Founded in 1990 by Abdulkadir Kurtul in Kahramanmaş and getting a strong foothold in the production, industry and marketing sectors, İskur is among Turkey’s largest 500 companies today. Exporting more than 75% of its products, the company receives export awards from various platforms every year thanks to its marketing company.
Starting its operations with the production of cotton, gin, and cotton oil, İskur is among the fully integrated largest manufacturers in the textile industry in Turkey today. The company continues to serve with thousands of employees in many destinations both in Turkey and abroad, taking an important role in the industry where it operates.
In this issue of the Tekstil Teknoloji, we present an interview we held with Abdulkadir Kurtul, İskur Group’s Chairman of the Board. Enjoy reading!
İskur Group, is among the largest manufacturers in the Turkish textile industry. In this sense, can you tell us about your facilities and your marketing strategy for your products?
As İskur Group, we have integrated facilities, which can meet various customer demands and convert our high quality yarns into fabrics including denim weaving, knitting, dye finishing and apparels. In this regard, our products are offered to the market in 15 different marketing offices worldwide. As İskur Group, we keep customer satisfaction in the forefront with high quality products, fast service and competitive marketing strategy.
Can you tell us about your production, and which products are the most demanded?
In the knit-wear industry, our customers mostly demand standard products such as two ply fleece, three ply fleece, interlock, Punto Milano, Punto di Roma as well as thermal underwear with together with multifunctional features, ecological products and special designs with denim effect. In our denim weaving range, we manufacture versatile comfort and power stretch products made of different fibres in blue, black, gray and overdye colors both for men and women. In addition to these, accelerating the steps for branding in order to increase our export targets in national and international platforms, as İskur Group, we have started the process to acquire the Turquality Certificate for the first time in our region.
Can you tell us about İskur Group’s dominance in the Turkish market and your export figures? Which countries do you export to?
İskur Group is one of the largest yarn and knitted fabric manufacturers in Turkey, and one of the most significant textile groups exporting more than 50% of its products. Exporting to more than 30 countries on four continents, İskur Group has reached an export figure of 70 million dollars in 2018. Having a fast and customer-oriented marketing culture, it exports its products to many European countries, in particular Italy, Greece and Spain.
What are your criteria in your machinery and technology investments to maintain your competitiveness and quality?
Since 1990 when İskur Group started its operations, we have adopted the principle of investing in the latest technological equipment in order to adapt to the challenging competition conditions in terms of infrastructure and capacity. Keeps efficiency in the forefront at every stage of production, our company continues to renew its old technologies with its experienced employees. Manual processing of the machines used in the textile industry increases labor errors and costs as well as taking too much time. In this regard, we conduct many R&D studies such as image processing and data transfer in order to adapt Industry 4.0 applications to our company in our technological investments.
What does innovation and R&D mean for İskur Group?
In order to overcome the crises in the global markets, to combat the cheap price advantage of the competitors, and to meet the increasing customer demands, it is inevitable for the industry to turn to original products based on high value added, innovative and design superiority instead of usual textile products. For this purpose, as in all over the world, the Turkish textile industry is focusing on innovation and R&D too. For these reasons, in 2018, as İskur Group’s R & D Center started its activities with the approval of the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology. In this process, a team of postgraduate researchers from different disciplines was recruited in our R&D Center in addition to the current qualified personnel in order to carry out R&D activities in order to strengthen our staff. İskur Tekstil, which accelerated its R & D projects, started to strengthen its innovative and competitive aspect while expanding its original product range. Our company will continue increasing its profitability and competitiveness by entering new markets.
Can you tell us about your activities in the field of R&D?
28 researchers from different disciplines such as textile engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical-clectronics engineering, chemistry and biology are working in our R&D Center. 3 of our 8 ongoing projects are supported by TÜBİTAK. We continue our visits to exhibitions, symposiums, congresses and universities to increase our national and international cooperation. We are reaching our targets determined by our innovative projects on protective technical textiles, military textiles, medical textiles and sustainability in order to maximize our exports for our country and our company.
What kind of steps do you think should be taken in order to contribute to the economic development of our country?
In order to contribute to the economic development of our country, strategic products of high import values and production should be encouraged. In addition, qualified human resources should be strengthened and clustering efforts accelerated. Thanks to clustering, national and regional competitiveness will increase, mutual relations between companies and research and supporting institutions will be strengthened.
What kind of activities and innovations do you think should be made in terms of making headway in the Turkish textile industry? What kind of activities have you carried out for this purpose?
As the Turkish textile industry, we need to develop innovative products with high added value and multi-functional characteristics, and to prioritize efficiency at every stage of production. As İskur Group, we set our future targets with this vision and create competitiveness with the contests we organize between enterprises, and regularly participate in contests held by the General Directorate of Productivity. In 2017, our project “waste heat recovery” came in fourth in Turkey.
Can you tell us about your 2019 targets and investments?
As İskur Group, our consolidated targets for 2019 are 230 million dollars, and we plan to renovate and modernize our textile enterprises. Likewise, we will participate in national and international exhibition in order to add new ones to the countries we export to and we will ensure the continuity of our targets.
Interview: Kübra Karaca