Increasing Family-Owned Business Through Exports

Ümit Özgül learned metalworking with his father at a very young age and expanded his business following his graduation of mechanical engineering. He currently works with liquid cargo storage companies in Turkey’s busiest ports, and he says that they used the loan provided by the FOSTER Project, to pay for materials, relieving them of the financial burden.

Explaining that they operate in sheet metal forming, laser cutting, bending, welding, painting, assembly, maintenance, and modification areas; Özgül adds they currently appeal to larger masses by improving the small-scale works with the new bending and laser machines purchased. Ümit Özgül had 15 employees in the 2010s; today, they have more than 80; however, they are having difficulty finding qualified workers in the industry.

Özgül states that although the earthquake had no effect on their operations, their business volume has decreased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to him, the loan’s appeal was due to its “long-term maturity, monthly installments, and low interest rate/profit share opportunity” within the Employment Committed SME Finance Support Programme. Since they are earning money through progress billing, the loan relieves them of pre-financing obligations, and they intend to grow gradually but steadily. They also plan to complete projects like the liquid cargo tank and pipelines in two major ports without using intermediaries.