Kamil Özdağ, Ensar Industry; “Africa and Asia are among our target markets. This is because countries’ oil revenue in this region has dropped and they want to boost domestic production. This development has created an advantage for us. We decided on our target countries through close examination into these regions. Our ongoing project in Turkmenistan, the rising market in Central Asia, is our biggest project to date.”
Kamil ÖZDAĞ – Ensar Electronic and Mechanic Industry Inc., General Manager
Ensar Electronic and Mechanic Industry, founded as a result of the Saray Biscuit’s experience in snack food, added new players to the sector by turn-key projects. To date, the company has completed more than 30 plants in Turkey and foreign countries. Algeria, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan, Iran, Congo, Liberia, Germany, Zambia, Egypt, Angola, Morocco and Senegal are among the firm’s target markets. Kamil Özdağ, the director of the Ensar Electronic and Mechanic Industry, said the company manages all the process in plants they build from beginning to end, adding that this helps customers to deal with a single company to handle all the needs of the plant. Director Özdağ answered The Miller Magazine’s questions on their business.
The Ensar Electronic and Mechanic Industry was founded as a technology company after years of the Saray Biscuit’s experience in snack food. Why did the Saray Holding decide to invest in technology production? Can you tell us about the founding story and the aim of Ensar?
The Ensar Industry, Istanbul-based technology firm of Saray Holding, has been established in 1995 with transferring the experience of Saray Biscuits, whose products are sold in more than 110 countries, in snack food sector to the technology sector. Today, with our experts and experienced personnel, we build high capacity turn-key plant and factories with customized solutions by providing technology and know-how both domestically and abroad. We also work on innovative products in mechanical, electronic and software fields. Especially, we contribute to Turkey’s economy with our projects that provide added value and efficiency to the food sector.
Can you give information about Ensar’s production facilities, the technologies it produces and the services it provides?
As you said, we build turn-key production facilities. We build preparatory kitchens and packaging machines together with production facilities for biscuits, coated pastry cakes, waffles, crackers, chocolate, marshmallows and cream sandwiches. We also provide raw material procurement, formulation support, feasibility study, training of production staff and packaging (packaging, parcel, box) material procurement. Thus, customers deal with one company to handle all the needs of the plant. The Ensar Industry manages all the process in plants they build from beginning to end.
What advantage does keeping a company that produces snack food within the structure of Saray Holding provide on technology development and service?
Saray Biscuits has an important experience in foreign markets as it exports to more than 110 countries on 5 continents. It knows exactly what is required in the market, what its needs are. In addition, it introduces a lot of productivity work to use its facilities more effectively, reduce waste rates, maximize capacity utilization and reduce costs. All these works and experience of Saray Biscuits provide a broad-range perspective to allow us to design our facilities more universally, to identify the optimum product range more easily that our customers can produce and to determine which products will be sold quickly.
Do you think that customers that you build a factory for are also your rivals? This must require a high-level professional management and working style.
Of course, the facilities established by Ensar Industry can sometimes be in the same sector as our group companies. However, our point of view here is to take our industry forward with our colleagues and to bring quality products together with the people of the world in the direction of service to humanity. The world is still a huge market. As Saray Group, we continue to work as a global institution with our products, sectorial know-how and services.
Until now, how many installations have you set up in Turkey and abroad? Now, how many countries and how many factories are using Ensar Industrial technologies?
The countries we export include Algeria, Bangladesh, Turkmenistan, Iran, Congo, Liberia, Germany, Zambia, Egypt, Angola, Morocco and Senegal. With our sectorial experience, we have already established more than 30 facilities in Turkey and abroad. With its expert R&D team and developed technologies, Ensar Electronic maintains its leading position in the sector.
OUR BIGGEST PROJECT IS IN TURKMENISTAN
Especially, Asia and Africa are among your target markets. Can you tell us about the importance of these regions? Can you tell us about your projects in these regions, particularly the new ones in Turkmenistan and Bangladesh?
Yes, African and Asian countries are among our target markets. This is because countries’ oil revenue in this region has dropped and they want to boost domestic production. This fact has created an advantage for us. We determined our target countries through close examination into these regions. Our ongoing project in Turkmenistan, the rising market in Central Asia, is our biggest project to date. The company has built three facilities in this country and two facilities to be completed until the end of the year. Thus, we will reach a production capacity of 100 tons. These facilities will produce varieties of cocoa-coated sauce-filled cakes, creamy sandwich biscuits, plain biscuits, cacao-covered marshmallow sandwich biscuits and cocoa-coated wafers. The plant we will build in Bangladesh will produce cream sandwich biscuits and cracker product groups. In Algeria, we built a marshmallow and cream sandwich biscuit manufacturing facility. In our second project, we completed our studies to build a full-automatic facility to produce marshmallow sandwich biscuit similar to Saray’s products (Çikilop and Çikilopçuk).
At what point do you see yourself when compared to other competitors around the world in snack product technology? What can you say about your place in the market, your technology qualities, your price policy, your level of competitiveness?
Although it seems like the sector we serve is food machines, we have a concept that separates Ensar Industry from our competitors. We build turn-key facilities. Today it is really difficult to find a firm that serves in this way in Turkey and in foreign markets. The Ensar Industry undertakes the responsibility of the entire plant. This is an unprecedented concept in our sector. From raw material procurement to prescription and formulation support, training of production personnel, cost analysis, packaging materials, laboratory equipment and analysis, everything is provided by a single company. Our customers deal with a single company and receive their facilities in working condition. We are expecting that our industry will show an improvement in this direction and have an environment where delivery of turn-key facilities will be talked about.
What kind of conditions is necessary for Turkish technology producers to be more successful in foreign countries and to be more preferable? What should companies and the government do about this?
First of all, we need to speed up investments made in this area and trust ourselves. The work that emerges after an investment paves the way for the second one. At this point, it is important to move forward more aggressively to prove yourself. Both as the country and companies, we should support investments in this direction. We must cooperate in R&D and training support to increase this number.
Can we talk about some of the trends in the market? You export to many regions around the globe. How do consumer preferences for snack products change by region? How does this change reflect on thetechnology?
In 1987, when we have started conducting export business, it was still only a dream for many companies. We give guidance and support to our customers with this experience. We know the demands in different countries. In addition, we are also in the process of locating market research for our customers to determine which products will be sold quickly. In this context, we are guiding our customers in Egypt and Algeria to marshmallow field because there is a gap in this market. We have advised our customers in Bangladesh, Congo and Liberia to produce more in biscuits and crackers groups.
Lastly, would you like to add any words about your future plans and goals?
We entered into an opportunity period, with import quotas and governments providing quick financial support to projects supporting local productions. At such a time, we revised our annual growth targets to 25 percent. Our goal is to expand to all over the world! We are working hard to do our bit so that Turkey can reach its export target of 500 billion USD by 2023.