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Koç Holding

Koç Holding

Koç Holding

Koç Holding, full name KOÇ HOLDİNG ANONİM ŞİRKETİ, the first holding and the largest group of private companies in Turkey. Founded by Vehbi Koç in 1963, it has been a pioneering force in Turkey. Its headquarters are in Nakkaştepe, Üsküdar district, Istanbul (see Koç Holding AŞ Headquarters at Nakkaştepe).

In 1916, Vehbi Koç began working in a corner store belonging to his father, Hacı Mustafa Rahmi Efendi. In 1926, his father, transferred the Koçzade Hacı Mustafa Rahmi company to him and on May 31, 1926, it was registered with the Ankara Chamber of Commerce under the name Koçzade Ahmet Vehbi. The history of Koç Holding can be traced back to the founding of this company, which over time expanded its lines of business. Influenced by the development works in Ankara at the time, the company turned its attention towards construction materials and hardware. In 1928, it entered into a distributorship agreement with Ford and began trading in automobiles. In the same year, it became a franchise for Standard Oil and began dealing in gas and petroleum. As business developed in Ankara, another branch was opened in Istanbul. An important development during this time was the dawn of contracting work, which began with the construction of Numune Hospital in Ankara. In 1937, the Istanbul branch was transformed into the Vehbi Koç ve Ortakları Kolektif Şirketi, later known as the Galata Group. Turkey’s first joint stock company, Koç Ticaret AŞ, was founded in Ankara in 1938 and the Galata Group became the company’s Istanbul branch in 1942. Koç Ticaret was unique in being the first Turkish company to allow its workers to have a share in its profits.

After World War II, the Koç Group began to focus on manufacturing. As well as expanding his business horizons, Vehbi Koç’s travels in Europe and America marked the beginning of efforts to meet Turkey’s science and technology deficit through licensing agreements. The first Turkish company based in the USA, Ram Commercial Corporation, was founded in 1945 in order to establish ties with American companies by purchasing franchises. Following Vehbi Koç’s trip to the USA in 1946, Turkey’s first light bulb factory was founded in partnership with General Electric in 1948.

In the 1950s, the Koç Group ventured into import substitution manufacturing investment. It began establishing production companies to secure foreign exchange savings and create a network of distributors nationwide. Turkey’s first radiator manufacturer, Türk Demir Döküm, and first refrigerator manufacturer, Arçelik, were established during this period. This was followed in the early 1960s by the foundation of Gazal and Aygaz, liquid petroleum production and distribution companies, and the tire manufacturer Uniroyal. The group’s first investment in tourism was the Divan Hotel, which opened in 1956.

As the number of Koç Group companies operating in a number of sectors increased, the need arose for a new organization that suited its diversity and rate of growth. In response to this need, Koç Holding AŞ was founded in 1963 to act as a decision-making body for the group and lead efforts to strategize, supervise, coordinate and provide guidance. The board of directors was chaired by Vehbi Koç. This was a significant step towards developing the Koç Group into a corporate entity. The Vehbi Koç Foundation (VKV), which Vehbi Koç hoped to make into a shareholder and found together with the holding, was not established until 1969 following the new law on foundations in 1967.

Vehbi Koç’s opening remarks on the first general meeting of Koç Holding

(February 24, 1964, Merkez Han, Beyoğlu, Istanbul)

Dear shareholders,

It is 3 p.m. on Monday, February 24th. We gathered here for a meeting of the general board of Koç Holding, which was announced in the Commercial Registry Gazette on December 11, 1963: a company with a history of twenty days as of New Year. I would like to take this occasion to share some words with you.

This is the most important moment of my commercial career.

In the autumn of 1916, we set to work on my father’s behalf as Koçzade Hacı Mustafa Rahmi with a 120 lira fund, selling groceries at Karaoğlan Bazaar. As the years passed, the shop changed its line of business and in 1926, it was transferred to me by my late father who believed I could do the job. It was registered with the Chamber of Commerce and I began working as Koçzade Ahmet Vehbi.

