Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Militzer&Münch’s new route of growth passes through Turkey

Within the scope of its challenging growth goals, international logistics company Militzer & Münch is changing its shell in 9 countries including Turkey.

kosta_sandalci_militzer_munchThe company,which has prepared a new route map,  assigned Kosta Sandalcı, who is an expert in Turkish logistics sector and who is the Board Member of FIATA, as Managing Director responsible for the Middle East and Central Asia Regions, and also appointed him to the post of Member of Executive Board of 7 members in the company headquarters. Kosta Sandalcı has reported M&M's strategies for Turkey and their quick success in Turkey to UTA Lojistik Magazine.                                       

Militzer & Münch, which was established in 1880 as an affiliated company of Swiss Transinvest Group, which has become one of the companies that dominates global logistics sector with its long-standing past and its network in 38 countries, has revised its global growth goals. The company has concentrated on the countries that it considered as niche markets in order to increase its turnover up to 1 billion Euro in a short time, and has casted a significant role for Turkey in this strategy. Militzer & Münch has consigned the management of Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Dubai developments to Kosta Sandalcı and now continues its run faster. Kosta Sandalcı, who has stated that he has been elected as Middle East and Central Asia District Director that is composed of 9 countries and also elected as Executive Board Member of M&M, said, "Turkey is strategically important among all the countries that I am responsible for. Thus, the company has designated Turkey as the headquarters. Turkey is in the leading position among these 9 countries and has strong network with local organizations in almost each of these countries. It has a history in these markets that rests against the 90's. There is a huge potential and we have a long way to go in the East, and we will do so."
Kosta Sandalcı  also has become the Executive Board Member, who is responsible for the maximum number of countries. Sandalcı, who is responsible for 30% of the global turnover of M&M with 9 countries, emphasizes that this number may increase in the near future.

Kosta Sandalcı has given information about the journey of M&M in Turkish market and crossing of their paths, and he has also stated that the company has been among the actors of Turkish logistics sector from the early 60's. Sandalcı has stated that M&M, which had a strong market position through its agencies, has decided to invest in Turkey directly and has been continuing its air cargo and sea transportation operations for many years. Sandalcı has stated that the registered holding of the company has decided to make a global breakthrough in 2008 including Turkey, and mentioned that the company has knocked on his door along with other important names that it has incorporated recently. Sandalcı has pointed out that while he was planning to retire from Balnak, he could not decline an important mission as the responsibility of 9 countries, and has stated that he got behind the wheel for growth:
"M&M Turkey team consisted of 6 people and had 700 thousand Euros of turnover in November 2011. Being decisive about growing in Turkey, first M&M has directed its works in agencies to the company. The company has also taken over portfolio and agreements of its partner, ATC Group. We have slowly formed and scaled up the material that we had. We have increased our turnover from 700 thousand euros to 12 million euros in 2012; we have a team of 35 people only in Istanbul. We have achieved a significant growth in a year. We have set forth our turnover for 2013 as 15 million euros, but I am sure we will go beyond this number."
Sandalcı has pointed out that, after a certain point, it is hard to keep growing for major global companies such as M&M and added, "Because this type of companies may not be so flexible due to their greatness. However, you cannot stop these giants once you make them move. M&M is just like that…"

Sandalcı, who has stated that they started working on reinforcing their local networks in Turkey in parallel with their growth plans, has also stated that they have opened new offices in Mersin-Adana, Bursa and Izmir. Kosta Sandalcı has stated that especially the offices in Bursa that has been put into service in January have gained a significant business volume in a short time and said, "We have started our activities in Bursa with a team of 7 people, whom I have known for many years. I have always taken heed of Bursa. I think, when considered in terms of industry, Bursa is the main artery of Turkey after Istanbul. I especially take heed for customer visits in this city. It has a wide customer range from textile to automotive. "
Sandalcı has also stated that Mersin-Adana offices are of particular importance in terms of transit load traffic, and said they will put Ankara offices in service in a short time. Sandalcı indicated that acquisitions might be on the agenda within the scope of their route map in Turkey.

