Stories Worth Sharing

 

Ali Fuat Kahveci

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the most astute and humble business persons I have had the pleasure of meeting would have to be Mr Ali Fuat Kahveci.

Ali Fuat, Director of Grand Foods, is a man who has travelled a long and difficult road in order to establish his successful importing business. Ali feels no resentment or indignation towards the years of hard work and the struggle that he endured to set up his business. In fact Ali is modest, calm and philosophical as he recalls his business journey.

Ali explained that he migrated from Turkey to Australia in 1987. After marrying his wife Selma he began acclimatizing himself to the culture of hard work necessary for maintaining a family and a establishing a life in Australia. Ali worked in many fields including Contract sewing, a Textile factory and then in retailing, selling bags.

In 1994, after a considered family decision, Ali set about establishing his wholesale business, Grand Foods. This would prove to be a very testing experience but Ali said that, “Once I decide on a direction, I focus all my energy in achieving that desired end”.

Ali admits that the first three years were the most difficult. He and Selma often worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week in order to establish the business. But that was not the only hurdle; the suppliers in Turkey did not initially support Ali. The suppliers in Turkey had seen many unethical importers from Australia and were not quick to embrace this new importer on the block. Ali Fuat had to earn his respect from the Turkish Exporters. With time Ali proved that he was trustworthy and that he operated with extreme honesty, loyalty and ethics. Slowly the suppliers began to trust and embrace Ali Fuat and today he has exclusive rights to import many of the biggest brand names in Turkey to Australia.

Today Grand Foods has over 1000 product lines and a global supplier network. Ali ensures that the products he imports are of an excellent standard. By continually supplying quality foods to his consumers, Grand Foods has built a very large, loyal and satisfied customer base.

Ali employs over 30 people in Australia. He imports and distributes fine foods and ingredients to the retail and food service industry, all over Australia and New Zealand. Kahvecioglu International also has an Office in Turkey which is managed by Ali’s brother, which also exports products to Europe.

Ali has an abundance of knowledge about food products and standards required for food products. He also enjoys his work and is in constant pursuit of business knowledge. In 2007 Ali Fuat Kahveci ‘Grand Foods’ won both the Victorian award and the Australian award for ‘the most successful Small Business, in the wholesaling business category.’

Ali Fuat’s success can not only be attributed to hard work and perseverance but also his ability to stay focused and not waiver from his original vision. Ali’s advice to others who may want to establish a business venture is: ‘Only enter a business venture if you are passionate about the concept and the desire for success comes from both the heart and brain. If this passion is lacking, the hard work that comes with the territory will cause you to deviate from your intended vision.’

Ali 3Other than being passionate about Grand Foods, Ali is also thankful for his wife’s support and extremely proud of his two wonderful children.

In 2003, Ali founded and was the first president of the ATBC. Ali established the ATBC because there was no council within the Turkish community that could foster business support and confidence. Ali retired from the ATBC board this year but remains as an advisor and consultant.

ATBC acknowledges Ali as a respected model member of the Australian Turkish Business Community and he has continued to be an advisor and sponsor of our Council.

Cansin Goldring

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of our newer ATBC members is an exceptional lady named Cansin Goldring.

This charismatic lady is a wife, mother, Tertiary Education Teacher and also very interestingly, a Falon Gong Practitioner. When Cansin moved to Melbourne from Southern Turkey in 1994, she had serious heart problems and conventional medicine had not improved her health. With the help of Falon Gong, Cansin overcame her illness. This miraculous experience led her to become a dedicated Practitioner, devoted to the appreciation and promotion of Falon Gong.

Falon Gong encourages the promotion of their cultural identity through the Shen Yun Performing Arts. The Shen Yun Dance Troupe performs worldwide, yet they had been unsuccessful in securing permission to perform in Turkey, for three consecutive years.

In 2010, Cansin courageously offered her support. She left her family and work commitments in Melbourne, to travel to Turkey in advance of the Dance Troupe, to book the venues, find sponsors and initiate the necessary paperwork and formalities, in order for them to perform to Turkish audiences.

Initially all promotions and preparations were enthusiastically received by the Venue and Turkish media, with Shen Yun appearing in major newspapers and television networks. However soon the Authorities from Falong Gong’s country of origin became involved; they requested the Turkish Governor to ring the Venue’s General Manager to cancel the shows.
When Cansin was advised that the venue would no longer be available to the performers, she set out on a very long political battle to overturn this decision. Cansin went from office to office, visiting several Governors in Istanbul. Cansin also visited the Governor in charge of the Police Department to ensure that the Performers visas and paperwork were not revoked. The Police Governor would not confirm until Cansin obtained permission from the Governor who was responsible for the Foreign Embassies, who then directed her to the Governor in charge of Central Asia. This Governor suggested that Cansin travel to Ankara and debate the matter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs directly. Cansin finally travelled to Ankara and was able to convince the Governor to allow Shen Yun to perform.

shen1.jpgMany emotional days and sleepless nights were invested by Cansin, but her steadfast determination paid off. Shen Yun performed several shows in Istanbul at the Lufti Kirdar Congress Centre. The Shen Yun performers consist of 40 musicians and 60 dancers. The shows were spectacular and the Turkish audiences loved the amazing performances of these brilliant dancers and musicians.

