BY BESTENIGAR KARA
BSH Turkey, considered as the backbone of the Germany-based home appliances manufacturer BSH Group’s REM (Region Emerging Markets) operations, works to expand the sphere of influence further and increase the number of manufacturing plants in time, according to Gokhan Sigin, CEO of BSH Turkey. “BSH Group, which has invested over EUR 1bn in Turkey to date, has assigned the regional responsibility of India, Africa, Middle East, Central Asia, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Asia-Pacific along with 14 subsidiaries and 9 manufacturing plants in 130 countries with a population of 4.6 billion to BSH Turkey as of 2020,” Sigin said in an exclusive interview with TR MONITOR.
BSH Group, which was founded as a joint venture of Robert Bosch GmbH and Siemens AG in 1967 and has been fully owned by Robert Bosch GmbH since January 2015, entered Turkey with its brands and management in 1995 as part of its globalization plan. BSH Turkey produces new-generation home appliances under 12 brands for the world and offers services with its Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, and Profilo brands in Turkey.
Sigin emphasized that BSH Group incorporates four regions in terms of organizational structure, including Europe, North America, Greater China, and Emerging Markets. “REM is almost the only region in BSH Group’s global operation that still has a growth potential,” he said, stressing that there are many densely populated countries in REM where the group company’s market share is low. These are India, Middle East countries, neighboring Iraq, and various African countries, where there are still consumers who have not accessed the products and services of the company.
“Considering 4.6 billion people who also account for more than half of the global population, household expenditures can increase, and the need will rapidly develop for qualified home appliances in the region,” he added. “We can easily say the REM population also corresponds to half of the number of households worldwide. So, the potential and challenges are huge.”
60% OF THE OUTPUT IS EXPORTED TO 90 COUNTRIES
BSH Group, which grew by 2.5% yearover-year in 2022 when it recorded a turnover of EUR 15.9bn, has 39 production plants across the globe. Nine manufacturing plants operate under the umbrella of BSH Region Emerging Markets, while the Cerkezkoy facility, which was set up on an area of 550,000 square meters in Tekirdag and incorporates five production plants, is one of the largest in all factories of BSH Group and one of the top three R&D centers in the group. “Nine manufacturing plants in the REM mean a quite large footprint. We hope and plan for this to be developed further in time. Turkey is an exemplary campus from this perspective,” Sigin noted.
The Cerkezkoy facility has an annual production capacity of nearly 7 million units and manufactures cooling and freezing, cooking and baking, washing and drying, and dishwashing product groups. “Its capacity accounts for more than one-fifth of the total production capacity of BSH Group. So, it is not only a big campus physically, but also a big export hub,” Sigin said, stressing that 60% of outputs from the facility are exported to over 90 countries, including Germany, France, Switzerland, Australia, Russia, South Africa, Kazakhstan, and Singapore. Regarding the localization rate of BSH Turkey’s production, Sigin stated that over 40% of supplies are met in Turkey.
To him, Turkey has a suitable production footprint in the global operation of BSH, thanks to high quality and efficient process management. “Therefore, the BSH Turkey campus also differentiates with the quality elements. So, if there is growth, especially in the emerging markets, the first address will be our footprint in Turkey.”
SAVED 404,000 CUBIC METERS OF WATER
Sigin said BSH Group, which has been operating carbon-neutral worldwide since 2020, took over 230 energy efficiency measures and saved 33.4 -gigawatt globally last year. The group aims for all facilities to run with 100% green electricity by 2030. It also puts a particular emphasis on the usage of recycled materials in new product manufacturing. Within this frame, it aims that new products will contain 50% of recycled materials until 2030 and raise a percentage of reusable materials to 95% minimum by 2030.
BSH Turkey, on the other hand, increasingly continues its investments in water and energy as much as technical possibilities and infrastructure allow. “New customer services operation center will be able to generate its energy and collect water and use it cyclically,” Sigin said. BSH Turkey saved 404,000 cubic meters of water, corresponding to the size of 162 Olympic swimming pools at the Cerkezkoy facility in five years with innovative works in production technologies and processes. On the energy side, 2,482 tons of carbon emissions were prevented through energy savings of around 5.7 million kilowatts achieved alone in 2022.
