Ersin Turgut, the Board Member of Seval Kablo A.S. said: Turkey’s largest cable factory we will establish
Ersin Turgut, Board Member and Export Manager of Seval Kablo, who emphasized that there is an intense
competition in the cable sector, stated that in this competition by realizing continuous investments, one could come to the forefront. Ersin Turgut also gave the good news that they will establish a mega factory by gathering their existing factories together, that will be the biggest cable factory of Turkey.
Turkey is one of the countries that proceeded significantly in Turkish cable production in the last 10 years. In this development process, Seval Kablo is shining with their renewals and export perfor-mance both in Denizli and all throughout the country.We discussed about the leaps of Seval Kablo in recent years and their future targets with Ersin Turgut, Board member and Export Manager of the company.
How would you interpret the development of cable sector in Turkey and the situation of Seval Kablo in the sector ?
There are more than 300 cable factories in Turkey.I don’t know the number in the world but in European region, Turkey is the cable base both with its production capacity and the materials being used. Certain materials, the usage of which is not preferred in Europe, are being used in Turkey. In fact, cable sector developed a lot in the last 10 years with respect to exports.But, it has advanced even faster in the last 5 years. We are among the biggest 4-5 companies between 300 companies in Turkey. There are 2 foreign companies among these. In the recent 3 years, we come in first in exports in cable sector in Turkey. At the same time, we come in first among all the cable exporters in Denizli. 10 years ago, different companies were coming in first. We think that we have come to a good point with the progresses and investments we realized in the last 3 years. We are exporting 70-75 percent of the production. 30 percent of it is being presented to the domestic market. We export to very different countries. We are mainly exporting to Europe but we realize exports to more than 80 different countries in the world. Of course, there is density in 10 countries. In the last few years, we commenced with the production of medium voltage cables.
Medium voltage cable is an underground cable that carries voltage up to 36 thousand volts. In this area, there are few competitors.There are 7 cable factories which produce this in Turkey. It is a product with big investment, the production of which is based on know how and research and development design team. We also obtained the machine which produces the raw material that is used in the production of cable, that does not transmit flames and which we name as the type with no halogen. We are among 4 cable factories which realized this in Turkey until now. This raw material generally comes from abroad.
Is the know-how of this product from outside ?
No. Some of the materials are from outside but we are producing it ourselves. This can be purchased as per receipt or with big amounts or you are creating your own receipt according to your own product group. This is a little bit like eating. You are learning this meal as you realize it. We learned it in a period of one year but we are producing it ourselves for 2.5 years. We first produced it with the local machine and now we obtained the foreign machine. We brought the more professional one and we learned the business.In fact, we are realizing what 4-5 factories can do, in a single place. We can compete in Turkey because we have realized this but the factories abroad are even bigger than us. Competing with them was more difficult. This is why we are making investment. We should realize investments that would increase value addition.
Can you say “We are in the first league” against those big factories?
Of course, we are in the first league. We are in the champions league not all around the world, but in the markets where we work densely. With respect to markets, we are mainly working in Europe. Countries such as England, Ireland, and Holland… Now there are bigger players in South Africa or among the players that we don’t know, there are those products that we sell. Of course, we are not known much there but in European market, as Seval Kablo we are among the first 5-10 companies.
Do you have a special work for African market?
Generally, it is difficult to make contacts in African market. It is difficult to reach them through e-mail. Either you should take your bag and go there or you should have a connection there or they must find you. Generally, they are finding us. Apart from this, we are participating in the foreign exhibi-tions. Generally we are preferring fairs with national incentives. However, in Africa we don’t realize dense activities like in European market.
Now that we mentioned Europe, let us discuss CPR (Construction Products Regulation) that will enter into force on the 1th of July..
This regulation makes the qualities of the cable which is used in high buildings, residences, and hospitals, which does not have halogen and that does not transmit flames, come to the forefront in European Union.It Turkey, it will be used as well but I can not know how much compliance could be achieved. With the new regulation, energy, smoke density of this cable which is released as it is burning, and the quantity which drops are all being evaluated. The laboratories where these criteria can be tested are available only in 3 companies in Turkey for now. Seval Kablo is one of them. A cable factory in Bursa and I think another factory in Denizli are trying to realize this. This coincides to 1 percent among 300 cable factories. Transition to cable standard without halogen will be a little difficult in Turkey but in European Union, this will be applied.
How will this be inspected ?
Generally, there is a series weakness regarding the inspections in cable sector. We wish that we could sell more than 30 percent of our production in Turkey but there is unfair competition.
What is unfair competition ?
Final user does not investigate which cable is used in the building. Unfortunately, reason for the occurrence of many fire incidents is electrical contact and cable, after cigarettes. The reason is because of the non-standard material that is used in them. In Turkey, there are many com- panies which produce and sell these. This is the subject where we are striving a lot.
