The EBRD’s Small Business Support team is forging new partnerships at Muka Metal
From warehouses in Kayseri, central Turkey, Murat Kantarci and his family run Muka Metal. They have owned the company since 1966 and now produce orthopaedic hospital beds for export to medical centres across the globe.
His is a competitive industry and the technologies used in production, as well as in the beds themselves, are subject to continual change. Muka metal is also young in comparison to its global competition. With every new development elsewhere, there is a very real risk of falling behind.
Local and international business advice
Realising that they could benefit from advice, Muka Metal sought the help of the EBRD’s Small Business Support (SBS) team in early 2011.
Together with a local consultant, 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. This has resulted in a near-zero failure rate in production, saving vast quantities of time, materials, energy and money.
Through SBS, Muka is also collaborating closely with consultants from a market-leading supplier in Denmark. This partnership is re-imagining Muka’s long-term strategy, equipping the company to become one of the top five producers of orthopaedic hospital beds worldwide.
The work of the 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.