Arçelik’s IFA keynote to focus on shaping technologies for the benefit of people… and the environment

For Arçelik’s CEO Hakan Bulgurlu, technology and innovation are integral, as the company strives for a more sustainable and efficient future for its consumers. Arçelik, parent company to 12 global brands including two of Europe’s largest Beko and Grundig, is striving to shape technologies for the benefit of people and the environment in all 146 countries it operates in worldwide. We asked Mr Bulgurlu what we can expect to hear in his talk.

In my keynote speech, I will deliver a clear message that provides insight into Arçelik, its role in the industry and my vision for the company.

By making innovative technologies more accessible, through a portfolio of leading brands, we have a powerful responsibility to transform our industry, in order to better serve the needs of people all over the world.

By putting people at the heart of everything we do and understanding consumers’ desires and motivations, our mission is to come up with solutions that create real and useful impact for their wellbeing. We believe that technology can help improve people’s skills, and thus their everyday lives, and secure our future if it is used in an innovative way.

Within this scope, I will also use my speech to unveil Arçelik’s sustainability approach, its cutting-edge technological solutions as we strive for a more sustainable and efficient future for the consumers. I will also demonstrate our strong position on product and innovation as well as the importance of how products developed by Arçelik affect people’s lives.


What is your view of the global market for technical consumer goods, and what do you see as being the key trends at the moment?

Consumers are willing to pay more for products that address global and environmental issues. They buy products that they believe will simplify their lives and choose brands based on their societal and environmental impact. They are increasingly staying loyal to brands that reflect their personal values and to those that demonstrate they are run by ‘purpose-led’ businesses.

Currently, there are four key themes that drive the technical consumer goods market. Consumers now demand rich experiences delivered through:

Performance: Consumers see performance as the enabler to deliver on the need for rich experience. They choose products that offer superior performance, flexibility and convenience.

Simplification: Consumers lose interest in a product if that product is not simple to use. Simplification also activates the consumer willingness to spend more. Consumers strive for simplicity and have less time for chores.

Premium: Identity and aspirations of consumers are reflected in premium products.

Borderless Shopping: Consumers now prefer brands that are customer-centric and virtually borderless instead of shop- centric or geographically-focused. These themes have led us to work on new technologies such as image recognition, smart algorithms, new user interfaces that simplify consumers’ lives, and making more nutritious dishes. The lives and preferences of consumers are at the forefront of our thinking throughout the design, development and production process of any of our products.

How is Arçelik developing on a global basis, and what are the geographic zones you are looking to grow?

We are a leading global player in home appliances industry with 12 brands present in 146 countries and 23 manufacturing facilities across the globe. Our vision is to become a trusted lifestyle solutions provider of the digital households as our global footprint has been growing consistently with investments in new geographies. Alongside Turkey, we are the leading player in the UK, Romania, South Africa, Pakistan and Poland. Beko has been the most successful brand, recording the highest unit market share increase in Europe in the 21st century.
At Arçelik, we implement a very determined global growth strategy. While reinforcing our core business in Europe and Turkey, we have been constantly growing in Asia-Pacific and Africa in the last decade, where the global middle class is exploding. The middle class is already the largest segment of demand in the global economy and two-thirds of household consumption comes from them.


What would you say is the “backbone” of your strategy?

Sustainability is one of the main pillars of our strategy and business model, as defined by our vision “Respecting the World, Respected Worldwide”. We embrace sustainability as a way of life. We are committed to building purposeful brands and strive to differentiate with products and technologies that endorse sustainability as we focus on efficient use of resources and circular economic solutions.
Within this context, we have developed a washing machine tub made of recycled PET bottles. We have recycled 15 million PET bottles into washing machine tubs in one year. We will recycle 25 million PET bottles annually (250 tons of plastics); thus, to save 5.7 million kWh energy equivalent to 1,700 households annual electricity consumption and to prevent 885 tons of CO2 emissions.

We have also developed a microfibre filtration system which is designed and manufactured to remove microfibre from washing machine discharge. The system is integrated into the washing machine. The world’s first and only washing machine with built-in synthetic microfibre filtration system filters out more than 90% of fabric microfibre leaking into water resources.
We are also working to reduce marine pollution by recycling fishing nets and utilizing them in our products. In 2018, we recycled 65 tons of these materials by using the improved nylon composites in oven parts.

What importance do you place in Research & Development?

We constantly strive to develop technologies that enhance the everyday lives of our customers. We are passionate about democratizing technology for the masses, making them affordable and ensure that as many people as possible have access to them.
To achieve this goal and stay at the forefront of our industry, we continue to invest in R&D and constantly innovate. We are among the top 100 companies in the world (#67) in terms of patent applications as compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organisation. (WIPO) We have 1500 R&D employees in 17 R&D centres spread throughout the world.

Our 4.0 digital smart factory in Romania is a key part of this ecosystem. Being 70% automated it’s the most advanced manufacturing facility in the industry, and among the best smart factories in the world.

How do you leverage IFA, and what are you aiming to achieve through your close association with this show?

Every year IFA gets better both in terms of story and content. Its growing crowds and increasing popularity position it as a key industry event. We believe that this year, our global brands, Beko & Grundig, will continue to contribute to the strong spirit and energy of the show.

Keynote – Hakan Bulgurlu
Date: Saturday 7 September
Time: 2:00 pm
Location: Hall 26b – GRAND THEATRE

Photo: Hakan Bulgurlu CEO, Arçelik