The international home appliance brand of Arçelik, Beko products are sold in more than 140 countries worldwide and is one of the most respected names in the consumer durables and electronics markets. We spoke to oral Bozkurt, general manager at Beko Gulf FZE, to find out more about this pioneering organisation.
The Zone: Can you give a little background on the Beko brand and its parent company, Arçelik?
Oral Bozkurt: Founded in 1955, Arçelik, a subsidiary of Koç Holding, is Turkey’s largest industrial conglomerate and a member of Fortune 500. It is a global producer and marketer, with 23 manufacturing facilities in nine countries: Turkey, Romania, Russia, China, South Africa, Thailand, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh.
Beko offers product lines that include major appliances, air conditioners and small appliances. It is one of the leading home appliance brands in Europe and the No.1 major home appliance brand in the UK, as well as being the market leader in Eastern Europe. Beko’s goal is to be among the top three players in every country it operates in – both in market share and brand preference – and to be a truly loved global brand.
The Zone: When did the company first move to the UAE and why did it choose Jebel Ali Freezone (Jafza) as a partner?
Oral Bozkurt: We moved into the UAE in November 2018. Jafza is today one of the strongest free zone brands in the region and stands for excellence, innovation and the power of partnership. We chose Jafza because of its unique value-added offerings and propositions, which benefit companies like ours that are investing in the free zone. The dynamic mindset of Jafza is what made it attractive for us.
The Zone: What has been the most significant benefit of having a base in Jafza?
Oral Bozkurt: The biggest benefit has been the ease of doing business in the UAE and the region. This includes, but is not limited to, 100% foreign ownership, guaranteed 0% corporate tax for 50 years, 0% customs duties on imports and re-exports, no restrictions on currency or minimum capital investment, state- of-the-art logistics infrastructure, own port facilities, plus a direct connection to Al Maktoum International Airport.
The Zone: Where do you see growth coming from over the next 5-10 years, and what are the trends to look out for?
Oral Bozkurt: The Middle East home appliance market is expected to grow robustly over the coming years. The factors propelling the growth of home appliances in the Middle East region include rising disposable income coupled with rapid urbanisation.
Connected homes, demand for premium quality, healthy living, green living and time efficiency are some of the key trends that will shape the home appliances industry in the future. Consumers increasingly expect digital, seamless, and connected solutions, not just great products. With a growing ecosystem, connected appliances sales will grow steadily, especially in the KSA and the UAE.
We are committed to making hi-tech and innovative products accessible for the masses by continuing to offer a range of smart solutions that cater to the needs of different people, cultures and ways of life. Moreover, we firmly believe that appliances will play an increasingly important role in helping consumers maintain a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, we are striving to empower new generations to live healthier lives as a part of our core strategic direction.
The Zone: How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected Beko?
Oral Bozkurt: Our mother company Arçelik, acted very early on in the pandemic and we have taken several precautionary measures to ensure we safeguard the health and safety of our global community and preserve our ability to operate.
Over the past couple of months, we have put a pandemic preparedness plan into effect and have been following a serious action plan to prevent infections at our sites around the world and stay proactive in our approaches to ensure business continuity. Our teams are also in continuous communication with all our suppliers and business partners.
Beko has donated household appliances to global healthcare workers in over 20 countries in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Arçelik has completed production of 5,000 life-saving mechanical ventilators. 300 devices a day were manufactured at its electronics plant on a not-for-profit basis to meet domestic and international demand. 2,866 of these ventilators have been sent to 14 countries, including some of the hardest hit such as Brazil and Somalia, which had no ventilators in April.
The Zone: I am currently re-fitting my kitchen out – why should I choose the Beko brand?
Oral Bozkurt: We have always adopted the principle of offering quality, durable and reliable products that facilitate and enrich our customers’ lives. We define the secret of our success as ‘quality products and effective after-sales services’.
Our customer satisfaction model has become a standard. It shapes our policy, which puts our ‘Total Quality Principle’ at the forefront and forms the basis of being customer-oriented from the very beginning. In all the markets in which we operate, our relationships with our customers do not end with sales; on the contrary, the purchase of our products is just the start of what we hope will be a long-lasting relationship.