Turkey

Murat Vargı 

  • Founder and Chair, MV Holding (Diversified)
Born Turkey, 1947. BA, Ankara Business School; BSc. International Trade and Economics, Helsinki School of Economics; BA, Helsinki School of Economics; MBA, Aalto University, Turkey.
“We were successful because we were more advanced than the manufacturers. In a closed economy, there was no sales policy... no marketing. There was no nothing, because they were like delivery companies. ”

Video Clips

Vargı described the challenges of growing his telecom business in an industry where there was a state monopoly at the time.

Vargı describes how Turkey had a closed economy until the 1980s, but then President Özal opened up the economy.

Vargı explains what business is like in a closed economy, and how there is no incentive for a business to provide good service.

 Full-length video (accessible to holders of a valid Harvard ID)

Transcript

Murat Vargı, founder of MV Holdings and of Turkcell (Turkey’s leading mobile phone provider), relates his experiences being an entrepreneur amid the country’s conservative state culture and dominant business groups. Vargı describes the beginnings of his career when Turkey was a closed economy and the efforts under President Turgut Özal to introduce economic liberalism while in office (1989-1993) and of his own work in an export promotion agency and in representing foreign companies seeking to do business in Turkey. Primarily, Vargı describes the complex and risk-taking efforts to bring mobile technologies to Turkey, including his efforts to partner with the Swedish technology giant, Ericsson, and other overseas firms and financial backers.

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Resources

  • Turkcell [HBS case]
  • Corporate News: Turkcell Ruling Caps Long Fight,"Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2013
  • The Battle for Turkcell; Turkish Corporate Governance,"The Economist, April 21, 2012
  • Nanoident Technologies Gets Investment from MV Holding,"Wireless News, January 22, 2008
  • Turkcell Enhances Corporate Governance Practices and Adopts Dividend Policy,"PR Newswire, November 25, 2004
  • Economic Pressures Ring in the Changes," Financial Times, July 13, 2001
  • Jam Tomorrow, Never Jam Today," Euromoney, November 1999
  • Turkcell Taps into Turkey's Mobile Passion," Euromoney, February 1998
  • Bilka Brings Charges against Turkcell Board," Wall Street Journal, October 30, 1998
  • Turkcell's line goes dead," Euromoney,November 1996
  • Turkey: A Locomotive For Export Growth," Financial Times,December 16, 1987
  • Video file of this interview available at Baker Library Historical Collections, histcollref+hbs.edu. Harvard ID holders can access the full-length video above.

  • Interview citation: "Interview with Murat Vargı, interviewed by Felix Oberholzer-Gee, September 17, 2014, Creating Emerging Markets Project, Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, http://www.hbs.edu/businesshistory/emerging-markets/."