What Matters is Reliability Rather Than Being The Largest One
Having achieved significant success in Turkish business world with its state-of-the-art R&D investments, production capacity, international projects and a global competitiveness objective, Alarko Holding is now growing with its third-generation managers after the time of İshak Alaton and Dr. Üzeyir Garih, which started in 1954. Following corporate management strategies, Tal Garih leads innovative human resources and visionary strategies of investing in entrepreneurship.
Dr. Üzeyir Garih, Founding Co-President of Alarko Holding, says: "Today's youth is better educated, has better capability of integration in the world, has a wider range of knowledge and a better-developed culture, and can speak foreign languages. The new generation has the required ability to make use of all occupational resources to access knowledge. Being this much familiar with information sources, this generation is rather seeking to understand the experience of senior professionals instead of trying to equip themselves with information in business life. This is because their experience is about the rights and wrongs of long years, or in other words constitutes valuable proven knowledge".
Tal Garih, Strategic Planning Manager of Alarko Group of Companies, who gave us as gift his book titled ""Cross-sections of My Business Life and Recommendations to the Youth", which tells about his experience in business life, seems to have built his life philosophy on the inspiring ideas of his grandfather. He is 33 years old, and is a young, positive and highly dynamic person. Having graduated with a double major in the Departments of International Relations and Psychology of Virginia University in 2007, Mr. Garih completed his Master's Degree in the field of Business Administration and Politics at New York University with honors. In addition to his mission at Alarko, he also serves as Chairman of the Board and Faculty Member of Faculty of Business Administration at Bahçeşehir University and as Board Member of Yenibirlider (A New Leader) Association. Garih served at various positions at Alarko since 2010.
Drawing attention to strategic planning, his main area of focus, Garih says: "Where should we stand three, five or ten years later and what should we do to secure that? What kind of systems should we establish? What kind of processes and what kind of a culture should we ensure? These are the questions I have been trying to answer. We have consolidated all business development processes under the strategic planning department. Thus, we are now considering business development not only in financial terms, but also in strategic terms."
Garih is particularly interested in digital transformation projects of the company. The holding operates in the fields of energy, contracting, tourism, air conditioning and real estate. In the field of energy, the holding is engaged in generation of electricity using various sources and trading and distribution of electricity, while it is partners with the Carrier company in the air conditioning industry. The holding has the Hillside brand in tourism and a real estate investment company, and also continues the construction of infra- and super-structure projects such as metro, highway projects and treatment facilities. Karabiga Thermal Power Plant, which has an installed capacity of 1320 MW is one of the important projects. Agreement for Major Almaty Motorway Project, which is a part of the Western China - Western Europe Highway Project, is also another important issue on the agenda. This project is the first major-scale PPP (Private-Public Partnership) in Kazakhstan, and has been launched thanks to the support of major international finance institutions such as EBRD and IFC. In addition to this new project, the deliveries are still going on and progresses are being made in various phases of Istanbul and Ankara Metro construction.
Garih also mentions various issues such as artificial intelligence, Industry 4.0 and technological investments, which will shape the future strategies, and says: "As the company, we will adapt our human force, knowledge and investment philosophy to Industry 4.0 concepts, and continue to develop in the areas we are familiar with. For example, we focus on energy investments such as hydroelectricity and wind power, and consider the available opportunities. We are blending organizational memory and change management approaches, and integrate them in a single structure. It is estimated that nearly half of the existing business segments will be eliminated and replaced with others by 2033. We all have to prepare our plans carefully in this direction. Seven years later, 76% of the human force is expected to consist of millennials, Generation Y and Z. Thus, it will be more important day by day for organizations to know the youth and to shape themselves according to them. We are shifting towards an open talent economy every passing day". Being the manager of Yenibirlider Association, Garih says: "The founders of this association are my cousin Cem Garih and Kerem Kamışlı from the Sabancı Family. Thanks to their vision and our strong executive team, we offer university students with internship opportunities at our corporate supporters operating in different fields. We are selecting young professionals of around 30 years old who work at our corporate supporters and who are considered for top management positions. We ensure that young professionals and interns go through cross trainings and mentorship received from the Chairmen of the Board or coordinators of Turkey's leading companies both in mentor and mentee positions". Holding a photo-shooting session at the end of the interview, Tal Garih accompanied us on a short tour in the offices of İshak Alaton and Üzeyir Garih in Alarko Holding building. His philosophy is about being reliable and honest instead of being the largest company. As we flip through photos and hear his memories, he goes on repeating this philosophy of himself. The high energy of this young manager tells too much about the present status of the company built on the heritage of two businessmen, who can be said to have had "differences that complete each other", and we can easily understand that a vast experience and expertise play a significant and vital role in his leadership career.