Professional of the Year: Çuhadaroğlu General Manager Kenan Aracı

Mr. Kenan Aracı, General Manager of Çuhadaroğlu Companies, has awarded the Professional of the Year Award by B2B Media.

Can you briefly introduce yourself?

I was born in 1970 in Istanbul. After graduating from Kabataş High School, I received a bachelor's degree in Architecture from ITU Faculty of Architecture and a master's degree in business administration at Bahçeşehir University. After graduation, I completed different projects for 3 years in the project development and implementation office in Karlsruhe, Germany, and when I returned to Turkey, I started to work in the Çuhadaroğlu Group, which mainly designs and also produces aluminum doors, windows and facade systems, whose products are used in the construction sector. After working as product manager, marketing manager and deputy general manager, I have been working as the general manager of Çuhadaroğlu Aluminum and Çuhadaroğlu Metal Sanay and Marketing, one of the group companies, since 2003. In addition, I undertook the position of General Manager of Çuhadaroğlu Chemical Industry Company between 2003-2006. I am the Vice President of Turkey Construction Materials Manufacturers (IMSAD) and a member of the ITO 58th Group Professional Committee.

What would you do in college? What was your ideal during this period?

During my university years, both education and sports were filling every moment of my life. My days passed between the İTÜ Taşkışla Campus and the İTÜ Gümüşsuyu Campus Sports Hall where we did our training. Meanwhile, if we had time, we were also doing social activities on İstiklal Caddesi and Dolmabahçe Street. In fact, we played the matches of our team, which was in the 1st League, at the Abdi İpekçi Sports Hall at that time. However, we took it out of town as a team. In addition, when the intensive training and camping programs combined with the intensive course programs at the university, I had to plan the time very well and finish my work day by day. During my university years, I wanted to reach the best point I could have in my career and continue my career as an athlete and then as a basketball coach. I think I achieved some of these.

What do you do in social life? Do you have hobbies or occupations?

I devote most of my old professional business life to spending time with my children. I have a girl and three boys. As you know, one of them is another project and it is part of a large part of you whether you want to work on it or discuss it. Actually, I am also a bit happy with this situation. Wandering, wandering, keeping up with them, discussing the place with my children, who are six, fifteen, nineteen and twenty-two, both mentally and physically forces me, but also keeps me vigorous. For example, endeavor to make an activity on the weekend and usually nature trips, sea, cycling in the summer; In winter, when you say theater, cinema and sports competitions, you unwittingly find these intense activities. You try to keep up with this tempo of the experiment. With regard to my hobbies, basically basketball pressure and volleyball; I was playing football before volleyball. I started football at a young age. Those times We were living in Yeniköy and I played in Yeniköy Sports Club. Because I was left-handed, I had many goals in the left-hand position. I became interested in volleyball at an advanced age and played volleyball up to the star youth team levels in different clubs in Istanbul. Later, I started the TV series White Shadow and basketball, which was the popular sport of that day, even at a late age, as Turkey became the Balkan Champion in basketball. In the following process, in different clubs of Turkey and even in Germany during my construction period I. and II. i played basketball in league levels. Maybe I didn't have sports priority like the other. But more than material, this team sports has a lot for me and I use it in my business life. i must say The size gives a different perspective and vision. Teamwork in success I realized at that age that it was a key role and I try to remove it from my job. I participated in many tournaments and championships in Turkey at a young and young age, and had the opportunity to understand the people, food and thoughts of various regions. I had the chance to see it at that age, which was held in the same city built abroad. Of course, most importantly, you learn to be organized during those trips, at the same time to plan your time for the student and to take responsibility. And this is a great experience for you. So much so that what you experienced in those days can still be encountered today and you can overcome it properly. For this reason, in today's conditions, I do not find it right to keep our children away from social activities by putting a focus on making lessons based on exams. Those children do not take the time to be active in their own bets in sports clubs; to get away from bad friends and habits. Besides, we cannot expect all children to be professional football players, volleyball players or basketball players. In other words, the thesis of "falling to the bottom of the pear" as the old saying goes, will no longer be one. The important thing is for them to socialize by engaging in these activities. Because thanks to the school, our children; They take basic courses such as physics, chemistry and mathematics, but it is very difficult to gain social and physical activities such as sports afterwards and these lessons can be heavy.

What was your most significant, most enjoyable job in your professional life?

