You often find in the energy business those destined to leave their mark in the industry share two important components: an entrepreneurial spirt and vision. Line pipe producer Ahmet Erciyas is one of them. He could foresee that with its strategic geographic location that literally connects Asia and Europe, his homeland of Turkey would also be one of the global epicenters for energy development and transmisson.
Move forward to 2014 and his company, Erciyas Steel Pipe Company, finds itself a key player in that increasingly vital energy corridor while also growing its business and reputation worldwide. It is a company with a background and tradition to respect as well as one to emulate as it moves forward.
Ahmet Erciyas was born in 1948 in Istanbul into a tailoring family, so assembling materials is second nature to the founder and chairman of Erciyas. In 1989, he founded Erciyas Industry (which is mother of all other Erciyas Holding companies). In 1990 he founded Erciyas Steel Pipe and Erciyas Pipe Foreign Trade. The steel pipe business started with a single coating machine, an engineer and three workers in a small workshop. Soon the company added spiral pipe made with a second-hand pipe manufacturing machine. In 1994, Erciyas opened its Istanbul office and began exporting its product. That year annual production was 5,000 tons, not even the weekly production of today's company.
In 1997, Erciyas laid the foundation of its modem Duzce factory with two pipe manufacturing lines and was awarded major water pipe contracts. By 1999, with API 5L and ISO 9001 certificates in hand, Erciyas, added oil and gas pipes to its range of products and improved its quality system. By 2009 Ericyas, not only became the 25th-largest exporter of Turkey and the leading exporter among all pipe producers.
Erciyas is still Chairman of the Board of Directors of Erciyas Holding which has investments in three major groups, energy, industry and contracting. He also continues to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bima? Bicyles Motocycles, Erciyas Energy, Briza Wind and several other companies. He is president of CEBID (Turkish Steel Pipe Manufacturers' Association) and is actively involved in many other Turkish associations.
In this interview with P&GJ, Erciyas, who is married and the father of two, discusses his career, his company and the industry itself.
P&GJ: What is your background and what interested you enough to make a career in the pipeline industry?
Erciyas: I graduated from Istanbul Technical University with a degree in Msc Metallurgical Engineering in 1971. Then I went to work at Mannesmann-Sumerbank Pipe as chief of quality control and Product Manager between 1972-1977.
The invaluable experience...