are among these countries. Our company is at a position to give confidence to our customers with skillful and devoted understanding and its organizational structure that has a high value on the global scale.

However, we didn’t come to this point very easily. Until we formed this structure, we aimed to keep ourselves in the top position by using intense brand awareness. Of course, in the world market, where there are many alternatives and the sector is competitive, your most important qualification must be to find a balance between high quality and reasonable price. I think we achieved this.

The biggest headache for the Turkish machine manufacturer is that although the production industry has an intense added value and quality in Turkey, it lacks this awareness in the European markets. Although Turkish origin products must have a higher share in the European markets, unfortunately, this share is very low.

In our sector, we have great rivalry against a serious company operating under the Swiss-German partnership. In this competitive environment, it is not enough for your company to have a high quality. Turkish companies have to focus on their added value and increase their qualities to a higher level. As Cift Kartal, we do not perceive Turkish companies operating in the same area as rivals. Instead, we perceive them competing stakeholders in a sweat rivalry with a view to increasing the sector’s national value. There cannot be a different understanding. Turkey is the global leader in the flour export for the last six years. Nevertheless, if we consider Turkey’s logistic position, which means access to the entire world, and being an important agriculture country, I think Turkey must pay higher value and priority to the agricultural business which is named as ‘agribusiness.’

I believe that Turkey will make great progress in this area as an important stakeholder of the sector and our company will act as a private in this great progress. We have to do what we can, and we will continue the company’s operation with an understanding to increase the added value of Turkish’s products.

Could you tell us about the recent technological investments you made?
Our company heavily invests in know-how. We are the first company in Turkey to invest in the milling sector. Two years ago, we launched the know-how center as a first in Turkey with Naci Ağbal, the previous finance minister. If you do not invest in know-how enough, there is no way that you can be in foreign markets or any competitive market. If you try to continue your journey with daily policies, this understanding will spell great troubles for your company in the long-run. That’s why we give great importance to know-how technology. I believe we will reap the fruits of these investments with the projects we won abroad. These are important developments for us.

We always see you abroad. You’re always traveling. You travel around the world. This must be about Cift Kartal’s vision of being a world company.
Yes. As I told, Cift Kartal exports to 80 countries. I have been traveling to get in touch with our customers and to participate in fairs and exhibitions abroad. As a proverb rightly points out: “A wandering fox is better than a sleeping lion.” We are in the digital age in which we can access to a person in the other corner of the world through a phone call or a tablet. Still, I believe face-to-face engagement with people is more important. Although people give importance to informatics and it is easy to reach everyone, it is virtually impossible that an investor buys a project from a company or a person that s/he did not know.

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