Stephen Hawking was recently asked to name the one greatest mystery in life.
Do you know what his answer was? The renowned physicist and cosmologist – arguably the brightest since Einstein – whose theories on quantum physics, black holes and the fundamental principles of the universe shattered the world of science, and who was the recipient of no less than twelve international honours and countless awards and medals replied, ‘Women. My PA reminds me that although I have a PhD in Physics, women should remain a mystery.’
When I first read about it, I could not help but muse that what Hawking regarded as an unfathomable enigma was a crown for my grandfather Cevdet İnci.
I was born into a family founded on equality and fairness in a part of the world where women face no privilege or discrimination. Women always stood by my grandfather’s side from the very start of his journey, from a small business to a holding company of 2,500 employees. A family under the loving care of my late grandmother Memnune İnci. As most of you know, they had five daughters born into the business... I grew up listening to my aunts’ stories of the blood, sweat and tears that went into the making of İnci Holding, and watching them work tirelessly. I also watched them grow from holding grandfather’s hand to shouldering his burden. They always stood right at the front, right by his side in triumph and defeat.
Surrounded as he was by women, in a manner of speaking, my grandfather Cevdet İnci lived his own life as a beacon of pride and hope for both our family and the Turkish economy.
I stand here today as part of a story of a small business founded by an entrepreneur from Aydın and evolved into a holding company; 65 years down the line, its name is known in the automotive industry across the world. A story that has women on every line. I took over as the first representative of the third generation in management as my aunts handed over after their own highly successful tenure. Their outstanding performance over the years speaks for itself. They are, of course, all daughters of Cevdet İnci... It is now time for the third generation to take the baton.
I also would like to thank each and every men in our life: my uncles who humbly took on responsibility whenever needed and guided with their experience and knowledge at each critical juncture, and my father, my husband and my son. Without them, the İnci Family would not have been complete. I do know that they will continue to stand by my side whenever I need them, and illuminate my path.
As the first third-generation president of İnci Holding, I am aware of undertaking a historic responsibility. And that I am very fortunate. Firstly, because I was raised by my grandfather, because I had the opportunity to work with him. Secondly, I have beside me every second-generation president who steered this ship through many a violent storm into safe harbours. I have been working here for two decades, and been serving on the Board for the past eight years. Guided by the experience of the past, I feel secure.
Today’s İnci Holding operates in the automotive sub-industry as a manufacturer of batteries and wheel rims, as well as in logistics and hotel equipment. Our annual growth has been at around 13 per cent in the past decade, and we remain resolute as we head towards our goals for 2023.
We continue to grow and develop together with our reliable global leader partners, all major players in their sectors: Brazilian Maxion in wheel rims, Japanese GS Yuasa in batteries and Japanese Yusen in logistics. Given our successful past partnerships with American, German, French and Italian companies, we can justifiably take pride in being a trustworthy partner for global companies.
The past 65 years of İnci Holding stand as proof that by combining our capacity to adapt to different cultures and our courage to cooperate with them, we not only create commercial success, but also rise to a fore in our sector. Something we can describe in short as the benefits of embracing innovation and change.
My grandfather Cevdet İnci loved the sea. The cover of his memoirs featured a photo of him at the helm of his boat, gazing at the horizon.
I have always thought of İnci Holding as a large ship sailing in the ocean. A large ship my grandfather steered through gigantic waves crashing over the deck. Today it is my turn to take the helm. A watch I take over eagerly, happily, proudly, and above all, with profound respect.
With respect to the labour, experience, and knowledge of 65 years, with respect to this family, to my country, and to the world...
That is partly why our theme in 2016, the year I take over, is ‘we respect’. And our message is, ‘Respect is diligence in communication, and trust in relationships.’
Respect is the first rule of serving as a captain. You can only succeed if you respect the sea, the wind, and nature.
I wholeheartedly believe that together we will succeed, thanks to strength I derive from the İnci Holding culture.
Hoping for a safe journey and a trailing wind, full speed ahead...
İnci Holding Co.