The Boyahane Project at Cooling Factory, implemented at the Cerkezkoy facility and received a special sustainability award from BSH Germany, was among the meaningful projects for water savings. “Water savings of up to 40% was achieved with improvements in the Boyahane plant dyeing yearly, which is one of the most important water consumption processes in refrigerator manufacturing,” Sigin added. Moreover, the firm carries out works to use of solar energy in stores of dealers with suitable physical conditions.
DIRECTLY CREATES 9,000 JOBS
To him, sustainability is not a project but a lifestyle for BSH Turkey. “I joined the BSH Family 24 years ago. I have always observed continuous improvement of the resource usage, energy consumption, environmental impact, and the works to make a better life for people and a better future,” Sigin said, stressing that they had already developed high energy efficient products while no energy regulation forced them.
BSH Turkey does not only evaluate sustainability from an environmental perspective but also from social and welfare dimensions. “Life should have quality for living beings in the world. Social and welfare sustainability creates a substantial part of that quality,” Sigin said.
BSH Group, which raised its employment by 1.0% last year, globally employs 63,000 people, while BSH Turkey directly creates almost 9,000 jobs. Considering the ecosystem, which consists of suppliers and dealers, 2,900 dealership locations, authorized services, and the sub-industry, its sphere of influence rises to 100,000 people. “We raised our employment during the pandemic. And we continue our growth moves in this field since then,” Sigin said.
“The growth of our industry is parallel to the development of the country and living standards. This is one of our sustainability goals. We do not only want the development of environmental sustainability but also welfare sustainability. The more developed welfare of a society, the higher the welfare and trade of companies.”
NEW R&D INVESTMENTS ARE ON THE WAY
As Sigin says, BSH Turkey does not only invest in manufacturing and capacity, but also in R&D studies, including production platforms for differentiating products preferred by consumers. BSH Group allocates the budget for R&D investments globally. The Group has allocated EUR 628m, or 3.9% of its total turnover, for R&D expenditures before the pandemic. However, the figure jumped 5.3% to EUR 840m in 2022. BSH Turkey’s R&D center in the Cerkezkoy facility, on the other hand, celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. Over 45 patented products are developed alone at this center annually.
MOVING HEAVEN AND EARTH FOR THE QUAKE-HIT REGION
►BSH Turkey set up a disaster crisis desk consisting of its executives to rapidly kick off the aid operations on the first day of the February 6 twin quakes. The company continues its support for the quake-hit region in collaboration with the relevant public institutions and organizations, and NGOs.
►Urgent relief materials, which were collected with the contribution of BSH Turkey employees in all locations, were delivered to the quake-hit region from Selimpasa and Cerkezkoy. Moreover, BSH Sokak Volunteers delivered over 500 support packages to the region.
►BSH Group globally launched a fundraising campaign through the Germany-based association Katastrophenhilfe. The management doubled EUR 174,000, which was collected globally from BSH employees to EUR 348,000.
►15,000 store packages were delivered to Hatay through the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD). Moreover, the company delivered 100 tents in addition to the supply of medical, hygiene, nutrition, heating, and electrical materials.
►Eight fixed hygiene containers, which consist of 192 washing machines and drying tumblers in total, were delivered to container sites in Hatay, Gaziantep, Kahramanmaras, Adiyaman, and Malatya. Moreover, a laundry truck, which contains 24 washing machines and 24 drying machines, offers mobile services in other locations.
►Nine service containers, which contain the necessary equipment, were built for authorized service employees who lost their businesses.
TO JUICE EARTHQUAKE VICTIM CHILDREN BACK TO LIFE
BSH Turkey CEO Gokhan Sigin stated that the February 6, 2023 twin quakes affected them commercially as they had around 500 dealers and authorized service points in the quake-hit region. “Nearly 200 of them were fully damaged. We lost two dealers and one authorized service employee due to the quake,” Sigin said, stressing that their products were used by around one-third of homes in the region. The disaster-hit region also accounts for around 15% of Turkey’s population, while one-fourth of the people who reside there consist of children. “The ratio of children in the quake-hit region is higher than other regions in Turkey. That’s why we’ve decided with our global organization to direct our support to institutions that prioritize children. We must juice them back to life.” To do so, BSH Group provided EUR 1m cash support to charities, which support children in the region, and provide white goods support to households affected by the quake.