You can read the interview published in the July 2019 Issue of MSI Turkish Defence Review here:
Honeywell is currently making preparations to expand its cooperation with the Turkish defence and aerospace sector, to take it beyond the scope of supporting products already in the inventory and providing solutions to indigenous platform development projects. The company aims to make use of the sector’s capabilities in both foreign markets and in other sectors. Prior to the exhibition, we had the opportunity to speak with Serdar Çetingül, who has recently been appointed as the General Manager of Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey at Honeywell Aerospace, about the responsibilities brought by his new task and Honeywell’s cooperation efforts in Turkey.
MSI TDR: Mr. Çetingül, we first would like to congratulate you on your new position, and to wish you every success. Could you tell us about this change of role and your new responsibilities?
Serdar ÇETİNGÜL: Looking at Honeywell’s journey in Turkey, we can see that it began in the 1990s with a team of 10 people, and now continues with a team of approximately 300 people. One point that we have always stressed is that this team, including the decision-makers, is made up entirely of Turkish employees. As part of this team, my work for Honeywell eventually led me to assume responsibilities also for other countries.
Presently, I am overseeing a region that comprises Central and Eastern Europe – which by definition covers the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Hungary, Serbia and Ukraine – as well as Turkey and the Turkic Republics. In Turkey, my work used to focus primarily on the defence sector. Honeywell’s aerospace business is divided into three segments, which are defence, commercial and business jets, and in my new role I will be responsible in this broad geographic region for these three segments, which include both military and commercial solutions.
MSI TDR: What were factors behind your assignment to your new position?
Serdar ÇETİNGÜL: Honeywell attaches great importance to diversity among its employees. Its goal is to create a synthesis that will enhance success by bringing together managers from different regions, and hence from different cultures. My chance came from the fact that Turkey is one of the countries that holds great potential of growth for Honeywell, and that we as a local team were able to demonstrate a performance that met expectations. Due to this potential of Turkey, Honeywell’s upper management often visits Turkey to hold meetings. This has fostered further awareness, and this has contributed significantly in my appointment to this new role. Other reasons include the fact that Turkey exhibits characteristics that are common to developing countries, and that there is a need in other developing and emerging markets for managers with knowledge of the dynamics of the region.
MSI TDR: In your view, what contributions will your assignment to this role bring to the Turkish defence and aerospace sector?
Serdar ÇETİNGÜL: At Honeywell, one of our primary objectives when working in Turkey with Turkish companies has always been to trigger their export potential, and this continues to be the case today. Now that I am responsible for different regions, I think I can serve this objective at an even broader scale. My intention is to initiate new collaborations by bringing together end users and companies from different countries.
MSI TDR: The last time we had the chance to speak with you on behalf of our readers was at the EURASIA Airshow held last year. Since then, what noteworthy developments have there been regarding Honeywell’s activities in Turkey in relation to defence and aerospace?
Serdar ÇETİNGÜL: At the time of the EURASIA Airshow, we had only recently signed our distributorship agreement with Dormak. Nearly a year has passed since, and we see that this new deal has achieved what it had promised. Dormak takes our products directly to our users in Turkey, all the while having Honeywell’s engineering and quality support on its back. This model proved highly successful in its first year. For the upcoming period, we plan to also provide services to end users through this model, and expect to achieve rapid growth in this area.
In our previous interviews, we frequently spoke about the projects initiated by the Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) or Turkish Aerospace’s programmes. Looking from Honeywell’s standpoint, you also need to take the end user into account. Many Honeywell subsystems and components are also used on platforms that are found in large number in Turkey’s inventory, such as the C-130, F-16, UH-1, CH-47 and BLACK HAWK. For this reason, we also need to be capable of working with the end user. There have been, however, some regulation-related difficulties associated with this. The model we have established with Dormak overcomes these difficulties, which now allows us to work very closely with the end user.
We are also working on a framework agreement between General Directorate of Military Factories and Dormak. With this agreement, Dormak will be able to keep stocks for the Military Factories, and thus be able to provide services at a faster rate.
Among ongoing projects, we have made significant progress in the HÜRJET. Turkish Aerospace is currently in a good position with regards to this project. Since it is developing the aircraft with its own resources, the project is making rapid headway. There are many solutions that we have proposed for the HÜRJET. From mechanical components to electronic systems, and from the inside of the cockpit to the landing gear, we offer a broad range of solutions. We are also keeping close track of the National Combat Aircraft (TF-X) program, for which we will offer not only solutions similar to those signed for HÜRJET, but also for solutions specific to the TF-X.
MSI TDR: You are leading various efforts aimed at establishing cooperations with Turkish companies. Can you tell us about the latest situation and developments in these efforts?
Serdar ÇETİNGÜL: As I often mention when sharing information about my new role, our perspective is not limited to the Turkish market, as we are also looking to utilize the capabilities of other Turkish companies in our exports. Hence, our vision goes beyond merely producing certain parts for a project or system.
Another benefit of cooperation with Honeywell is that it has a significant business share on the commercial side, and uses similar technologies in both the defence and commercial areas. For this reason, we approach companies in Turkey not only from a defence perspective, but also with a view to working in other sectors. Our colleagues in the integrated supply chain department are regularly visiting Turkey to meet with various companies, and we are planning to sign a number of new contracts very soon. When this takes place, we will be sharing more about this with you.
MSI TDR: Are there any other points or issues you would like to mention?
Serdar ÇETİNGÜL: Honeywell has been developing technological products and systems for more than 100 years, and has been active in the field of software for nearly 59 years. We have all experienced, and continue to live, in the era of the Internet. The Internet has allowed the creation of digital environments and has brought them together. I can say that we are now entering a new era in which physical environments are being combined with digital environments, and this will allow us to provide a whole new set of values to our users. This is a critical issue for us, since we have many products, from components to subsystems, on a large number and wide variety of platforms and systems. For this reason, we are keeping close track of what this new era will bring. We will combine our products with digital environments in order to provide greater added value to our users. In the upcoming period, we will putting greater emphasis on our works in this area.
On behalf of our readers, we would like to thank Serdar Çetingül, General Manager of Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey at Honeywell Aerospace, for taking the time to answer our questions and for providing us with such valuable information.