16-year-old Vehbi Koç starts off his career at his father’s grocery store in Ankara. He registers it with the Ankara Chamber of Commerce under the name Koçzade Ahmet Vehbi on May 31, 1926, the date that symbolizes the official foundation of the Koç Group.
THE FIRST JOINT STOCK COMPANY: KOÇ TİCARET A.Ş.
Koç Ticaret A.Ş. is established in 1938. This company acts as the cornerstone and development center for the initiatives that over time create Koç Group and is the first in Turkey to make managers shareholders. Foreign representations are acquired during this period and Ram Commercial Corporation, the first Turkish company in the US, is established.
FIRST INDUSTRIAL VENTURES
In the late 1940s, the Group enters the manufacturing sector. A joint venture agreement signed with General Electric in 1948 results in Koç Group’s first industrial venture, a light bulb factory.
In 1951, the first Turkish light bulb was introduced to the market, following the first Turkish-American joint investment together with General Electric. An agreement is made with Ford, which will evolve into the Ford-Otosan partnership in the coming years.
Koç Holding A.Ş. is founded in 1963 with Vehbi Koç as Chairman of the Board to facilitate rapid growth and development and build an institutional structure.
In 1969, Vehbi Koç Foundation, which is the first and largest foundation in Turkey, is established to enrich life and accelerate Turkey’s development.
FIRST PUBLIC OFFERING
In order to secure capital for large investments that would contribute to the economic development of Turkey by directing the savings to investment, the Group focuses on public offerings. Part of the shares in Aygaz and Koç Holding are sold to Koç Group employees. The shares of Kav match factory, established in 1970, are offered to the public.
GROWTH and EXPORTS
In the 1970s, Koç Group continues its uninterrupted growth and acquires new companies, concentrates on exports and establishes foreign trade companies.
SECOND GENERATION TAKES OVER
A great believer in institutionalization, Vehbi Koç names his son Rahmi M. Koç Chairman of the Board of Directors in 1984 and stays on as Honorary Chairman of Koç Holding.
VEHBİ KOÇ IS “BUSINESSMAN OF THE YEAR”
Vehbi Koç was named “Businessman of the Year” by the International Chamber of Commerce.
FIRST PRIVATE MUSEUM
Sadberk Hanım Museum, which currently has a collection of over 18 thousand artifacts, is established as Turkey’s first private museum in 1980.
FEBRUARY 25, 1996: THE END OF AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE
Vehbi Koç passes away on February 25, 1996 at the age of 95. His extraordinary life was marked by constant activity and achievements.
KOÇ GROUP GROWS IN BANKING
In 1992, Koç Holding fully acquires Koç-American Bank, which was established as a joint venture with American Express Company in 1986. The Bank is renamed Koçbank.
A NEW VISION FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM
Koç Group enters the new millennium with a new global vision: “To become one of the world’s leading companies”.
THIRD GENERATION ASSUMES COMMAND
Rahmi M. Koç turns over the Chairmanship of the Board of Directors to his eldest son Mustafa V. Koç on April 4, 2003. Rahmi M. Koç becomes Honorary Chairman of Koç Holding, a post he still continues to hold.
LARGE INVESTMENTS IN ENERGY AND FINANCE
While continuing its path of sustainable growth, Koç Group acquires majority stakes in Tüpraş, Turkey’s largest industrial enterprise and Yapı Kredi Bank, a giant of the Turkish banking sector.
KOÇ HOLDİNG SIGNS THE UN GLOBAL COMPACT
A strong sense of corporate citizenship has been an inherent part of Koç Holding since its establishment. With the signing in 2006 of the United Nations Global Compact, this became an official policy with an international dimension.
Koç Holding is Turkey’s leading investment holding company and the Koç Group is Turkey’s largest industrial and services group in terms of revenues, exports, share of the Borsa İstanbul capitalization and employment generation. Awarded nationally and internationally, Koç Holding is the Turkish economy’s driving force, continually striving to consolidate its global position. The Holding is today the 217th largest company in the world. Koç Holding’s foremost objective is to continue to create higher added value for all its stakeholders and manage all its activities in accordance with international standards of corporate governance, customer satisfaction, social responsibility and environmental protection principles.
READING THE SPIRIT OF THE TIME!
Koç Holding has defined its slogan for 2014 as “Reading the Spirit of the Time”; throughout its
88-year history, it has succeeded in differentiating itself from its competitors by reading the trends accurately at the right time and it has played a key role in many breakthroughs in Turkey, from the country’s industrialization to its globalization. Today, as Turkey’s largest Group of Companies, it will continue to create value for all its shareholders.