Home INTERVIEWS Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ, Chairman of KIM Technologies: “We Want to See KIM Technologies as a Company That Has Facilities in 3 Countries, with a Total Revenue of at Least $50 Million in the Next Five Years.”

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ, Chairman of KIM Technologies: “We Want to See KIM Technologies as a Company That Has Facilities in 3 Countries, with a Total Revenue of at Least $50 Million in the Next Five Years.”

by Şafak Kaan Oğraş

Şebnem ASİL / s.asil@milscint.com
Ümit BAYRAKTAR / ubayraktar@milscint.com
Alper ÇALIK / a.calik@milscint.com

KIM (Kayseri İleri Malzemeler  / Kayseri Advanced Materials) Technologies has been founded in 2019 to develop advanced materials technologies and produce these materials. However, the founding story and aims of the company are anything but traditional. The company continues its investments towards its targets while developing and offering its products. Mehmet Büyüksimitci, Chairman of KIM Technologies shared the founding story, aims, and efforts of the company.

MSI TDR: When we take a look at the founding story of KIM Technologies, we see a rather unorthodox story. Could you share some information on this process?

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ: Various models exist for the companies that wish to take a step into the defence and aerospace sector. The most well known of these is a start-up company for a bid from an end-user, like Ministry of National Defence. Another model that has been picking up speed in Türkiye is a main contractor leading the way for a new company in a different city to supply some subsystems for itself. In this model, other than the main contractor, the important organisations in that city also play a role. Both models share a characteristic: they both have a starting project and a defined work.

KIM Technologies was founded on an entirely different model. First of all, KIM Technologies is a fully private enterprise. We were not founded with a state supported project. In other words, we did not found the company in order to win a bid.

No main contractors from the sector were involved in the company’s founding either. Our company was founded by Kayseri Chamber of Industry (KAYSO) and Kayseri Chamber of Commerce, and other leading private organisations in Kayseri.

As such, we can define KIM Technologies as a company born from an industrial vision and the industrial and technological potential in Kayseri. This is a new model for Türkiye, but it is also a model that can be applied in many cities.

MSI TDR: You mentioned that an industrial vision and the industrial and technological potential in Kayseri were combined in KIM Technologies. Could you share some details on the vision you have?

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ: KIM Technologies is a company that is active in advanced materials, nanotechnology, advanced ballistic protection systems, ceramic matrix composites and special sensors. We wanted to ensure KIM Technologies to be a company that made its own products and technologies and claim its share in the international market with these products and technologies from the start. Our priority is to meet the needs of Türkiye, especially in the defence and aerospace industry. Our talks with both end users and main contractors continue in this regard. We also aim to achieve 70 or 80 percent of our revenue from exports. In other words, we do not want to be tied to a certain product or sector. We want to have an extensive line-up.

We can take decisions really quick as we work with private sector dynamics. We founded the company a few months before COVID-19 breakout. We continued our efforts on our infrastructure investments through video conferences and we were able to move very quickly.

When we were investing in our infrastructure, we took extra care to not replicate existing Turkish infrastructure, especially in R&D and engineering. Most of the machines, equipment, and labs here are the only such ones in Türkiye. For production, we set up all the required infrastructure as the demand there is much more intense.

We plan to do the best and be an international brand. Our stakeholders, both Turkish and international, can easily observe our advance in this regard.

MSI TDR: How did KIM Technologies’ founding process proceed? Who were its founders?

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ: I am also the president of KAYSO. We work very closely with Ömer Gülsoy, President of Kayseri Chamber of Commerce, and we hold talks often. We talk on high technologies, increasing added value and producing in critical areas in our discussion. The idea to found KIM Technologies resulted from these discussions and our desire to realise our discussions.

When we consider Türkiye’s achievements in defence and aerospace industry, our country has achieved a good place in platforms and their subsystems. We can indigenously develop the subsystems required. However, one or two steps down, we hardly have any companies working on critical materials.