My business progressed year by year and so I decided to make it a joint stock company. After consulting some expert friends, eleven years after taking the company on, I founded Koç Ticaret A.Ş. in July 1937. Our company continued to grow a little more every year with the support of valued colleagues and we established joint stock and limited companies with the profits.

On the one hand I was working and on the other, I was scrutinizing the state of companies that had been established before mine, both at home and abroad. A large number of companies founded in Turkey before and during my lifetime, organizations such as Abdurrahman Naci Demirağ, Bekir Kara, Avunduk and Ali Albayrak, fell apart following the deaths of their founders.

I observed how large European companies had managed to stay on their feet for many years. I came to the conclusion that the best thing to do would be to ensure that the business could exist without me. From 1948 onwards, I had our financial and judicial laws analyzed.

As the establishment of a foundation that contained the holding didn’t comply with our civil law, we tried for years to get a special law passed rather than setting up a holding liable to double corporation tax, but to no avail. Eventually, in 1961, the situation was resolved, we accelerated our attempts to establish a holding and finally succeeded.

We will only be able to establish the foundation we envisage if a special law is introduced. Until that time, philanthropic work will continue with the revenue from stocks worth five million lira, which are from my own shares in the holding.

Our most important intentions in founding the holding are:

- To ensure that after my death, this organization, which so much work has gone into, will continue.

- Binding those who work in the company today, and who will work in the company in the future, to the organization by selling them shares.

- Providing for the futures of those who leave the company by recognizing the value of social issues within the holding.

Personally, I am very happy to be establishing the holding. Today, the board consists of 48 founding partners in this building, in the future there will be thousands. Koç Holding will continue to grow and be the largest private sector organization in Turkey. The public and the government will see how beneficial it is to the country and keep hold of it. But what matters more than all of this is that it will be an example for those who come after us, many more holdings will be established, and this country will continue to progress.

Take the balance sheet from global company Siemens for its first year of operations. Like us, it began with a fund that was small by the standards of the day. We also began with a small fund and we, too, are progressing.

When the holding was founded, with the exception of a few acquaintances, I received support from a large number of people. I would like to thank them.

People are mortal. One day, I will leave the business for some reason or another. Up to ten years after the founding of the holding, many important duties will fall to my wife, my children, my sons-in-law and the incumbent administrative colleagues.

From the age of 17, I worked day and night for 46 years, and this is where I have arrived. Now I am handing it over to you. If you want me to rest in peace, you must carry this organization on. It must not fall apart due to petty whims.

Don’t bring in talentless, incapable men who are slaves to their personal opinions and caprices. The success of all companies is carried on the shoulders of capable people. Companies we work with today, such as Ford, Siemens and General Electric, are the best examples of this.

Follow the same path as these companies.

It has taken me 10 years to achieve the ideas that came to me during the Yalova meeting in 1954. And I am very grateful. There’s still plenty of work to do within the company. And it’s our duty to effect this as soon as we can.

I’d like to end by offering you all my respect and affection.

Vehbi Koç, Hayat Hikâyem (My Life Story), 4th Edition, Vehbi Koç Vakfı Yayınları, Istanbul, 1983, pp. 94-101

A portion of Aygaz and Koç Holding

A portion of Aygaz and Koç Holding shares were sold to those working in the Koç Group so that public savings could be invested and contribute to capital accumulation. In one sense, this was the first instance of public offering in Turkey. In late 1973, 56% of Koç Yatırım ve Sanayi Mamulleri Pazarlama AŞ was offered to the public.

In the 1960s, the Koç Group founded various industrial plants through collaboration or partnership with foreign companies. Companies established in this period were (Ford) Otosan, which would later become a partnership with Ford; Tofaş, founded in partnership with Fiat; Türk Siemens founded in partnership with Siemens, and Mako, founded in partnership with Magneti Marelli. The first automobile to be produced locally, the Anadol, was manufactured during this period. The group entered the food industry with Tat Konserve. On the other hand, enhancing its companies’ technology, know-how and experience through various license agreements, the group was later able to create its own technology.

