Riskonet Turkey: eight years and counting
June 27, 2022
According to Özlem Emgen of Riskonet Turkey, little – yet a lot – has changed since she first joined the Riskonet network back in 2014. It started off well, improved, and just keeps on getting better.
She was the first international member of the Riskonet network when she joined back in 2014. Some eight years later, Özlem Emgen still relishes heading Riskonet’s operations in Turkey. “It’s the perfect partnership and I really enjoy being a key part of it,” she insists. “It’s like a family business, if there is a problem somewhere we all support one another.” She also feels the network is strengthening year-on-year. From what she refers to as a relatively humble beginning, with just two or three members, the network has been strongly intensified, thanks to current representation from countries that include Poland, South Africa, Spain, the UK and now even the US.”
Trust, and the best-available support
Little has changed in the partnership between then and now, but that’s only because it was good from the very beginning, she reasons. She and Ron de Bruijn of Riskonet in the Netherlands have known one another since 2004 so there has always been a high degree of trust between them. This is always an advantage in developing a business, she assures. “It’s been a mutually beneficial and very fruitful partnership. On the one hand I have the trust of the Turkish market and on the other I can offer Turkish clients the benefits of an international partnership. Turkish clients really value the network because they know that their problems and challenges will be handled on an international, even global scale. And with the best-available support.”
Currently, on behalf of Riskonet in Turkey, Özlem is carrying out due-diligence activities for nearly all her clients, with a focus on environmental and social risks. In this context she is also monitoring her clients’ respective levels of compliance and highlighting areas in which they might need further advice. “Almost all our projects are long-term contracts, in other words with a lead-time of between five and ten years. Depending on what's specified in the contract, monitoring is carried out every three, six or twelve months of the contract period.”
Risks, measures and lessons learned
Most of Riskonet’s clients in Turkey are active in the power sector, including thermal-, wind-, hydro- and geo-thermal power plants. “I am extremely familiar with this sector and its associated risks. I also know the measures that need to be taken to mitigate these risks, as well as the lessons that have been learned so far. But, of course, being the expert in the power sector has not prevented Riskonet Turkey working with various clients from other industrial sectors too, such as cement, textile and pharma, for example.”
“On the one hand I have the trust of the Turkish market and on the other I can offer Turkish clients the benefits of an international partnership.”
Özlem Emgen, Managing Director Riskonet Turkey
In addition to issues relating to climate change, Turkey, like most other countries in the world, currently faces supplier problems. Supply chains there have been severely impacted by the aftereffects of Covid and, of course, the ongoing situation in Ukraine. One of Özlem’s clients, for example, has been affected by the difficulty in procuring microchips. Despite not being personally involved, she stresses the important role that supply chains play in business continuity. “Most companies in Turkey are OEM producers, so they depend on their suppliers to be able to produce their own products and thus fulfil orders from their own clients.”
With a view to the future, Özlem looks forward to being able to contribute more in an international context. Riskonet’s international clients mostly come from the Netherlands’ office, but a few of these have operations in Turkey, she explains. “In the same way that Riskonet Poland serves an international client like CBRE, in future I’d like to serve more international Riskonet clients in the Turkish market.”
More connection and opportunities
Something that she greatly appreciated, and enjoyed, was the recent RISKOMEETING in the Netherlands. While acknowledging that members of the network are often in contact with one another through regular communication channels, she points out that the sometimes humdrum nature of daily routine can easily cause you to miss things. “Being physically together in the same place gives you much more connection and more opportunities to hear from one another about what is going on, as well as possible areas in which we could collaborate.”
Strengthening existing relationships
She also feels that the RISKOMEETING allowed her to learn first-hand about what her colleagues in other countries are currently engaged in. Being in the same room in a business context and having opportunities for social interaction makes the two-way exchange of information much easier, she says. “In addition to connecting with colleagues and generally strengthening existing relationships, it was an excellent opportunity to be inspired about new product ideas that might help me provide even better service and products to the Turkish market.”
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