We discussed how to fix this absence with Mr. Gülsoy. We have over 25 years of acquaintance with Murat Sert, currently the General Manager at Kim Technologies. He also was involved in this process. We tried to find answers to questions like “How can we establish an organisational structure with many partners?” or “How can we establish the organisational infrastructure?” among others. We also received consulting services for 6 months during this process. The partnership contract and the charter of the company was prepared with this process, and Mr. Sert presented a detailed feasibility study.

As a result of all this work, we had a concrete idea on the structure and the processes we wanted to have, along with the products we wanted to develop and produce. We commenced our search for partners in this stage as well, and with 11 companies in addition to KAYSO and Kayseri Chamber of Commerce, KIM Technologies was founded.

R&D Advances Along with Projects

MSI TDR: Can you give some information on your company’s achievements as we enter its third year?

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ: As KIM Technologies, we focus on quality rather than quantity. As such, I would like to answer your question with the activities we are doing rather than hard numbers.

We have a few ongoing projects. I would rather not disclose any details on these; however, I can say these projects are aimed at the needs of Türkiye, and her allied and friendly countries. I can also proudly say we have ongoing or completed projects for all critical national platforms.

We continue to incorporate various technologies to our company. Most of these are special technologies that had not existed in Türkiye before. We develop our products with these technologies as well. We are continuing our efforts to develop optimised products for current or future needs of our clients. We do all our R&D activities with special focus groups.

We also try our best to improve our production technologies. We have various groups that are working on new and different production methods. In addition, we also have a group on sustainable and environmentally friendly production. They focus on recycling and environment as a part of their works.

MSI TDR: Which projects or products relevant to defence and aerospace sector would you like to highlight?

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ: We are producing brake discs for aircraft. These are carbon-carbon composite (CCC) brakes, and we continue to improve our technologies on these every day. We aim to meet the demands of allied and friendly countries in addition to Türkiye in this regard.

We are also trying to develop LTCC and HTCC ceramics as a part of one of our projects. These are materials used in communications sector, especially wireless antennas, and radar systems. We think the materials we will develop will contribute to main contractor companies or systems producers.

We think carbon-carbon technology will be replaced by other ceramic matrix composites like carbon-silicon carbide. This new technology will be used in developing new materials, especially for the internals of an engine. We also hope to contribute to our national projects.

As we are working on advanced technologies, not many competitors exist abroad either. We can count them in one hand. Within our peers, the company with the newest infrastructure is ours. In other words, we can easily say we have the latest technology. I can easily say this as our foreign guests that are acquainted with our competitors say similar things when they see our infrastructure. 

KIM Technologies Advances in Technology and Human Resources

MSI TDR: When you compare the design and production capabilities of your company with your competitors in Türkiye or abroad, what do you think about your current capabilities?

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ: Within Türkiye, we do not have any competitors as no similar companies operate in the country. We have stakeholders and business partners that procure products from us and use those in their projects, however.

As we are working on advanced technologies, not many competitors exist abroad either. We can count them in one hand. Within our peers, the company with the newest infrastructure is ours. In other words, we can easily say we have the latest technology. I can easily say this as our foreign guests that are acquainted with our competitors say similar things when they see our infrastructure. 

MSI TDR: We know KIM Technologies pays special attention to human resources and development of it as well. What would you like to share in this regard?

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ: A common myth exists in the sector about it being difficult to find qualified personnel. However, when we explain what we do well, we see plenty of people, especially the youth, expressing a desire to work with us. For the youth, if they like what they do, the other matters count for less. The young people working at KIM Technologies can easily see they are building a global company with their very own hands and as such, they give it their all.

We have very important employees that graduated at the top of their school. We also support our employees getting postgraduate diplomas. Academic studies also contribute to our efforts.

Our training programmes are comprehensive and intense. We give standardised education to everyone who starts working with us. Apart from these, we receive various training from different companies and people every week. These training sessions are not only on production, technology, and management, they also include a whole array of different subjects.

KIM Technologies is a company that is active in advanced materials, nanotechnology, advanced ballistic protection systems, ceramic matrix composites and special sensors. We wanted to ensure KIM Technologies to be a company that made its own products and technologies and claim its share in the international market with these products and technologies from the start. Our priority is to meet the needs of Türkiye, especially in the defence and aerospace industry. Our talks with both end users and main contractors continue in this regard. We also aim to achieve 70 or 80 percent of our revenue from exports. In other words, we do not want to be tied to a certain product or sector. We want to have an extensive line-up.