In the 1970s, Koç Holding’s fields of operation expanded significantly. The group was able to operate in a wide range of areas, from automotive to white goods, agricultural equipment to textiles, liquid petroleum gas to heating equipment, from the food industry and retail to tourism, finance and insurance services. The automotive companies Otokar and Karsan also joined the group during this period. From 1970 onwards, taking economic necessities and competition with the Common Market into consideration, the group moved towards exporting and founded Turkey’s first foreign trading company, Ram Foreign Trade.

During the 1980s, the holding developed its banking operations. Koç American Bank was founded in partnership with the American Express Company in 1986 and later became a wholly-owned subsidiary, renamed Koçbank in 1993.

Believing in corporatization, in 1984 Vehbi Koç transferred the chair of the holding’s board of directors to his son, Rahmi M. Koç, but continued to serve as honorary chair.

In 1990, Ram Foreign Trade became the first Turkish exporting company to exceed 500 million US dollars, while Arçelik became one of the largest manufacturers of white goods in Europe. The 2000s began with the vision of “becoming one of the world’s leading companies”. This vision relied on a focus on the energy, consumer durables, automotive and financial services sectors. It was in this context that Koç Finansal Hizmetler was founded in 2001, in partnership with one of Europe’s leading banks, UniCredito Italiano.

Rahmi M. Koç passed the role of chair of the board on to Mustafa V. Koç in April 2003, but continued to serve as honorary chair and remained a member of the board of directors. One of the most significant developments in this new era was the entry of two new companies to the holding in 2005: TÜPRAŞ, the largest industrial enterprise in Turkey, and Yapı Kredi Bank. The merger between Yapı Kredi and Koçbank in 2006 led to Yapı Kredi Bank becoming the fourth largest bank in Turkey. Ömer M. Koç became chair of the board of directors following the death of Mustafa V. Koç on January 21, 2016.

Koç Holding today

Koç Holding operates across a number of fields, including energy, automotive, consumer durables, finance, food, retail, construction, tourism, transportation, defense and information technology. Foreign companies in partnership with holding companies are: Ford Motor Co. (US), LG Electronics (South Korea), UniCredit Group (Italy), Fiat Auto SPA (Italy), Fuchs Petrolub AG (Germany), B&Q (England), CNH Industrial NV (Italy) and Voltas (India). CEO of Koç Holding Levent Çakıroğlu described the cornerstones of the group’s current strategy for 2018 as: “expanding our global presence, increasing competitiveness, developing our technology and innovative capabilities and creating powerful brands”.

Koç Holding companies (2018)

Koç Holding companies (2018)

Consumer Durables Group
Arçelik AŞ
Arçelik LG Klima San. Tic. AŞ
Beko A and NZ Pty Ltd. (Australia)
Beko Deutschland GMBH
Beko Egypt Trading LLC (Egypt)
Beko Electrical Appliances Co. Ltd. (China)
Beko Electronics Espana SL
Beko France SAS
Beko Italy SRL
Beko LLC (Russia)
Beko PLC (United Kingdom)
Beko SA (Poland)
Beko SA Cesko (Czech Republic)
Beko Shanghai Trading Co. (China)
Beko Slovakia SRO
Beko Ukraine LLC
Defy Appliances (Pty) Ltd.
Elektra Bregenz AG
Grundig Intermedia GmbH
SC Arctic SA

Energy Group
Akpa AŞ
Aygaz AŞ
Aygaz Doğal Gaz Toptan Satış AŞ
Demir Export AŞ
Ditaş Deniz İşletmeciliği ve Tankerciliği AŞ
Entek Elektrik Üretimi AŞ
Opet Fuchs Madeni Yağ AŞ
Opet International London Ltd.
Opet Petrolcülük AŞ
Opet Trade (Singapore) Pte. Ltd.
THY-Opet Havacılık Yakıtları AŞ
TÜPRAŞ-Türkiye Petrol Rafinerileri AŞ

