| Koç Holding |
|Interest of||Bülend Özaydınlı|
|The largest industrial conglomerate in Turkey,|
Koç Holding A.Ş. is the largest industrial conglomerate in Turkey, and the only company in the country to enter the Fortune Global 500 list as of 2016. The company, headquartered in Istanbul, is controlled by the Koç family, one of Turkey's wealthiest families.
Vehbi Koç, the founder of the empire, began his working career in 1917 at the small grocery store his father opened in Ankara for him. While dealing with commerce, he became the local representative of Ford Motor Company and Standard Oil (presently Mobil) in 1928. When Ankara became the capital of young Turkish Republic, construction activities increased and Vehbi Koç began trading in construction materials, building supplies and hardware. Following establishment of branch offices in Istanbul and Eskişehir in 1938, Koç gathered its enterprises under the company Koç Ticaret A.Ş.
In 1942, Vehbi Koç, used the opportunitites given by the Varlik Vergisi, a big tax on non-muslims to fund war preparations. He took over many collapsed or confiscated companies for a song. One such acquisition by Koç was a building in Istanbul owned by an Armenian named Margarios Ohanyan, who had sold the property worth 1.5-2 million liras through public auction at a price significantly below value, in the owner's attempt to avoid paying the tax-hike.
Having convinced General Electric, he signed an agreement in 1948 to build a light bulb factory, which opened in 1952. Koç took important steps in industry in the 1950s and manufactured automobiles, household appliances, radiators, electronic devices, textiles and matches.
The first initiative by Koç in the automotive sector turned eventually to a full-scale industry. Following an agreement with Ford Motor Company in 1959, today's prominent automotive company Ford Otosan came to life. Following the production of the first domestic mass-production car Anadol in 1966 and in line with improving economic activities in Turkey, Vehbi Koç collaborated with the Italian company FIAT to establish Tofaş in 1968 resulting in the production of the second domestic car Murat in 1971.
Vehbi Koç consolidated all of the companies bearing his name under the same roof in 1963 and founded Koç Holding A.Ş. The group also has international partnerships with well-known companies such as Fiat, Ford Motor Co., Yamaha and Allianz. During his 76-year career, he created an immense organization with more than 108 companies in the Koç Group, all of which are specialized in different sectors such as food, retailing, finance, energy, automotives, tourism and technology. The Koç Group has 80,000 employees, ca.$40 billion turnover, $900 million of exports and $500–600 million of investment annually.
After Vehbi Koç
In 1984, Vehbi Koç handed his position as chairman of the board over to his son Rahmi M. Koç
On April 4, 2003, Rahmi Koç retired and handed his position over to his eldest son Mustafa V. Koç. Mustafa also held various international positions during his career, including positions in JP Morgan Chase’s International Council, Rolls Royce International’s Advisory Board, and the [[Bilderberg Executive Commitee=.
In 2016, Mehmet Omer Koç became the chairman of the board following the death of his brother Mustafa V. Koç. Not much of Omer's personal life is known as he shies away from the public and media.