Intervju sa Candan Corbacioglu

Inrerview with Mrs. Candan Çorbacioglu, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Croatia in Izmir. My professional career has quite an interesting story. I started working during the times I was a student in the university doing different part time jobs.

Inrerview with Mrs. Candan Çorbacioglu, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Croatia in Izmir. 1. For six years you've worked for Coca-Cola and then went to work for Amway. What did you do before Coca Cola? My professional career has quite an interesting story. I started working during the times I was a student in the university doing different part time jobs. Most signficant of these is that I worked at the Sales Department of the newly opened Sheraton Hotel in Istanbul as Sales Representative while working on my MBA . It was a great experience which made me determined to focus my career on Marketing and Sales area. I was basically selling a hotel as a product!! My career in Coca Cola had to phases. In phase one I worked on doing sales statistics and reports. Again this was a good experience for me to understand that I do not like working with numbers but prefer to do work focused with people. My second phase of work in Coca Cola is when I got promoted to the position of Advertising and Sales Promotion Manager for Turkey. I can say that this job was the one that set the way for my career. I interrupted my career when I gave birth to my two daughters with 18 months apart. I started again with Amway company in 1994 when they started business in Turkey; first as Marketing Manager for the Turkish affiliate and than got apponited to Marketing Manager of Amway Greece and Turkey and than with time got promoted to be in charge of External Affairs for 5 countries in Europe, and this is one job that I really enjoy doing. For some people, after staying home as a mother and wife for some time, it may not be so easy to start work again but not for me because I love to work and I am very lucky that I had the opportunity to go back to my career in a company like Amway which gave me the chance to grow my career in the best possible way. It is also with great pleasure for me to tell you that just this week, I have been informed that I am promoted to the post of Senior European External Affairs Manager and having major Amway affiliates as Greece, Poland and Ukraine added to the list of countries that I will be responsible for. So the list of my countries of responsibility will increase to 8 from 5 and this is very exciting for me.. How much is direct selling popular in countries you are in charge of (Croatia, Slovenia, Romania, Hungary and Turkey)? Direct Selling is the way of retailing for the 21 st century. It is a fast growing industry that provides top quality products with convieneince and personalized service to the consumers and also has an excellent business opportunities to individuals who would like to own their independent busineses with low investment and low risk. Taking into all these positive elements of direct selling, I am sure you will not be suprised when I tell you that is very popular not in the countries of my area that you have listed but in Europe and globally. Currently direct selling is over 100 Billion USD with nearly 50 million people working as independent direct sellers globally ( figures from World Federation of Direct Selling Associations based in Washington D.C ) . The same numbers in Europe are 7 million direct sellers and more than 11 billion Euros in total sales with 7 % increase from last year ( figures from the European Federation of Direct Selling Associations, based in Brusells) So we are talking of a very popular, growing industry... 2. What is the situation in Croatia? Are you satisfied? The direct selling industry is relatively new in Croatia. All major international companies has started business in Croatia in the last 10 years. There are currently in operation 15 direct selling companies, national and international , in Croatia, and they are of various business sizes, with estimated that total sales of around 55 million Euros. Most recently in spring 2007, the five main international direct selling companies operating in Croatia have formed a new trade association , Hrvatske Udruge Direktne Prodaje (HUDP) – Croatian Direct Selling Association (DSA). The five members this association are Amway, Avon, Herbalife, GNLD and Oriflame. In total these companies have more than 70.000 independent direct sellers with total sales of more than 28million Euros. which is quite a good size industry. We as companies who have invested in Croatia expect our business to grow substatially in the next five years. 3. How come you came involved with the work of DSA? As part of my job as External Affairs Manager , I am very much involved in the trade associations that my company is member of. I have been the founding member of the Direct Selling Associations in Turkey, Romania and Croatia . Currently I am Board member of the Turkish Direct Selling Association and Vice Chairman for the Croatian Direct Selling Association. I also represent the Turkish and Slovenian Direct Selling Associations in the Board of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations and European Federation of Direct Selling Association. As Amway, we belive that trade associations are vital elements for our business, in establishing relations with the key target audiences and building a solid base for our industry. Amway Corporation as leader of the direct selling industry world wide, is an active member of all industry associations and we as representatives of the company, make sure these associations as influential , positive tools not only for our business interests but also making positive contributions to the enivronments we are operating in. 4. What does your membership in the Turkish-Croatian Business Council mean, and your function as Honorary Consul of the Republic of Croatia in Turkey? I have been working in Croatia since 2001 when my company started its business in Croatia. I loved your country from the very first day I came to Zagreb in June 2001. It is hard to explain in words but I can say that «it was love at first sight!! « . As a very frequest world traveller, I have rarely felt so much at home as I have felt in Croatia. Maybe because I found many similarities with my country and its people. This love grew more as I got to make friends, and learn more about the history and rich culture of your country. Obviously, we cannot undermine the role of its fantastic beauty and cuisine that also made a great impression on me!!. During the