Finance Group
Koç Finansman AŞ
Yapı Kredi Bank Azerbaijan
Yapı Kredi Bank Moscow
Yapı Kredi Bank Nederland NV
Yapı Kredi Faktoring AŞ
Yapı Kredi Finansal Kiralama AO
Yapı Kredi Portföy Yönetimi AŞ
Yapı Kredi Yatırım Menkul Değerler AŞ
Yapı Kredi-Koray Gayrimenkul Yatırım Ortaklığı AŞ
Yapı ve Kredi Bankası AŞ

Automotive Group
Ford Otomotiv Sanayii AŞ
Koç Fiat Kredi Finansman AŞ
Otokar Otomotiv ve Savunma Sanayii AŞ
Otokoç Otomotiv Tic. ve San. AŞ
Otokoç Sigorta Aracılık Hizmetleri AŞ
Tofaş Türk Otomobil Fabrikası AŞ
Türk Traktör ve Ziraat Makinaları AŞ

Other Sector Companies
Ark İnşaat AŞ
Bilkom AŞ
Divan Turizm İşletmeleri AŞ
Düzey Tüketim Malları Sanayi Pazarlama
ve Ticaret AŞ
Inventram AŞ
Koç Bilgi ve Savunma Teknolojileri AŞ
Koç Sistem Bilgi ve İletişim Hizmetleri AŞ
Koçtaş Yapı Malzemeleri AŞ
Marmaris Altınyunus AŞ
Ram Foreign Trade Inc.
RMK Marine Gemi Yapım Sanayii ve
Deniz Taşımacılığı İşletmesi AŞ
Setair Hava Taşımacılığı ve Hizmetleri AŞ
Setur Servis Turistik AŞ
Tanı Pazarlama ve İletişim Hizmetleri AŞ
Tat Gıda Sanayi
Tek-Art Kalamış ve Fenerbahçe Turizm Tesisleri AŞ
Yapı Kredi Kültür ve Sanat Yayıncılık Ticaret ve Sanayi AŞ
Zer Merkezi Hizmetler AŞ

Muhterem Hissedarlar,
Bugün 24 Şubat Pazartesi saat 15.00’dir. Burada 11 Aralık 1963 tarihinde Ticaret Sicili Gazetesi’nde ilân edilen, yılbaşına kadar 20 günlük bir tarihi olan Koç Holding şirketimizin normal umumî heyeti olarak toplanmış bulunuyoruz. Bu vesileyle bir konuşma yapmak üzere huzurunuza çıkmış bulunuyorum.

Ticarî hayatımın en mühim saatlerini yaşıyorum.

1916 senesi sonbaharında Koçzade Hacı Mustafa Rahmi olarak Ankara’da Karaoğlan Çarşısı’nda evimizin altında 120 lira sermayeyle bakkaliye eşyası satmak üzere babamın namına işe başladık. Bu dükkân seneler geçtikçe iştigal mevzuunu değiştirerek 1926 senesinde bu işi yapabileceğime inanan merhum pederim tarafından namıma çevrildi. Ticaret Odası’na tescil edildi ve Koçzade Ahmet Vehbi olarak işe başladım.

Her sene biraz daha ileri giden işimi bir anonim şirket yapmaya karar verdim. Mütehassıs arkadaşlarla istişare ederek firmayı üzerime aldıktan 11 sene sonra yani 1937 Temmuz’unda Koç Ticaret Anonim Şirketi’ni kurduk. Faaliyete geçen şirketimiz kıymetli mesai arkadaşlarımın yardımıyla her sene biraz daha ileri gitti. Aynı zamanda kazandığım bu paralarla anonim ve limitet şirketler kurduk.

Bir taraftan çalışıyor, diğer taraftan yurt içinde ve dışında benden evvel kurulmuş firmaların durumlarını tetkik ediyordum. Türkiye’de benden evvel ve benim zamanımda kurulmuş birçok firma, bu arada Abdurrahman Naci Demirağ, Bekir Kara, Avunduk, Ali Albayrak gibi müesseseler kurucularının ölümünden sonra yıkılıp gitmişlerdir.

