When you grow, we grow and that is our wish
Cihat Bayram, managing director of Spot Kimya in Turkey has a straightforward vision for TANATEX as it celebrates its 60th anniversary. “Our vision is for the business to grow because as it grows, we grow and that is our wish,” he says.
Partners like Spot Kimya are a key ingredient in TANATEX’s long success, he believes: “In my opinion part of the strength of the business comes down to its relations with customers and the fact that in Europe TANATEX has long-standing partners. We are the eyes of the company and we represent it every day in front of its customers.”
Spot Kimya was set up by Cihat and his two brothers in 1991 having won the agency to market TANATEX Chemicals in Turkey. It was a great time to launch. The Turkish textile market grew rapidly throughout the 1990s. Furthermore, they benefited from the unique products they were selling. “We had products that nobody else had which opened doors for us as a new company,” he says. “The merger with Bayer in 2001 then led to a huge portfolio and this continues to be a strength alongside innovation, R&D and customer-oriented growth.”
Just-in-time is making response speed more critical
A chemical engineer with a PhD in textile chemistry, Cihat has a strong technical background. However, it is the daily contact with customers that keeps him very in tune with what’s happening in the market. It’s no longer growing at such a rapid rate, but it’s changing. Textile manufacturers are producing more added-value products. Speed is becoming increasingly important. In response, Spot Kimya is updating its lab and IT systems to deliver test results and respond to regulatory questions more quickly.
Cihat considers that TANATEX too must become stronger in this respect: “Every market has different needs. Turkey is a lively market and moving very quickly. Our customers have to meet their own customers’ demands for on-time delivery. Logistically, TANATEX could improve the flexibility of their supply chain. There is a constant need for more economical, efficient and effective products.”
This is particularly important in view of the competitive landscape in Turkey. Spot Kimya imports up to 90% of its products while all its major competitors have production plants in the country. To counteract the inevitable price differential, TANATEX adds value through quality, service, R&D and market-focused innovation. “We need to solve customers’ problems,” says Cihat. “TANATEX is one of the most expensive companies, but it has fantastic high-performance products which solve problems.”
The sheer number of fantastic products leaves Cihat spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a favourite. He settles on pre-treatment chemicals, which are important for his company. Carpet printing chemicals are another favourite because they are strong products facing little competition. And these fit sustainability which Spot Kimya is also heavily promoting in its marketing activities, highlighting benefits such as energy and water savings.
Strong family values extend through the company
With the partnership between the two companies edging towards 30 years, it’s clear it is a strong, co-operative relationship, underpinned with good two-way dialogue. Cihat highlights the annual partners meeting as being a useful forum to raise issues and ideas for improvement. “They listen and there have been improvements, especially in the last three years,” he adds.
A similarly strong partnership exists between the three brothers who are still working together and are now being joined by the next generation. Cihat believes the family values promoted by his parents feeds into the company and keeps it strong. “We are open and transparent and rely on each other. Our children are growing up with the same values. We ensure our employees feel part of the family too and care about their needs which brings dedication.”
Cihat Bayram, managing director of Spot Kimya