Home INTERVIEWS Hilal ÜNAL, President of SEDEC Organization Committee: “SEDEC is a need for SMEs that have the capabilities and that wish to present or develop products and to export.”

Hilal ÜNAL, President of SEDEC Organization Committee: “SEDEC is a need for SMEs that have the capabilities and that wish to present or develop products and to export.”

by Şafak Kaan Oğraş

Şebnem ASİL / s. asil@milscint.com

K. Burak CODUR / b.codur@milscint.com

SEDEC aims to both meet the demands of end-users in security sector and facilitate the development of products aimed at security sector. Hilal Ünal, President of SEDEC Organization Committee, has expressed the latest developments regarding SEDEC 2022 and the event’s importance for the sector for MSI TDR readers.

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Türksat has been meeting homeland security needs with its communications solutions, and the company was among the attendants of SEDEC 2018.

MSI TDR: Ms. Ünal, you have been a part of many events over the years within the sector. With your experience in mind, how important is SEDEC for the sector?

Hilal ÜNAL: SEDEC is first and foremost a security sector event. Before I answer your question, I would like to take a look at the history of similar events. One of the premier events for the security sector, Milipol, is held in Paris for almost 30 years. Germany’s IWA Outdoor Classics is held regularly since 1974, while its spin-off, Enforce Tac, has been organised since 2012.

With this history in mind, we can probably say Türkiye is a bit late to the party. Why is this important? Because security sector has plenty of potential opportunities for companies that develop technologies. For example, the companies producing for defence sector can become companies that also provide products and services to security sector. You can transform the supply chain for defence sector to service security sector as well. However, you must realise that the security sector has its own industrial framework, dynamics, and supply chains. First and foremost, security sector is much more dynamic. You can present a defence platform without changing much on it in a few fairs, however, in security fairs, you can see great differences on the platforms in just 4 months.

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SEDEC brings end users with main contractors together.

To understand these peculiarities of security sector and to develop business for this sector, attending events is of vital. SEDEC began its journey in 2018 to fulfil a gap for security sector in Türkiye.

Of course, SEDEC is a much younger event compared to the ones I mentioned before. However, I can gladly say it made an important difference. For example, after SEDEC, similar events were organised in our region. As such, we can say SEDEC presented an example for our region.

MSI TDR: What kind of feedback did you receive from attendants in previous years? Can you share us some details?

Hilal ÜNAL: Our main source for feedback is the surveys we give out after the events. According to the surveys, 98.7 percent of the attendants said they were satisfied with the event after SEDEC 2018, while this number rose to 99 percent in 2020. This raise made us proud, as we could only hold the event online under pandemic conditions in 2020. We were not sure how an event like this could meet the demands of the sector. However, we observed both the suppliers and end users were starving for a business-friendly atmosphere. SEDEC 2020 was a great success story for that reason.

Other than the surveys, we are also making observations and getting feedback from the organisations that attend. SEDEC being a business-driven event leads to interesting stories, for example, in 2018 the attending companies had to take back most of their promotional materials they brought, as only sector professionals attended the event. Another example would be a participant saying “I can’t believe every single person here is a useful contact for me!” as he expressed his satisfaction.

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To understand the peculiarities of security sector and to develop business for this sector, attending events is of vital. SEDEC began its journey in 2018 to fulfil a gap for security sector in Türkiye.

MSI TDR: Could you share some numerical data on the business opportunities SEDEC 2018 and 2020 created?

Hilal ÜNAL: I must first highlight the fact that Turkish companies are very secretive in these matters. Thus, we learn about collaborations that were first conceived in SEDEC indirectly. For example, we learned from officials of 8-9 countries that they commenced collaborations with Turkish companies in sales and representation among other things. We think this number is much higher, as we predict we do not have a full picture.

From end users we learned they actually expanded the product line-ups of 3-4 companies with their requests. These are products the companies did not offer or develop before. As such, we consider the contributions of SEDEC is greater than these numbers.

What we observed is 5 companies started doing business with security sector after attending SEDEC. In other words, the sector gained 5 companies through SEDEC.

These were a short summary of the event regarding Turkish companies. For example, we also know of a Canadian company meeting the delegation from an African country in SEDEC and exporting to that country afterwards. SEDEC offers added value to all its participants as a whole.

Details Surface

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 Leonardo, one of the most prominent solution partners for Turkish defence and aerospace industry held talks to strengthen its business ties in SEDEC 2018.

MSI TDR: What are the latest details on participation for SEDEC 2022?

Hilal ÜNAL: For end users, various organisations and units under Ministry of National Defence and Ministry of Interior will make a strong showing in SEDEC 2022. We observe SEDEC being an entirely business driven event and being held in Ankara increases the participation of public institutions to the event.

Officials from Presidency of Defence Industries will also attend SEDEC.

As for the sector, the companies under Turkish Armed Forces Foundation and all other prominent actors in the sector, along with many SMEs will participate in the event. In addition, our talks continue with technoparks, clusters and chambers in Ankara and other provinces.

SEDEC being a business-driven event leads to interesting stories, for example, in 2018 the attending companies had to take back most of their promotional materials they brought, as only sector professionals attended the event. Another example would be a participant saying “I can’t believe every single person here is a useful contact for me!” as he expressed his satisfaction.

We are also in touch with end users, procurement delegations and companies from allied and friendly countries. We are in talks with officials from over 30 countries.

MSI TDR: Could you share the details on the conference to be held within SEDEC with our readers?

Hilal ÜNAL: We determined the session titles as Homeland Security, Internal Security, Coastal Security, Urban Security and Satellite and Communications Security. In these sessions, the topics from the titles will be the primary theme, but data and information security and cyber security regarding these topics will also be included.

Experts from both Türkiye and abroad will be the speakers for the sessions.

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SEDEC offers companies to hold plenty of business talks through the event.  

MSI TDR: Do you have anything more you would like to add?

Hilal ÜNAL: SEDEC is a completely business-oriented event, with less public attention and crowds due to its format. End users can easily attend the event as it is held in Ankara, with large delegations. All parties can get together and do more in 3 days than they could do by themselves in months.

Before the event starts, your schedule for the event is completely determined; who you will meet and when, for example. We are doing this schedule assignment with a national and indigenous software, and the data stays within the country as well.

SEDEC enjoys attention from end users and main contractors both in Türkiye and abroad. With all these features I have mentioned, SEDEC is a need for SMEs that have the capabilities and that wish to present or develop products and to export. At SEDEC, these SMEs find the opportunity to meet with procurement officials from abroad and Türkiye, at the cost of a plane ticket for a trip to a single foreign country.

We would like to thank Hilal ÜNAL, President of SEDEC Organization Committee, for taking the time to answer our questions, and for providing us with such valuable information.

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