MSI TDR: KIM Technologies also aims to serve transportation, electronics, energy, and semiconductor sectors. What is your approach on defence and aerospace sector, and what kind of share it occupies in your efforts?

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ: Our most important priority is to meet the needs of our country in the defence and aerospace sector. As such, 100 percent of our activities are aimed at this sector. I mentioned we aim for a 50-50 percent revenue share between military and civilian sectors. Our current activities in the defence and aerospace sector are moving us in this path as well. The needs of Turkish defence and aerospace sector give us a jump start in the right direction as well.

Likewise, we know to accomplish our ambitions in exports, we need to a create large market within Türkiye. We continue our efforts with that in mind.

MSI TDR: You have ballistic lab, material and chemistry lab, and environmental testing lab as a part of your infrastructure. Do you offer these to the sector as well?

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ: We have a responsibility to Turkish companies, especially those in based in Kayseri that wish to improve their technological standing, in line with our mission. Other companies can of course benefit from our infrastructure. We offer these services for a small fee so all can benefit and develop better products.

KIM Technologies to Lead the Way in Türkiye

MSI TDR: What kind of opportunities will KIM Technologies and its success provide for the sector?

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ: This model will lead the way for other provinces and encourage them to do similar developments. Businessmen from nearby provinces visit us to meet with us and listen to our story. We share our experiences with them so far and our story as well.

As the success of our model becomes more apparent, we think it will be replicated elsewhere. I must say, we are east of Europe. There is a tendency to learn with touch and sight the further east you go. As such, the success of our company will give them an example for them to benefit. 

MSI TDR: When we take a look at the development of the sector, in line with the strategies developed by Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB), the focus was first on developing platforms by Turkish main contractors, then the development of the required subsystems by Turkish companies, and lately, the focus has been on developing components and materials domestically. How can we evaluate the founding and development of KIM Technologies in the framework of the strategies of SSB?

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ: As described in SSB’s strategies, we aimed to contribute by developing materials, a force multiplier for Turkish defence efforts. We can easily see we are accomplishing what we have set out to do. It was time for a development like ours, considering the maturity of the sector. Needs arose in the sector that would trigger the development on materials. We see a global potential in this field, beyond Türkiye, and we also aim to be a part of this potential.

MSI TDR: What kind of future is ahead of KIM Technologies?

Mehmet BÜYÜKSİMİTCİ: Our greatest aim is to become a global company. We know what we need to do in order to accomplish that. First of all, we must be a leader in technology. We are developing our R&D efforts with both our employees and our infrastructure. After taking the mantle of a leader, we know we must keep working and developing our capabilities. We shape our organisational culture and all our processes in this framework.

We designed our digital infrastructure on Industry 4.0. All our processes are trackable and observable to the smallest extent. We have planned our technological processes all the way to 2035. In the near future, we will be focusing on single crystal growth and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) techniques in our investments.

Another requirement for becoming a global company is having operations abroad. Both our technologies and raw materials are domestic, and this fact makes it easier for us to establish operations anywhere in the world. In the first stage, we aim to be able to produce in the USA and Europe. We steadily continue our efforts in this regard, and we want to advance further with the correct stakeholders.

We are taking a serious approach to our global ambitions. We distance ourselves from certain sectors in this regard, like nuclear energy. We want to be a company that is integrated with the West and is in demand by the West.

Of course, we will be putting a special emphasis on Turkish defence and aerospace sector while we chase our global ambitions. We will be involved in important Turkish projects, such as Turkish National Fighter (TF-X).

As COVID-19 pandemic showed, our plans and foresight can be easily challenged or destroyed. As a medium-term goal, we want to see KIM Technologies as a company that has facilities in 3 countries, with a total revenue of at least $50 million in the next five years.

We would like to thank Mehmet Büyüksimitci, Chairman of KIM Technologies for taking the time to answer our questions, and for providing us with such valuable information.

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