Mete Yılmazer, Pasfil: “We have an investment project to make production in Istanbul. It is included in the 2018 plan. This is a project about producing machines we now import. We have completed feasibility studies. I hope that we will have started this investment plan in 2018 if things go well.”
Pasfil Makine, operating under Kulp Makine, supplies filling products for pastry, desserts and bakery products. Stating that they have extended their portfolio and operations through filled pastry machines, dry cake machines, sesame machines, finished products machines, croquet machines, fresh pasta, ravioli and noodle machines, crepe machines, stuffed meatballs and meatball shaping machines, Pasfil Makine General Manager Mete Yılmazer said that they export to all over the world and provided installation, training and spare parts services to their customers. In our interview with Pasfil Makine General Manager Mete Yılmazer, we have talked about the sectoral developments and his company which provides machine support to firms that mainly produce niche products.
Mr. Yılmazer, could you give us information about Pasfil Makine?
Pasfil Makine was founded in 2005 under Kulp Machine. Kulp Makina is a 35-year-old family business. We are a company that produces filling machines in Istanbul. Pasfil Makine is a company that imports and exports. It has been importing and exporting pasta machines and biscuit and cookie machines in Istanbul for 12 years.
We export to more than 40 countries in the world. We sell products to America, Australia, the Middle East and Central Asia. We mainly send pasta machines to Central Asian countries. We export cookie machines mostly to the Middle East and Western European countries. We do not manufacture them. We send the machines we import from Italy to the Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries. We sell the machines we import from Brazil and Poland to Europe and America. We, as Pasfil Makine, do not have our own production but we sell the products of our family business, Kulp Makina, to the Middle East, Iran, Colombia, America and other target markets.
How are your sales going? Is the domestic market or exports more active?
I can say that the domestic market is more effective in the sales figures of the company. Exports account for 40 percent of the sales. We are stronger in the domestic market. Since our target in the pasta and biscuits sector is mostly medium sized companies, we are stronger in this area. Our pasta lines are not very big, and we have lines that produce from 200 kilograms up to 600 kilograms per hour. They are not very big factories. We sell machines to the medium-sized firms producing a ton of pasta including boutique pasta, gluten-free and vegetable pasta. Likewise, we don’t have large-scale biscuits machines; we have mainly machines for niche production and machines for filled and unfilled products.
How are your works going and do you sell turnkey projects?
We are not engaged in turnkey projects. We do not sell very big machines. Yet big factories purchase our machines and they use them in other production methods. Since our machines are more of medium-sized, they are used in addition to the existing machines of large factories.
How was 2017 for you and could you evaluate this 11-month-period? How do the regional countries affect your sales?
Our sales have been better in the last three years. Things were not good in 2016. It was a bad year. Our sales were not at the desired level. We are happy with the sales figures of the last three months. We don’t experience any problems in exports, but the domestic market is a bit fluctuating. We have stopped to export to war-battered countries. However, our sales to Central Asian countries and other Arab countries are going on. We have stopped to sell machines only to the countries where there is a war raging. For the time being, we have halted the exports to two countries.
How does the fluctuating exchange rate affect you?
It is affecting us very negatively in the domestic market. Our sales are influenced by up to 100 percent. We cannot protect ourselves against this fluctuation. We are negatively influenced since our sales are in Euro. Because we are importing the machines from Poland and Italy, the sales to the domestic market come to a standstill when there is fluctuation in the exchange rate. People tend to wait when the exchange rate increases; they wait for the exchange rate to slacken. The fluctuation of the last month causes us pain. We don’t have the chance to fix the exchange rate. Italy doesn’t fix the exchange rate when selling the machines or the products to you so you cannot do either.
Do you have an investment plan for the upcoming period?
We have an employment of 35 people at Kulp Makina and 6 in Pasfil. We have an investment project to produce in Istanbul. It is included in the 2018 plan. This is a project about producing the machines we import for now. We have completed feasibility studies. I hope that we will have started this investment plan in 2018 if things go well.”
Do consumer habits in the Middle East affect your machine sales?
Absolutely. Pasta production and consumption are becoming very common in the Middle East and Central Asia. Just as noodle has come to Turkey and secured a certain market share, pasta sales are increasing in the Middle East and Central Asia.
WE SELL NICHE PRODUCT MACHINES
Who are your customers? Which companies do you mostly sell machines?
Our customers are not companies that compete with big factories, but rather companies manufacturing niche products and selling a kilo of pasta for 10 Turkish liras instead of 1 Turkish Lira. These are places that make better, different and more nutritious pasta. They produce gluten-free production from the buckwheat. As we have customers producing pasta with beets, carrots, zucchini and spinach, they are out of the competition.
Apart from biscuits and pasta machines, we have egg crushing machines. It separates the yolk and albumen of the egg. These machines are mostly used by cake makers because effect and contribution of the liquid egg and the fresh broken egg on the product are very different. While the sponge cake made with a normal liquid egg doesn’t rise, a completely different product emerges with those made with a freshly broken egg. We sell these machines to the bakery sector. Especially producers of cake and sponge cakes or liquid egg use these products. We supplied vacuum pasta machines to the sector.