Levent Urgan – Bülent Urgan Interview

What is establishment story of Urgan Shoes ?

Levent Urgan: Our father had started to do this business by selling the shoes called “black rubber” in 1976 in Gaziantep. Before him, his father was making the shoes named “ black rubber” that was appealing to the villagers. After a while, my father had proceed to the industy in 1976 in Gaziantep. We came to Istanbul in 1984. We were partner with our relatives until 1988. Then we have seperated. We enlarged our businesses with our deceased father. Today, we have taken over the businesses.

Which customer mass is appealed to your products?

Levent Urgan: Our products are based on fast moving consumer more. More middle and lower segment.

What type of trends about product and design are there in this year ?

Levent Urgan: This year, specially, textile materials, anorak and knitted fabrics that are called as mesh are coming to the forefront seriously. Bülent Urgan: People follow the fashionable, multicoloured colours instead of paying a lot of money for a leather shoe. People get used to the fast consumption a little bit. Instead of spend TRL 200, they prefer to buy a shoe in TRL 50 but in four different colours to combine with dress. So, we increased the material combinations and alternatives. We use linen that is used by Nike and Adidas also.

Are you attending to the fairs? Do you make arrangements?

Bülent Urgan: We have the royalty of Dunlop that is a British brand. We are participating to the fairs in Istanbul to promote and marketing. On the other hand, we arrange dealers meeting at our own location. We don’t need to participate to the fairs that are held in other countries at present so much. As being a manufacturer, as well as produce for our own company that has the royalty of Dunlop; we produce for the chain stores in Turkey and over the world as well. For example; Zara Group at overseas, Ziylan Group in Turkey, Boynerler, LC Waikiki, Koton etc…

Do you find the government assistance as sufficient for industry?

Do you take the advantage sufficiently? Bülent Urgan: By making a very good decision, our government has brought some supervisions to protect domestic producer against imported goods, additional customs duties and financial obligations. Those are very important and must continue. By means of this approach, the companies that make investments for technology, Research and Development; have achieved a substantial rise. Such that, our employees have increased from 200 to 500; our total indoor production area has enlarged from 10.000 m2 to 20.000 m2 at present. Our sector is recently improving. The development that was done in textile 30 years ago, we newly realize from the point of qualified man power, education, design and at all points. So, because of this, the government should assist this sector.

How do you consider the future of the industry by looking to the developing dynamics?

Bülent Urgan: The future of the industy is very good indeed. World’s giant companies from overseas are aiming to enter into Turkey. However, black economy and unfair competition are big problems. There are a lot of companies that are failing to comply with the Professional standards and responsibilities. The foreign companies are taking the false impressions. They may have difficulties about finding the companies that work correctly and rigorous, fulfill the obligations. There are Deicmann, Zara and many more that are aiming to make manufacturing in Turkey but they are not able to do it. Because, there are production environment, labour security, social rights, quality standards, environmental protection, consumer safety, financial record criteria etc, a lot of critearia about labour and inspection. I mean, everything should be in conformity with modern norms and regulations. However, unfortunately, there are still a lot of companies that have no tax registration, employ insured employees in one tenth of normal quantity called as under the counter. We have to modify this companies by support. Our supporting industry must also develop itself too

Well, how industry can make this developing opportunities to the joint acquisition? How are the industrial cooperation and collaboration from this point of view?

Due to having limited companies that can expand overseas, there are more constructive mood when we look out to the abroad. However, we are not in aimed position for domestic market. Concerning to the unfair competition production infrastructure, physical environment and other aspects, we are not ready to utilize the opportunities head towards to our country yet. The government has to bring order the underground and illegal industry by becoming a part of the activity. Because, it brings serious costs to the companies that are working on the right way and it causes an unfair competition. So, all sector and country has to bear the losses. For example, if we review the Inteks Group, they sell 60 million of pairs of shoes yearly. However, Turkey just buy 1.5% of this. Whereas, they faced us. They are aiming to make 5 million pairs of shoes in Turkey and find a great variety of products. Unfortunately, they are not able to find sufficient number of companies that can meet competence criterion. Whenas, we have substantial advantages concerning to the logistic distance in comparison with far east.

What are your competitive features as being Urgan Shoes ?

Bülent Urgan: I can clearly express that the quality, price, competition, rapidity; this four things. We try to provide the best service in its own price scale. World is changing very fast and you drop behind if you do not comprehend this change. The innovation, goals keep the people spry.

Since when your trade with Palamut Group i s running on and how is going?

Bülent Urgan: We are working with Palamut Group for 4-5 years that they are older than usd in this industry. We are planning to increase our trade volume more with this supporting industry that they have a strong place in the industry. We place special emphasis on following the latest developments. We consider that the diversity and service speed are prominent features of Palamut Group.

Levent Urgan: We should chase our dreams and determine the goal. We should not determine the limit and need to make effort. The fashion is changing very rapidly and it is quite difficult to be successful if you do not follow those changes. There were three shoe colours only when we entered into this industry. Men was not wearing so much variety of the shoes. Today, there is 30 colours even for men collection.

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