Cansin set out to promote Shen Yun, and no political hurdle could discourage her resolve. Cansin is very thankful and appreciative of the Turkish Governors who met with her without appointment, for listening and understanding her requests and directing her on a more appropriate path. Cansin needs to be commended for her tenacity, enthusiasm and fearless spirit in bringing the Shen Yun Performing Arts to Turkey.

Ceyda Genc
Winner of 2010 40under40 Award

Ceyda Genc 1Every year Western Australia honours its 40 top young business achievers who are under the age of 40. The awards are appropriately named the 40under40 Awards.

It was fantastic to see that one of the 2010 winners was Ceyda Genc from Turkish Bakeries Pty Ltd.

Ceyda, the Managing Director at Turkish Bakeries, was instrumental in the growth of Turkish Bakeries. Ceyda introduced a computerized invoicing and delivery system within the company. This talented lady also increased their sales in Western Australia by getting their products into major supermarkets Coles and Woolworths, as well as establishing a strong distribution channel throughout Perth retail and commercial franchises and major hotels.

Ceyda GencCeyda Genc is a wonderful example to other young entrepreneurs. Ceyda’s passion and dedication to her work is an inspiration to future young entrepreneurs to establish and build businesses.

Ceyda has strived hard to build up Sales within the organization. Turkish Bakeries Pty Ltd is now one of the largest and lucrative bakeries in Western Australia.

Congratulations to Ceyda and we wish this young entrepreneur further success with Turkish Bakeries.

 

Ceyda Genc2

Oscar Yildiz

oscarEnergetic, Dynamic, Honest, Professional, Ethical, Articulate, Enthusiastic, Warm and Friendly … these are just some of the qualities that come to mind when thinking about words to describe ATBC Secretary, Oscar Yildiz.

Oscar is one of the hardest working board members within the ATBC. Oscar donates so much of his time unconditionally for the prosperity of the Australian Turkish Business Community. We at the ATBC are truly lucky to have him, as he is an outstanding and confident communicator. He is able to build rapport with anyone, anytime, anywhere!

This inspirational young man has recently been presented with two impressive, Business Awards. Oscar successfully won the 2009 Australian and Victorian Small Business Champion Award in the category of Educational Services. This is truly a well deserved and brilliant achievement and we are very proud of him.

The Championship was awarded for Oscar’s talented business achievement for his company ‘Educall Training Solutions’. Educall supports Managers and professionals to hone their skills to ensure their organization thrives in a fiercely competitive and turbulent economy. Educall specializes in the training of crucial soft skills that support rapidly changing organizations generate measurable, bottom line results. Educall offers tailor made/customized training solutions to meet the needs of all businesses.

Educall provides education in a variety of areas including Corporate and Vocational training. Educall offer half or full day sessions in Customer service, Time Management, Selling/Marketing, Bullying & Harassment, Leadership, Telephone Techniques, Conflict Management/Assertiveness, Effective Communication, Teamwork, Managing Effective Meetings, Managing Stress, Presentation/Emcee skills and OH&S.

Oscar is a qualified teacher who is passionate about his work. He loves engaging and inspiring people, bringing out their best qualities and motivating them to learn, develop and achieve beyond their abilities. Oscar has been employed in various industries and has also worked in China, Turkey and the Philippines.

Oscar is adamant that, “should Organizations wish to grow and succeed then they must invest in their staff (Professional Development). Your staff must come first, not your customers – your customers will get better as soon as your staff do. Any business can succeed and get to the top, but it’s consistently staying on top that’s important. It amazes me that many Organizations are still short sited and look at the cost of training their staff; they need to consider the long term benefits”.

Educall provides all your business training solutions to help businesses remain efficient and effective – two steps ahead of their competitors.’ For further information you can visit the Educall website: http://www.educall.com.au

If you are not already impressed by Oscar’s achievements you will be surprised to know that Oscar is also a Councilor at Moreland City Council, a Justice of Peace, a second Dan Black Belt and a lover of AFL football. Oscar is a great Ambassador for the Turkish community; he is a content family man, happily married with two beautiful daughters and has a pet Jack Russell named Skye.

Congratulations on winning your Awards. Well done Oscar.

Update:
Due to increasing work commitments, Oscar sadly departed from the ATBC Board in December 2013. He now fully concentrates on his other work commitments: serving as a Councilor at the Moreland City Council and working as the CEO for Bully Free Australia.

