“Incentives and Supports Play an Important Role in the Expansion of our Export”
After gaining a long time experience in international trade field, two years ago having been assigned as Atas Group International Trade Manager, Nihan Atas denotes that she is running her business life along with education. As a business graduate Atas adds that she completed her master education in the same field. Atas underlines that gradually increasing incentives and supports have an important role in the expansion of our exports. We made an interview with Atas Group International Trade Manager, Nihan Atas concerning Atas Group and other important issues about the sector.
Could you please tell us about your company?
Having been founded in 1986, Atas has established an important place in the market with its reputable, credible and innovative understanding. As we were supplying products for perfumeries and wholesalers, with the strategies that our company owner and General Manager Fahrettin Ataş follows, we have started to become a brand since 1996. He is still guiding us with his capability in sales and marketing and his fund of knowledge he gathered from years of work. As a result of studies we conducted with pharmacy shops, all of the big malls, a huge part of local and national chains and
the biggest wholesalers, we can say that in Turkey, we are the market leader in distribution and sales with our personal care products within our own segment. As a Turkish brand, right at this point, where we reached by eliminating various foreign and essential brands, we keep on working in order to be able to offer better products and services for our customers. By repeating the same success in the foreign markets, which we opened 10 years ago, we granted franchises in many countries and we keep on growing.
Could you please give some information about the products?
We have 4 different groups of products. We usually describethem under personal care products. We have health products for pharmacies in the first group. We have condom and mouth care group. In the second group, there are personal care products. Within this group we have products like tweezers and nail clippers aimed at individual customers. In the third group, we have “stop” filtered cigarette holder. This is the product which is most preferred and sold in export and
100% our own production. Another product group we have is cotton buds and make-up removing disc. In fact there are products that can be used almost in every house and everybody needs in our product range, this is another reason why our sales network is so wide.
Can we say that your products appeal to both professionals
and home users?
That’s true; we do care about this both in our price policy and marketing. Keeping the prices, products and the quality at the optimum level is what’s important for us. This way we make the product “accessible” for everyone. You participate in some of the fairs abroad. Is it efficient for
you? What kind of a customer portfolio you retrieve from there? Do you also receive any different requests?
We place emphasis on the abroad fairs we participate in. Thanks to those fairs, we find the opportunity to meet different customer groups from different countries. The ideas we got from them always made a positive contribution to our sales and marketing policy. We are a company which develops products and brings innovation in accordance with the
market and customer demands. Does your association support you in the foreign exhibitions
enough? How do you find these organizations? How do you think the government should support the exporters? Do you have any troubles at these points?
As Atas, in the recent years, we are satisfied with the contributions and supports. Gradually increasing incentives and supports play an important role in our expansion. With the empowerment of our international binds, as Turkey; our brand awareness, expansion and foreign demand for Turkish goods is increasing. As the position the Turkish brands came is rising day by day, especially the market share of Turkish Cosmetics is increasing.
Do you have different foreign and domestic productions?
Absolutely we have. However; we always have to manufacture and offer products, which appeal to every market and can keep their dynamic, as the world keeps on becoming more global even though each market has its own needs and demands. We think that we can only accomplish this with “differentiation”. For us, the most important criterion that lies underneath being a brand is differentiation factor. After a while of course we are being counterfeited, and we may confront this as difficulty of being a brand both in domestic and foreign markets from time to time. In order to fight counterfeit products, firstly we apply for patents in the countries we enter. We definitely do this to stop the counterfeiting potential and the difficult situation that we and our distributor may encounter in the future. Briefly, before entering the market and distribution; we are trying to take precautions.
Can you find enough support while fighting against counterfeit products abroad?
It changes depending on the place of the countries in the world class. But unfortunately not in 3rd world countries. However, if we talk about one of the European countries or the USA; we have more chance of support in these countries.
Could you please evaluate your exports? Which regions you generally sell? Do you have any specifications that differentiate you from other exporters?
We are a company that has been exporting for 10 years. We first started exporting with “filtered cigarette holder”; then we granted distributorships to many countries on brand basis. Now, we have distributorships in 27 countries where we work actively. Including our special brands, we exported to 36 countries in total. We perceive every company that we cooperate as our own company. We are establishing long term friendships beyond commerce. The most important factor in our success is the eternal trust that we establish mutually with our collaborators. By keeping this understanding of ours, we act together and earn together. How do you find competition in Turkey? How much does being a manufacturer make you happy or worry you?
We, as Atas, can achieve the difficult goals at this point. As a company, we are manufacturer and we have a strong sales and marketing network as well. We are a brand at the same time. Of course along with the experience and knowledge that years brought, we also have an advantage of right guidance. On the other hand, right acts taken at the right time are also important. When you visit most of the manufacturers, you see that they do not have a marketing and sales network, however we have. We have always received positive feedback from our customers so far, our success secret is that we are always customer oriented. We assume that we understand their demands and interpret truly.
Are there any new products that you will offer to the market?
There are products that we consider adding to our product range in the near future. In accordance with our customers’ demands, very soon we will be offering new surprises for our customers.
How much is R&D important for you?
In production, we definitely work with R&D. Moreover, we are having R&D researches conducted out of the company in order to produce more convincing products. Especially for the plastic cigarette holder I mentioned earlier, we are a company which conducts its R&D study in cooperation with Istanbul Technical University. In this sense, both our scientific approach and the name of the university are a good reference for the customer.
What do you think of social responsibility projects? What would you like to say considering your cigarette holder production?
This is in fact a delicate subject. As you know, all kinds of advertisements and projects about this product are forbidden. There are institutions which we have an agreement with and obviously, although we are a manufacturer, we do not support consumption. With this product, at least we are trying to reduce the harmful factors, which are nicotine and tar, of the cigarette at maximum for addicts who cannot stop smoking.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Taxes bother us most abroad. Tax ratios are really high. I am expecting a study to be made for taxes just like the visa requirements had been lifted.