course of the years I worked with Croatia, I got the opportunity to meet others from my country who also have mutual business interests in two countries. This led to my membership in the Turkish Croatian Business Council, which has the main purpose of building closer business ties between two countries which has excellent diplomatic relations and are also going through at the same time membership process with EU. As for my appiontment as Consul of the Republic of Croatia in my home town of Izmir, Turkey, that is a great honor bestowed on me by the Presidents of both countries. In this role, my main mission is to ensure that the ongoing existing excellent diplomatic relations of two countries are expanded to business , cultural and academic areas. I had the honor of President Mesic coming and personally opening the Croatian Consulate in Izmir in December 2006 and giving me very high recognition. This also was a great motivation for me to work with more dedication in programs that will bring the two countries together. 5. What would you point out as the main positive characteristic of Amway company? Apropos, let's say, what would be the reason for somebody to buy Amway product through direct selling, and not some other product in the store? First of all, I would say the high quality of Amway Products. Amway Corpoaration is the manufacturer of more that 500 products in range of Homecare, Personal Care, Cosmetics, Food Supplements and Home Technology; that are produced in its own high tech, state of art manufacturing facilities in Ada , Michigan and Bueno Park California, USA. The company has been operating since 1959 with the main mission of providing its customers only the very best quality range of products. Amway products are sold since the company's founding, with 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. What this means that a customer with any product dissatisfaction , can return the product without any constraints and time restrictions and can make a new purchase or get their money back. This 100% Satisfaction Guarantee principal is valid in all the countries around the world that Amway is in business since 1959. Another factor is the personalized service and convinience that the customers get when they make a purchase with direct selling method. The products that they have ordered are delivered to the location of their choice, at the time of their choice. They are given personal explantions about the proper use of the products. In these times when we all want to do more in our daily lives and have time restrictions becasue of our busy daily schedules, convieneince factor of direct selling is a big plus. Personally I can give my self as an example of a busy, working woman with a house and family to look after, I am always short of time. With direct selling, I have a means of ordering my products on line or directly with a direct seller that I know well who is able to bring me what I need directly to my house,even at late hours and give me detailed explanation about the products I purchased when I ask and save me time. Than I am able to have more time for other things I would like to do for myself and my family. That's why I would say Direct Selling is the retailing trend of 21st Century!!! What are the characteristics of a successful business woman, on an international level? It is not any different in international level than national level. The most important characteristic is that you work hard!!!. It is also important that you have good personal skills since you have to work in different countries with people from different cultures and work ethics. You need to have adaptability and flexibility to be able to work in different environments. The company that you work can be the same company but you should not forget that the people that work are not the same!! You need to know how to approach people in different countries and motivate and establish harmonious work relations with them . Believe me, this is not so easy to do!!! Another point in an international position, obviously you have to travel alot, something I personally do extensively. On avarege I am travelling about 35-40 weeks every year since I have been appointed to my current position. This means you have to be physically able to adapt to different conditions and be flexiable to move on short notice . 6. As a business woman, mother of two daughters, in what way did you raise them, direct them? Was it difficult, and what did you want to pass on to them from your experience? I will take credit along with my husband in the fact that we raised such great children. I am blessed with two excellent , brilliant, fantastic daughters who are now grown up, in early stages of their independent lives. Both are living away from home and have their own separate careers. One is working on her Masters Degree in Sociology and is going to continue her studies in order to become an academic and the other one is working as an Art Director in advertising industry. I always told my daughters that as individuals, we aways have choices to make in our lives and these choices can determine how we develop ourselves. And what ever the choice we make, there are only two principals that I would want them to follow in their lives and that is; first, what ever they decide to do in their lives, they should be happy in doing it. Life is too short and meaningless to be un happy with. Second is that , they should do it in the best way that they are capable of doing. If you are happy in what you are doing and doing it well; what more can you ask in your life!!! 7. Your husband is a doctor, was he always supportive on you building your own career? What is the situation in Turkey, in reference to this? My husband was and still very supportive to me in my career. When we met , I was again a very busy business woman , working late hours and travelling alot. So he really got to know me as I was!!! In fact he was the one that motivated me the most when I decided to go back to work after raising my daughters. Maybe because he knew me so well that he had no other options!!! He has a stable job that requires him to work on normal business hours of 9:00 to 6:00 ( he is medical doctor, radiologist and has his own clinic). He is really very understanding when you consider that his wife is away so much ... But we both know that I am a better person and better wife by continuing my career and in a way, our marriage is really more colorful and exciting than most of other couples who has been married for 26 years as we are. We still make dates to go out and wait in excitement to see each other......

Press releases