Avrupa’nın büyük firmalarının uzun seneler nasıl ayakta durduklarını tetkik ettim. Müesseseyi şahsımla kâim olmaktan çıkarmanın en doğru yol olacağı kanaatine vardım. 1948’den itibaren malî ve hukukî kanunlarımızı tetkik ettirdim.

Çifte kurumlar vergisi bir holding kurulmasına, holdingi içerisine alan bir vakıf ise Medenî Kanun’umuza uymadığından, yıllarca hususî bir kanun çıkarılması için uğraştık, muvaffak olamadık. En nihayet 1961 senesinde bu durumun düzeltilmesiyle holdingi kurmak teşebbüsünü hızlandırdık ve kurduk.

Düşündüğümüz vakfı ancak hususî bir kanun çıktığı takdirde kurabileceğiz. Bu çıkıncaya kadar da şahsıma ait holding hisselerinden 5 milyon liralık hisse senedi vermek suretiyle, bunların gelirleriyle hayır işlerine devam edilecektir.

Holdingi kurmaktaki maksatlarımızdan en mühimleri:
  – Ölümümden sonra, bu kadar emekle meydana gelen bir teşkilâtı yaşatmak,
  – Bugün çalışanlara, yarın çalışacaklara hisse senetleri satmak suretiyle onları müesseseye bağlamak,
  – Holding içinde sosyal hususlara ehemmiyet vererek işten ayrılanların istikballerini temin etmektir.
Şahsen bu holdingi kurmakla çok mesudum. Bugün şu binada 48 kişilik kurucu ortaklardan teşekkül eden umumî heyetin, yarın binlerce azası olacaktır. Koç Holding çok ilerleyecek, Türkiye’de hususî sektörü temsil eden en büyük müessese olacak, memlekete faydalı olduğunu gören halk ve hükümet, Koç Holding’i tutacak, bunlardan daha mühimi, bizden sonra geleceklere örnek olacak ve birçok holdingler kurulacak, bu memleket ileri gidecektir.

İşte dünya çapında Siemens müessesesinin ilk başladığı senenin bilançosu. O da bizim gibi o günün devrine göre ufak bir sermayeyle işe başlamıştır. Biz de ufak bir sermayeyle işe başladık, biz de ileri gideceğiz.

Holdingin kuruluşunda birkaç arkadaş müstesna, büyük bir ekseriyet bana müzahir olmuşlardır. Kendilerine teşekkür ederim.
İnsanlar fani. Ben de bir gün şu veya bu şekilde bu işin başından ayrılacağım. Bilhassa kuruluşundan 10 sene sonraya kadar geçecek müddet zarfında hanımıma, çocuklarıma, damatlarıma ve o günkü idareci arkadaşlarıma çok mühim vazifeler düşmektedir.

Ben 17 yaşımdan itibaren 46 sene geceli-gündüzlü çalıştım, bu hale getirdim. Şimdi sizlere teslim ediyorum. Eğer bizlerin, benim ilelebet huzur içinde kalmamı istiyorsanız bu müesseseyi devam ettirirsiniz. Ufak tefek kaprisler uğruna müessese yıkılmasın.

Şahsî düşüncelere, kaprislere kapılarak beceriksiz, kabiliyetsiz adamları iş başına getirmeyiniz. Bütün şirketler kabiliyetli insanların omuzlarında yükselmektedir. Bugün çalıştığımız Ford, Siemens, General Electric gibi müesseseler en büyük misaldir.

Bu gibi müesseselerin gittikleri yoldan gidiniz.

1954 senesinde Yalova toplantısındaki fikirlerimi ancak 10 senede tahakkuk ettirebildim. Buna da çok şükür. Şirket bünyesinde yapılması icap eden daha çok iş vardır. Bunları da bir an evvel tahakkuk ettirmek hepimizin vazifesidir…

Hepinize sevgi ve saygılarımı sunarak sözlerime son veriyorum.
Vehbi Koç, Hayat Hikâyem, 4. Bas., Vehbi Koç Vakfı Yayınları, İstanbul 1983, s. 94-101
Abadan Unat, Nermin

Political scientist who received the Vehbi Koç Award for education in 2012.