EBRD supports small business in Turkey

By EBRD  Press Office

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Muka Metal is typical of the sort of successful company that has huge potential but which needs to innovate to grow – exactly the kind of enterprise that can benefit from the advice of the EBRD’s Small Business Support (SBS) team.

Based in warehouses in Kayseri, central Turkey, and owned by the same family since 1966, Muka Metal produces orthopaedic hospital beds for export to medical centres across the globe.

Muka Metal’s employees work hard, customers believe in the products and thanks to a long and successful track record, its access to finance is better than ever.

And yet Murat Kantarci, Muka Metal’s founder and CEO, faces several challenges.

His is a competitive industry and the technologies used in production, as well as in the beds themselves, are continually changing. The company is also young in comparison to its global competition. With every new development elsewhere, there is a very real risk of Muka Metal falling behind.

“There are companies operating in our sector who have been around for over 100 years”, said Mr Kantarci. “They have substantial experience in this field and the team here needs to run if it is to catch them up”.

Luckily, his team is no longer running alone. Realising that they could benefit from advice, he turned to the EBRD’s SBS team in early 2011.

Providing businesses with access to local and international experts, the SBS team shares the knowledge and tools that enterprises need to succeed. This is not just a question of money; this is about creating partnerships that provide businesses with the necessary know-how.

Through working with the EBRD, Muka Metal fostered strong links with SETA, a local consultancy providing expertise in Computer-aided Design (CAD) software. With their support, Muka developed systems to simulate the different load scenarios for its beds in a virtual, 3D environment, no longer having to rely on models being built and tested by hand before faults or improvements are found.

Muka now has a near-zero failure rate in production, saving vast quantities of time, materials, energy and money.

Muka has also seized the opportunity of working with international experts, collaborating closely with consultants from a market-leading supplier in Denmark. This partnership is re-imagining Muka’s long-term strategy, setting out ambitious targets for the future.

Together they have generated a new international marketing plan, transformed Muka’s customer service output and even tackled ways in which production efficiencies can be maximised through new systems on the factory floor.

Muka Metal now aims to become one of the top five producers of orthopaedic hospital beds worldwide.

The work of the Small Business Support (SBS) team in Turkey is financed by pre-accession funds from the European Union. Turkey is still divided by a very visible economic disparity between east and west, and the EBRD-EU partnership provides a tangible way in which money can be channelled to the country’s poorer, more remote regions.

Established companies such as Muka Metal are vital for the strong example they provide to business leaders here, helping to raise aspirations within SMEs and illustrating the benefits of collaborative, modern styles of management.

For its part, the EBRD’s SBS team can help businesses generate higher levels of wealth and employment for their local areas and foster the vital inter-company networks that will encourage sustainable growth in the future.

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