Osman Kuyruk

Osman Kuyruk 1ATBC is honoured to have as member this extraordinary man. This gentleman lights up the room when he attends an ATBC function. People smile, others pat him on the back and many eagerly extend their hand to greet him with a hand shake. This illustrious member is Mr Osman Kuyruk.

Osman is an extremely humble, polite, generous, ethical and knowledgeable family man. His generosity is seen by his enthusiastic support of the youth within the Turkish community and his sponsorship of cultural events.

His generosity is his own personal and humble celebration of his business achievement. However this success has not come easily. His business dream has been realized over many years of dedicated hard work.

From an early age, Osman always had an intense interest in Cars but was unable to move into the automotive sector upon completing his education. Instead Osman worked night shift in a knitting factory. He was 25 years of age and married when he decided he no longer wanted to work in a position that did not bring him satisfaction.

Osman approached a Panel Beating Company in Hawthorn and offered his services. He offered to work with them free of charge just to learn the trade. So Osman worked as an unpaid Panel Beater by day and a factory worker by night. The extreme work load and tiredness did waiver Osman from his goal, as he was adamant to enter the automotive industry. After working unpaid for the Hawthorn Company for 2 years, they offered Osman a paid position.

Osman moved into different areas in the automotive industry, until he finally established Bross Panels. Bross Panels has been operating for 13 years and Osman is still excited about his business today as when it first opened.

When asked about his formula to success, Osman ponders. He states, “A person needs to decide what they’re passionate about and if there is a profitable and economic need for that passion. A person must utilize their strengths and be willing to constantly learn. It is no good just performing a job; one must aim to be the best. Living in Australia offers a head start for all individuals, as Australia is a country that offers a field of positive opportunities and possibilities.”

Bross Panels is a leader within the Panel Beating industry. They are always constantly improving their use of technology, materials used, as well as marketing and exposure to the community. Bross Panels has close ties with most Insurance Companies and they ensure that all claims are processed promptly with minimum disruption to the client’s vehicle usage. Osman’s business acumen has been nationally recognized. In 2008 he was awarded, the State and National award, for the most successful small business Champion in the automotive industry.

Osman Kuyruk 2Other than his business, Osman is very passionate about his family. He talks glowingly of the support and patience received from his wife Bircan when first starting out in Business and spending time with his family is the most enjoyable aspect in his life.

During his spare time, Osman also enjoys Oil Painting, he is currently learning to play the saz and he enjoys bicycle riding on his road racer.

Osman Kuyruk is a dynamic individual and a credit and inspiration not only to the Turkish community but to all Australian society.

Turgay Gungor

TurgayThe former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, once said, “ It has been my experience that competency in mathematics, both in numerical manipulations and in understanding its conceptual foundations, enhances a person’s ability to handle the more ambiguous and qualitative relationships that dominate our day-to-day financial decision-making.”

This summation is indicative of the strengths processed by ATBC member, Turgay Gungor, for his sharp and skilful ability with numbers and his detailed knowledge of taxation legislation has seen him develop his Accounting business in Perth into a shrewd and proficient Wealth Generating practice.

From a young age Turgay looked after the Tax and Financial affairs of his family and friends. His competence with numbers earned him a School Dux Award in Secondary school. It was only a natural progression that he would pursue a mathematical course; Turgay graduated from University with a double major in Accounting and Finance and a Sub-Major in Public Accounting. After graduating in Perth, Turgay moved to the UK for twelve months in order to gain international accounting experience.

Based on Turgay’s experiences as a child, he could see there was an inexhaustible void within the Turkish Community in the area of Taxation and understanding the complexities of the law in this area. Turgay’s qualifications and experience assisted Business owners in navigating through the myriad of issues that arise when running a small business in Australia. Turgay was able to offer tailored and professional advice to those clients with limited English but with great ideas, to assist them in achieving their dreams and goals.

Helping his clients has provided Turgay with immense personal satisfaction. He receives great fulfilment seeing his client’s businesses flourish and grow over the years and at the same time helping them to minimize their tax payable by using legitimate strategies. Turgay is a business specialist who can analyse a business as a whole and make sure you are in the best position you can be, in the short term and long term.

Turgay confidently walks each client through the various structures available to hold business and investment assets and explores the different options. This previously was not available to Turkish business owners in the past, due to not understanding or having no-one to explain, or reluctance to do so. “There is nothing worse than being kept in the dark because your advisor cannot or will not clarify something for you and help you make informed decisions”, states Turgay.

When not working, Turgay enjoys the company of his wife Nurten and his two children. Nurten has always been very supportive of Turgay’s business decisions and has always been very accommodating and considerate, especially when Turgay’s business was in its infant stages.