The project that I find most enjoyable and noteworthy for me is the automatic door systems that we have created as the Interax brand, which are completely designed, software and produced by us. The reason is that we have been the distributor of an overseas company for years. The company terminated the agreement between us and ignored our 20-year efforts in Turkey. We started the legal process and won the 7-year lawsuit in Geneva with a considerable customer portfolio and loss and damage compensation. But what really gave me pleasure was to take the decision to develop the project of creating our own brand in our R&D Center so that this event does not recur. We have come a long way in a short time. Currently, we have successfully completed all certification processes and tests abroad. We have become exporting to 4 continents, not only domestic, but also including Europe and America. I realized this dream, which made me happy and was a significant project for me, with my colleagues. This added value has provided trust and reputation both to our company and to our country as well as financially. The important thing that made me happy in my business life was the appointment of our company founder, the late Ahmet Çuhadaroğlu, as the "General Manager of Group Companies" from Çuhadaroğlu Group Companies to the management of Metal Industry, Aluminum Contracting and Çekomastik Kimya, which we transferred to a French company years ago. Although this rise worried me a little, the trust in me made me very dignified and happy. When I see the point these companies have reached in their development, investment and growth, I am very happy that I have not disappointed the trust in myself.

What are your business life priorities? What are your expectations especially from working people?

My priority in my business life is to set goals, but I call it "dreaming". But by setting long but medium or short goals, determining the boundary where we want to go. The sine qua non of the goals set in these points in communication is to follow up. All of our employee expectations are goals in their own business and even in their private lives, sorry to "dream" and reach dreams. Reading this book, this rapid change is to renew itself, to receive trainings that will give his vision no matter what age he is. And socialize in this way. Thus, more peaceful and confident individuals will increase the quality in both private and business life, and this will positively reflect on his productivity.

How did your path cross with your current company?

Çuhadaroğlu started my story in 1998 with the transformation to Germany. I worked in different positions such as product manager, product and marketing manager, assistant general manager and general manager in group companies. During this 18 years I spent, we had a highly encouraged time with Mr. Ahmet. He was an entrepreneur, investor, a manager who tried to differentiate, predicted that those who think differently from others would win and survive in the future.

What are your predictions about the construction industry and economic situation?

The Corona Virus (Covid-19), which emerged in the People's Republic of China in December 2019 and continued to spread in early 2020, was declared an epidemic and affected all countries of the world. With this epidemic, a solution could not be produced on the psychological and sociological side, which is effective in the purchasing appetite of the people as well as the priority health side in 2020. Unfortunately, in line with these experiences, we have experienced a process where we could not find a solution on the economic side. When this global health problem is added to the uncertainties from the past, the economies and businesses of the countries tried to find their way in this uncertain environment in an environment of increasing uncertainty. Many sectors, especially the service sector, and the entire industry that meets the needs of these sectors were negatively affected. The human being, who has to change rapidly with the effect of globalization, which makes its weight felt more and more with the effect of technological developments in today's world, has become more mobilized in this process. While projections were made for a period in which digitalization would accelerate in the next 10 years, a very rapid transformation process was experienced for people of all ages in almost 1 year on the digitalization side of this 10-year process. We have witnessed how the virus, which emerged suddenly and turned into a health problem, upset human life and economies, one of its natural consequences, influenced us in almost every aspect of our lives and forced us to change. Our integrated production power, which has the power to produce from the raw material we need to the final product in aluminum profile production, our production and service policy that does not compromise on quality, our experienced, dynamic and visionary human resources are our greatest values. In addition to the high product quality in accordance with international standards in our production and product quality, we will ensure the continuity of customer satisfaction with the understanding of continuous improvement and timely delivery. In 2021, we have identified growth in export markets, effective cash and stock management, accelerating investments with cash return in the short term, introducing new products to the market by increasing the added value we have created in this context and creating a qualified workforce. Since our foundation year 1954, Çuhadaroğlu has come a long way towards institutionalization and crowned this success by going public in BIST in 2016. The biggest purpose of this 67-year value is; To reach a century and become a century-old company with the understanding of sustainable management. In this direction, we will further develop our practices in the fields of Industry 4.0 and Digitalization, occupational safety and health, environmental and social responsibility, customer relations management, institutionalization, accountability and more transparent management. What would you like to say about the “Professional of the Year” Award you received? First of all, if I add the pandemic year to Roof and Cephe Magazine's 10th regular load competition this year, I am very honored to be the professional of the year. On behalf of Çuhadaroğlu Group Companies, I would like to thank you. During these times when it was difficult to survive as a manufacturer in the global pandemic conditions but was very important for our country, Çuhadaroğlu Group Companies further strengthened us, which we took in our offices and factories against the epidemic. Our biggest expectation is to decrease or end the economic and social damages that the pandemic caused to our country and all humanity. I believe that we will overcome these periods by focusing on the workforce and workforce to contribute to the development of the industry and work.