Let's talk! Atillâ, our eyes and ears in Turkey!
Wow, Istanbul is really far away. How come that you now work for a start-up like alugha that’s so far-off?
I know the alugha-founder Bernd through his previous work with the operating system BeOS (Zeta). After Zeta stopped there was a bit of silence within the community and Bernd was focussing on his YouTube channel hoTodi. Last year our CEO knocked on my door: it was the CeBit Eurasia in Istanbul and alugha was attending - and I suddenly was also in the middle of it. And now I am also alughaing like crazy - just in Istanbul.
What’s your role within alugha?
I look after the Turkish lokalisation of the website. As soon as that’s finished, I start with the Backend - also the cloud-application, which should also work perfectly in Turkish. Possible how-tos or content typical monitoring e.g. help forums are on my to-do list as well. An essential part of my work is of course customer acquisition, to become successful in Turkey. Besides that I support the team with my knowledge of CRM and social collaboration solutions.
What do you like about the work?
I really like Bernd’s enthusiasm and the motivation he runs things with. Nothing is unimportant. Small, new companies often heading in other directions than long-established companies, they test new ways of communication and are interested in OpenSource-solutions. By this they also see how it works (or not). Eventually the idea itself is the most important factor. I can’t support anything that I don’t really can defend. But our start-up is great. I am actually still speechless about the fact that google didn’t invent this!?
Why do you think that the product alugha is interesting for the Turkish market?
The Turks like synchronisation in high quality, the amount of English speaking inhabitants is not better than in Germany and subtitles are exhausting. The Turkish film industry is producing more internationally successful series than all EU-countries together. It’s flooding Northafrica, the entire Balkans, Russia, the Ukraine, Central Asia and the entire Middle East with series. As more and more companies put more Turkish On-Demand-film-content online and even created smartTV Apps, an efficient solution like alugha makes a lot of sense. But also Turkish advertising agencies oder media agencies with streaming content provide besides the Turkish also an English and an Arabic Version of their news. Even the local ministry of education became aware of alugha: With a giant supply of Web-tuitions in different languages our tool becomes more and more interesting. Multilingual mediatheques of streaming providers will be more and more relying on us, because data storage and archiving of content grows immensely. Turkey is also exerting a role model for a lot of states in North Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. Means, if here a solution becomes a standard, it’s a reference for the other states. 65% of the population are under 35 and therefore more than half of the population grew up with PC and smart devices - with 78 million inhabitants not a small amount. With us as alugha’s partner they always have an eye and an ear or better a face on site. In addition to the optimal geographical location of Turkey as the hub between East and West, the language is the key for the communication. You serve multilingual digital web-media, efficient and green administered, with alugha!
What’s the highlight of your business life?
My 10-years of work in Hamburg as system- and IBM-domino-administrator definitely was a highlight. Having to sort out commercial law licences for our small family hotel in Marmaris as “broken-Turkish”-speaking 19 year-old German guy wasn’t that easy. But I am especially proud that I risked something in my carreer which also included an international move. It’s really totally different: an own company, in a different country. This sometimes means 100 hours per week. But it’s also good. As long as you can do it ;).
If you think about future, where do you see yourself and the company in 10 years?
In principal, the idea of alugha can only fail if it’s going to be torpedoed. I think, that in 10 years time alugha will most likely be part of one of the really big internet giants. For sure. If a simple photosharing tool like Instagram made it - sorry, but why shouldn’t alugha make it as well? As long as you stick to “keep it simple, make it brighter & better”, alugha is “chico”.
The last point is about big dreams, what are they?
I’ve got three big dreams: I would like to own an underground-club or a deep-house-lounge bar, because I can only decide what’s sophisticated, danceable music when working as Club-DJ here in Istanbul at the weekends. Also on my list a High-end audio and multimedia studio and a perfectly restaurated muscle car - like for example a 70th Ford GTO. Oh well…..
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