How can a foreign investor benefit from networks in Turkey

Inane Gurbuz, Executive Manager EMEA of Azkan Group and professional coach in Turkish Management, shares an excerpt “how can a foreign investor benefit from networks in Turkey” from his book “Doing business in Turkey: a guide to success”

If you are opening a branch, a factory, or setting up a team: simply by recruiting candidates who mainly come from the same background. Given that all these people know each other, they owe it to each other to be hard-working, committed, and dedicated: you can achieve a really positive dynamic, but beware of excess (see the section “Limits of the system”).

How can a foreign investor benefit from networks in Turkey ? 

During negotiations,get yourself recommended by a prominent member. They usually have a similar profile: senior in age and often quoted and appreciated by their peers as a “reference”. To detect such people, you simply need to spend a good amount of time with your Turkish contacts: in this case, several meetings where you drink tea together and talk about everything and nothing. From a Western perspective, this series of encounters would be considered a complete waste of time. But eventually, they will lead you to meet the “patron” of the network. If it turns out that you are on the same wavelength, he may open up his address book to you and help you capture the Turkish market.

Enjoying the benefits of a group clearly has its trade-off. In this case, your fellow members will expect as much from you in return.

  1. Unfailingloyalty: If somebody asks you for a service, you must play the game.Turning a person down could be fatal. For this reason, even if you don’t feel capable, you should try anyway and show that you have done your best (see also the section “The Turks never say no”). If it turns out that you can’t be counted on, your comrades will solicit you less often and in return you will not be able to rely on them either: theflipside of the coin.
  2. Unfailing availability:An invitation for tea? An unexpected phone call? You must be available! Of course, we all have our daily priorities. And in such a case, you will need strong arguments, especially if the invitation comes from a figure who is appreciated and recognized by all.
  3. The domino effect: when you are too involved in a network, it can ultimately harm you. At a certain age, you realize that your life comes down to a group of people: your children attend the same schools, you are in the same sports clubs, your colleagues are indirect friends, your wives meet up together regularly,at weekends you get together as a family… you are bound to this system for life! Whether you are part of a brotherhood, a group of former alumni, or another affiliation,you know each other’s secrets and private lives. You cannot detach yourself from them and group solidarity takes precedence over the individual at your own risk and peril.

The rest of this text is available in our book “Doing business in Turkey: a guide to success” . Since 2005, AZKAN Group has acted as a consulting firm for all your development projects in the Turkish market: consulting in implementation, detection of partners, market research, Recruitment Turkey, Payroll Turkey ….