Textile, construction and investment transportations are prominent in business volume of M&M, which offers a wide range of service as a forwarder in Turkey. Kosta Sandalcı says, "As M&M Turkey, we are a significant player in logistics of the textile exportation to France, Germany and North Africa. When we consider import transportations, we can see the reflections of global components of M&M. The Company is an important global player in the category that we name as investment transportations, especially machinery and iron. We contribute to stiffening of this identity with our successful operations."
Sandalcı points out that the embargo placed on Iran has provided us some important opportunities as well as many other companies in Turkish logistics sector: "Due to the embargo placed by United Nations on Iran, especially the countries under my responsibility have not been able to transport through Bandar Abbas Port, as the ships that stopped by at this port are put on the black list and cannot stop by at any other port in the world. In this case, Mersin and Iskenderun have become prominent as strong alternatives. Particularly copper from Tajikistan and cotton from Turkmenistan go to the USA and China via Mersin. We have directed the load traffic of the countries under my responsibility to this port. We will position Mersin as a transit transportation base in M&M network."
Sandalcı has stated that they do not make warehouse or fleet investments in Turkey and work with their business partners, and pointed out that they may take a decision towards this way if there is any necessity. Sandalcı has stated that M&M is a company that uses land transportation densely, intermodal and combined transportation come second and maritime and air transportations are developing in coordination as a reflection of their strong structuring in China.

M&M, which is currently offering service in 38 countries, plans to enter into new markets. Sandalcı, who has reported to UTA Lojistik Magazine that they are preparing to open an office in Erbil in the first half of 2013, has pointed out that particularly Turkish construction companies have important investments in North Iraq. According to Sandalcı, Africa is the second region in the growth plans of M&M. the company, which has a strong position in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya, plans to focus on especially Kenya, Nigeria and Sudan.
Sandalcı believes that it is the best strategy to maintain growth in niche markets, "It is not easy to do business in niche markets, you have to take major risks. However, the more risks you take, the more you grow. Today, many firms that will export to Turkic Republics first come to M&M. Because they know that we provide solutions at every stage from customs clearance to storage and domestic transportation in these markets. This contributes to our success in Turkey as M&M."

Kosta Sandalcı broke his vow of silence for UTA Lojistik about the sale of Balnak, which he identifies as his 'second home' and took part among its founders and executive board. "We have successfully raised Balnak and carried the company to a significant place in within the sector; however, it was not possible for us to stand in front of the sale decision of the foreign partner, who has purchased almost half of the shares of the company in 2007." He also told us that the incorporation process of Balnak and Borusan Lojistik has started after he withdrawn from company's management. Sandalcı has pointed out that the company that purchased Balnak has made a good decision and if they can keep the strong agency structure and create a synergy, they can be successful.
Sandalcı believes that company mergers and purchases in Turkish logistics sector will continue in 2013 and the upcoming years and said, "Today, there are three options for the companies. Whether they will enter into the markets that they wish to grow, or they will specialize in a single field and this will make them irrevocable. The third option is to withdraw entirely from this sector…"

Kosta Sandalcı has stated that instead of slowing down, his pace keeps on increasing. Sandalcı has stated that he is glad to make a good come back to business life while planning his retirement, however, he also stated that his faculty membership in Istanbul University and his responsibilities in FIATA and UTIKAD also take too much of his time and continued: "I have been working in the university between 13.00 and 17.00 every Monday for 10 years. Due to my dense business trip agenda in M&M, I may have to quit my job at the university. Even though I love to spend time with the young and lecture them, I have been leaving the university and rushing to the airport lately. Once we bring FIATA World Congress to Turkey for the second time and successfully complete the organization, I will quit my job at both UTIKAD and FIATA. I am sure that President of UTIKAD, Turgut Erkeskin, will continue this mission. In short, I am tired of wearing more than one hat. I have to make necessary actions before it is too late, or else I will be very sad."

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