Turgay’s past times include keeping fit by going to the gym, playing amateur soccer in the Masters League, and social Tennis. Both of his children also love sports so he spends a lot of time encouraging their pastime. Turgay jokingly states that the reason why he spends an increasing amount of time at the Gym is because his wife makes great ‘Manti’ and he cannot refuse to indulge in his wife’s cooking.

Any business owners wanting competent business advice can seek Turgay Gungor and Partners. They also offer a strong network of professional contacts in Perth including leading specialized lawyers, professional associations, government offices, insurance brokers, financial planners, mortgage brokers and immigration agents.

Turgay Gungor is a perfectionist who pays close attention to detail and is a great communicator. He has played an integral part of the growth of many businesses in Perth. By staying abreast of his profession and by accessing the latest developments in law, industry and business practice, Turgay Gungor has become a superior wealth generator in Perth business circles.

Vecihi Basaran
A Quest for Everlasting Remembrance of Fallen Heroes

Vecihi BasarinMany of the ATBC members had a chance to meet Vecihi (John) Başarın at the Annual General Meeting. What immediately strikes you upon meeting this striking man is that he is a very tall, well-spoken and distinguished individual. However, as tall as he may be, his accomplishments and achievements within the Australian and Turkish community are far taller and grander, than one can imagine.

Vecihi was born in Istanbul and educated in Ankara. His education and training led him to work as a Chemical Engineer. As a young man, Vecihi had an enormous love for Turkey, its people and culture. However the realization that he would struggle to raise his family, even though he worked as an Engineer, motivated him to move to overseas. He departed from Turkey to start a new life in Australia in 1973. His decision to come to Australia was purely economic.

Upon moving to Australia, Vecihi observed that Australians had a great nationalistic and patriotic interest in Gallipoli. Vecihi, being the son of a Turkish Army Colonel, was instantly attracted to reading the available literature on the subject of Gallipoli. Vecihi observed that amongst within all the material he read about Gallipoli, there was a noticeable missing link and a vital perspective. Within the literature there was no investigative material or literature portraying the Turkish perspective of the Gallipoli battles which were fought in 1915. This was a vital and important omission which he felt obligated and bound to correct due to his Turkish heritage.

Gallipoli, was a very small battlefield in regards to area, but it yielded enormous casualties and deaths. Sadly 8,700 Australian soldiers were killed at Gallipoli, whereas even sadder, a staggering 86,000 Ottoman Turkish troops died fighting. Within this tragic battle, the Turks lost 10 times as many soldiers than the Australians. The Ottoman Turks suffered more casualties at Gallipoli than in any other campaign of the war. Knowing this information, Vecihi, being a proud Turkish-Australian, felt duty bound to tell the Turkish side of the tragic Gallipoli campaign.

Vecihi, together with his wife, Hatice, have co-authored six books and written many articles and conference papers. Vecihi has also appeared on TV features about Gallipoli and has taken part in radio programs. The first book was published in 1985 and was titled ‘A Turkish View of Gallipoli’ which provided a new window to the Australian community, explaining what was on the other side of the trenches.

Vecihi and Hatice’s six books have been published in English and Turkish. Their latest publication is the Turkish translation of the book entitled ‘Beneath the Dardanelles’.

ANZAKMany awards have been bestowed upon Vecihi for his dedicated work. In 2005, Vecihi received the Victorian Premier’s Award for Excellence in Multicultural Affairs for his long-time work on presenting the Turkish side of the tragic campaign at Gallipoli.

This year Vecihi was awarded a very special and prestigious award. He was awarded the 2010 ANZAC Peace Prize, in recognition of his sustained and enthusiastic commitment in promoting relationships between Australia and other communities around the world, particularly Turkey.

This Award is a great honour for Vecihi and the Turkish Community in Australia, as he is the only person with Turkish background to have received this prestigious award from the RSL, since its inceptions in 1979.
A formal acknowledgment of this Award will be presented to Vecihi Başarın, in July 2010.

An enormous amount of dedicated time has been spent researching and writing books about the Gallipoli campaign, such as “Gallipoli – The Turkish story”. These valuable books have served not only to educate the readers, but have also provided and forged strong links within the Australian and Turkish communities, for our present and future generations.

Vecihi has retired from his position as Chemical Engineer but continues to write and research information about Gallipoli, more recently as a Research Fellow with Deakin University. Each year he also takes students to Gallipoli during Anzac Day commemorations. He also takes Australians to Turkey on his tours, as a tour leader, further strengthening ties between Turkey and Australia.

Vecihi Başarın is a great achiever, a knowledgeable writer and an honorable individual. We at the ATBC congratulate Vecihi Başarın for his impressive accomplishments and his exceptional and celebrated awards.

Vecihi can be contacted on email: johnnyturk@optusnet.com.au.