In our interview, Mr. İhsan Bilgiç, General Manager of Kubilay Boya, answered our questions. Bilgiç gave information about the R&D activities of Kubilay Boya.
Could you briefly tell our readers about yourself, your educational and professional background?
I was born in Niğde – Bor in 1963. I was graduated from Department of Agricultural Engineering at Çukurova University in 1983. I started to work at so-called Ministry of Rural Affairs and Cooperatives in 1983. I worked as district manager, branch manager and deputy provincial director at Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Affairs after the reorganization at 1985.
In 1996, I was appointed as the Provincial Director of Agriculture in Isparta and continued this duty until 2000. In 2000, I ended my public service by resigning and started working in the private sector. Until 2005, I worked as the General Manager at Gökhan Boya in Menemen, Izmir which I started in 2001. In October 2005, I became the General Manager at Kubilay Kimya ve Boya San. Tic. Ltd. Şti. which was newly established in ALOSBİ, located in İzmir-Aliağa district. I took a part in this company since the construction of the factory and I am still carrying out this duty.
Could you give information about the establishment process of Kubilay Boya and the stages it has gone through until today? What is the current structure of Kubilay Boya?
The foundations of our company were laid in 1984, when our current Chairman of the Board, Hasan Bilgiç started selling wood coatings in a small retail store in Ankara, Siteler with strong encouragement from his father, Mehmet Bilgiç. As a customer-oriented coatings retail store with high quality service, Kubilay Boya has achieved continuous growth and became a rising power in the wood coatings market in Ankara in the 1990s.
In 2001, Kubilay Boya partnered with a coating manufacturer and started production in İzmir. In 5 years of successful partnership, together they became one of the major manufacturers in Turkish wood coatings market. Thereafter, a decision to build a new facility was made due to insufficient capacity, however, this decision ended the partnership between the two companies.
Therefore, in October 2005, Kubilay Boya started production in its own facility in Aliağa Organized Industrial Zone and KUBİLAY branded products entered into the market. Our company, which aims to reach the quality and service standards of Western countries as a necessity of dynamically changing economic conditions of global economy, has taken important steps towards becoming a world-class company by co-operating with multi-national companies.
What kind of products and services does Kubilay Boya mainly provide to which sectors? Could you give information about the products, brands and services offered by Kubilay Boya, especially in Industrial Coatings category?
As Kubilay Boya family, about 90-95% of our total production consists of wood coatings. Since the family comes from the wood coatings sales tradition, wood coatings are always our top priority as a company, which will always be the case. In addition to wood coatings, we are the first and only manufacturer of mirror-backing paints in Turkey. We made a considerable amount of R&D investment in mirror-backing paints and we are continuously working towards being a top manufacturer in Europe. Furthermore, we also manufacture industrial coatings.
Could you tell us about your domestic and international sales activities? What kind of products and services do you sell to which regions domestically and abroad?
Kubilay Boya Family is the leader in Turkish wood coatings market with its own stores located in major furniture production cities including Ankara, İnegöl, Antalya, Samsun, Kayseri and İstanbul. Kubilay Boya, continuously puts effort into providing highest quality products to its business partners with the advantage of carrying out both production and sales activities. Thanks to our own sales centers and a widespread dealer network, our products are now the trendsetters, they are followed and even imitated in the market.
In addition to our sales activities in Turkey, we attach great importance to export activities. Considering our presence in 15 countries, our exports increased 50% in last two years and we intend to continuously focus on export activities. Among our medium-term plans, increasing our exports to 30-35% of our total production is one of the main goals, and we are making an intense effort for this purpose.
What kind of work are you doing as a Kubilay Boya company in the fields of innovation and R&D? Do you have any projects developed within the scope of university-industry cooperation, if yes, what are these?
We strongly believe that R&D is the heart of businesses like ours and it is impossible to achieve a sustainable growth without attaching importance to R&D studies and investment. On the other hand, as Kubilay Boya, our staff is one of the subjects that we have invested the most. In addition, we have one of the most distinguished technical staff in Turkey. Kubilay Boya is a company that constantly renews itself. For this purpose; to invest in R&D activities in the long term in order to maintain its “new product design” strategy has been aimed.
In this context, by employing full of experts in their respective field, we successfully carried out R&D projects including, but not limited to TDI Prepolymer Synthesis, environment-friendly low lead mirror-backing paint, zero-lead mirror backing paint and epoxy acrylate oligomer synthesis in the framework of TÜBİTAK and university-industry collaboration.
Additionally, I think our latest R&D project which we developed during COVID-19 pandemic should be mentioned too. As a paint and coatings manufacturer, we wanted to contribute to healthcare professionals’ fight against COVID-19.
In this context, we developed the first antiviral wood coating system in the world. Thus, we have developed a new product that will contribute to the prevention of transmission by touching, alleviate the workload of our healthcare professionals, add value to the country’s economy, and raise awareness for the Turkish furniture industry. In addition to this project, our R&D team continues to work on projects that will make a worldwide impact in the paint industry.
We also collaborate with distinguished professors including Prof. Dr. Yusuf Yağcı from İstanbul Technical University and Prof. Dr. Güngör Gündüz from METU. Our main goal is to make maximum use of the valuable academic experience of our professors in our R&D studies.
Could you give information about Kubilay Boya’s environmental policy and sustainability approach? What can you say about your work on worker health and safety?
As Kubilay Boya our environmental awareness and sensitivity is extremely high. Our Environmental Policy is shared with the public on our website. As a company, we make production with the principle that we will not harm the ecological balance with all our activities and that we will prevent environmental pollution that may occur during our activities.
We make process and process improvements in order to minimize the use of natural resources. By minimizing our waste at the source, we ensure that they are reused and recycled as much as possible, and that non-recyclable wastes are disposed of through licensed companies. We carry out the execution of Occupational Health and Safety processes with the participation of employees and employee representatives.
As a company that manufactures in the line of very dangerous business, we adopt a proactive approach in Occupational Health and Safety. In addition to working with our independent Occupational Safety Specialist, we employ a full-time Occupational Safety Specialist (Class A) within our organization. We conduct our Occupational Health and Safety studies with regular inspections and monthly Occupational Health and Safety Board Meetings.
Which criteria are prioritized when creating investment plans of Kubilay Boya? Does Kubilay Boya have investment plans for the upcoming periods, if yes, what are these?
Since the first day of production, Kubilay Boya continues to grow. We achieve our aim to achieve a positive grow in terms of tonnage every year. For this reason, we are facing with a shortage of capacity in the current facility. Therefore, we started an investment to increase our current capacity by 100% which was granted with mediumhigh technology incentive in order to produce a product which is not produced in Turkey before. Hopefully, we aim to activate this new investment in 2021. Thus, we are looking forward to moving forward with firm steps in the line with our company’s growth goals.