Is the contractor doing this as being aware ?
Some of them as being aware and some of them as not being aware.. Companies which are price-focused are purchasing them as they are convenient products. Some of them buy them thinking that they won’t reside in those places and some are purchasing them without being conscious.
Do we have an official standard in cable production ?
There is TSE in Turkey.In fact, this standard is sufficient but control of the standard and compliance with it are insufficient. In fact, the standards in the world are also the same but there is a problem with respect to their being controlled. There is inspection being done but the penalties are at very low levels.
Do the contractor companies and companies that create projects have any legal liabilities regarding this subject ?
Generally, the party which places TSE stamp on the product is responsible regarding the cables. Because the factory that produces the cable is undertaking to make production with TSE standard. There are no problems regarding the conscious buyers. They know what are produced by 5 cable factories in Turkey and they work with them. In big projects, the names of 3-4 brands are written on the specifications. Regarding this, there is a problem such that 2 foreign companies and 1 Turkish company are generally written automatically like copying ans pasting.20 years ago, names of 3 companies were being written. In case that factory would be closed, they wouldn’t even recognize that and they would continue writing that brand. In other words, no research is being done.
Regarding this issue, what kind of works are you realizing as Seval Kablo?
We have a team that is focused on projects, as being composed of nearly 8 people.Three of them in Istanbul, three of them in Ankara, and two of them in Izmir, go to introduce our company by giving catalogues and samples aiming for the name of our brand to be written in the projects. We are bringing the project owners to the factory as much as possible. Because our factory is one of the most modern factories in Turkey. There are no projects for which visits are made to our factory but no approval has been taken, until now. However, it is difficult to break the habit of bringing people to the factory. Now we are trying to change this. Unfortunately, the interpretation of people are at the forefront instead of the documents. The main reason for our being successful abroad is the impor-tance of documents, being the certificates we present, our work completion certificates, test results, and our reports. When these are reviewed, it is no more very important whether the company is Turkish or Afghan. The important point is to fulfill their requests. But the situation is different in Turkey. I am coming in first in exports of Turkey but I am facing more difficulties as I am selling products to Turkey.
How is your situation with tenders ?
We are participating in certain tenders opened by electricity distribution companies. If the leading companies participate and competition is equal, there is no problem but if it is now, there is no meaning for us to participate in these tenders. Because our quality and our prices are specific.We don’t have a chance to offer any price to a project. Therefore, we are mainly choosing our compe-titors. If they are the correct competitors, then we are competing. We are trying not to take part in the same project with companies that don’t realize standard production. Therefore, we are present in unique projects, in exports, and at places where our products will be valued.
Have you realized social responsibility projects in this respect ?
Recently, I gave a conference at Yıldız Technical University about CPR and fire regulation. We made a presentation to electrical engineers there. Because in the end, they are the people who will write the names in the projects and who will get to know the cables. Now we are trying to diversify this and to go to different universities and to tell about the facts. I think that these are being useful. Let us also talk about the relationship between universities and the industry.
Those attending the university should have some of their lessons at the factories, like it is being done in Germany. This could be realized for 2 or 4 hours in a week in a way not to disturb the production and to make contribution to their education. For example, we have conference and training halls, which they can use if they would want to learn. We are open for this subject. Cable sector is one of the shining sectors in Turkey. Even though the product range does not have a very high value addi-tion, in the end 2 percent of cable production in the world is being realized in Turkey. 10 years ago, this figure was 0,5. Meaning that there is an increase of 4 times in 10 years time. This number could reach 5 percent by increasing. This shows that cable sector has a growth potential of 2-3 times. We need qualified man power to achieve this growth. If we would consider Denizli specifically, there are 12 pieces of cable factories and one big copper factory. These could come together to realize some-thing commonly. A laboratory or a small workshop could be established and trainings could be given there. But this can not be achieved alone. This could be realized not only for universities but also for vocational high schools. Cable division and plastic division should be opened in the schools. At least they should be opened in Denizli. Because there is a big need in Denizli.
Do you think about purchasing a factory as being part of your growth targets?
We don’t have such a thought. Because at the moment our investments are continuing.But we can think about growing by realizing purchasing in the future as well. Just like there was withdrawal from production in Europe, there can be withdrawals in Turkey within next 10-20 years. Because expenses and legal liabilities are beginning to increase. As the costs increase, production shifts to other countries. Maybe we can start to buy and sell just like Europeans are doing. Currently, we are com-posed of 5-6 factories in Denizli. They are not all in one location. We have a project to bring them all together and to establish a mega factory. We are planning to install a facility on 100 decare of our land having an area of 200 decare. This facility will become the biggest cable factory of Turkey. We will get smaller if we don’t make investments. Because many companies are growing and they are coming from the back. We succeeded to come in first by coming from the back. It is not difficult to come in first but it is difficult to stay as first.