Selçuk Yaşar
Turkey
Selçuk Yaşar
  • Founder and Honorary Chair, Yaşar Holding (Diversified)
Born Rhodes, 1925. İstanbul School of Economics and Commerce (1945), İzmir School of Economics and Commerce (1946).
“I’ve always believed in acting positively; we’re optimists, not pessimists.”

Summary

Selçuk Yaşar describes his role as founder of Yaşar Holding, a business group comprising more than 20 companies and operating in Izmir, on Turkey’s Aegean coast. Yaşar’s father Durmuş had begun his business life with a paint and marine supplies retail store in 1927 and then in 1954, with his sons, opened the country’s first paint manufacturing plant (with a licensing agreement from the Danish company, Sadolin Holmblad). Selçuk established Yaşar Holding in 1968 and moved the group into new industries, including food, fertilizer, beverages, paper, tourism, energy and banking and expanding overseas. In this interview he relates his efforts to grow the Yaşar group which has become one of the largest business groups in Turkey. He mentions his work with U.S. consulting companies in the 1990s and his overseas business operations, especially in the Middle East. Yaşar mentions that the group moved out of the non-core businesses and concentrated on paint and food sectors in particular after the economic crises in the country in mid 1990s and early 2000s. The holding company included professional non-family managers in the top management positions, including the CEO position, since 2000s. Yaşar also describes his company’s longstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility, including the Yaşar Education and Culture Foundation. The interview also included comments from colleagues Mehmet Aktaş (the CEO of Yaşar Holdings since 2007) and Simge Erdem Ünal (Corporate Communication Senior Specialist at Yaşar Holding).

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Selçuk Yaşar describes his role as founder of Yaşar Holding, a business group comprising more than 20 companies and operating in Izmir, on Turkey’s Aegean coast. Yaşar’s father Durmuş had begun his business life with a paint and marine supplies retail store in 1927 and then in 1954, with his sons, opened the country’s first paint manufacturing plant (with a licensing agreement from the Danish company, Sadolin Holmblad). Selçuk established Yaşar Holding in 1968 and moved the group into new industries, including food, fertilizer, beverages, paper, tourism, energy and banking and expanding overseas. In this interview he relates his efforts to grow the Yaşar group which has become one of the largest business groups in Turkey. He mentions his work with U.S. consulting companies in the 1990s and his overseas business operations, especially in the Middle East. Yaşar mentions that the group moved out of the non-core businesses and concentrated on paint and food sectors in particular after the economic crises in the country in mid 1990s and early 2000s. The holding company included professional non-family managers in the top management positions, including the CEO position, since 2000s. Yaşar also describes his company’s longstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility, including the Yaşar Education and Culture Foundation. The interview also included comments from colleagues Mehmet Aktaş (the CEO of Yaşar Holdings since 2007) and Simge Erdem Ünal (Corporate Communication Senior Specialist at Yaşar Holding).
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Additional Resources

Additional Resources

  • "Selçuk Yaşar," İzmir Culture and Tourism Magazine, 2012
  • "Selçuk Yaşar," Yaşar University website
  • SELCUK YASAR ROPORTAJI, YouTube, Uploaded on July 1, 2007
  • “Turkey’s Regulatory/Market Assessment,” The Economist, August 29, 2014
  • “Yaşar Eyes Alliance with Carlsberg and Akzo Nobel,” Hürriyet Daily News, February 28, 2001
  • Selçuk Yaşar, Genç Yöneticilere İletişim Örnekleri. İzmir, 2000
  • Selçuk Yaşar, Hayatım. İzmir, 1996
  • Selçuk Yaşar, Hayat okul gibidir: Ekonomi, politika ve işletme yönetimi hakkında görüşlerim. İzmir, 1993
  • “Facing a Meaty Problem: A Look at Yasar Holdings,” Financial Times Survey, July 19, 1990
  • “Turkish Banking: A Marriage Not Made In Heaven,” Financial Times, December 8, 1988
  • “Izmir: Place For Family Business,” Financial Times, July 22, 1987
  • “Dominated by Family Dynasties,” Financial Times, November 4, 1985
  • "Turkey: Trade and Industry: Food Industries,” Financial Times Survey, December 24, 1984
  • "Turkey is Developing Aegean Industrial Area,” Globe and Mail (Canada), August 7, 1984
  • Selçuk Yaşar, Sanayide devlet. Abajoli Matbaası, 1978
  • Selçuk Yaşar, Arabanın frenleri. İstanbul: Yenilik Basımevi, 1971
  • Selçuk Yaşar, Türkiyeʾnin baş ağrıları. Tifsat Basım ve Yayın Sanayii, [c. 1970]

Interview Citation Format

"Interview with Selçuk Yaşar, interviewed by Aslı Colpan, April 24, 2014, Creating Emerging Markets Project, Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, http://www.hbs.edu/creating-emerging-markets/."