Each gained experience in different industries. Have carried out important projects abroad.
Later on they decided to return to their motherland.
While seeking someone to share his dreams with, Metin Sechim meets Engin Yigit.
They have started goat raising, which is one of popular investment fields recently. Metin Sechim and Engin Yigit together with two more partners have started producing milk and dairy products under the brand name ‘Keçicik’. Entrepreneurs seeking for awareness have focused on new products with national feelings. Engin Yigit and Metin Sechim, have produced the first infant formula from goat milk under the brand name Baby Goat in Aydin, Kocharli this year. And now they have new cosmetic and baby nutrition products on the agenda.
There is not only one hero to this story. At the time when national automobile was being discussed, under the leadership of Metin Sechim and Engin Yigit, 4 partners were able to produce first and only goat milk based infant formula of Turkey. We had a conversation with founders of Kecicik Milk and Dairy products Metin Sechim and Engin Yigit who have continued their way with a slogan ‘Turkey’s first national infant formula’, about their entrepreneurship adventures, as well as the creation of Baby Goat and their future plans. Firstly, the Chairman of board of directors of Keçicik, Metin Sechim has started speaking... Sivil Engineer Metin Sechim, was raised in a family that owns a bread factory in Aydin. Sechim continued with his story:
RETURNED TO THEIR MOTHERLAND
“Instead of family business, I have been involved in construction sector because of my interest in my own career. Had various construction projects in Aydin. But, later on, because of problems faced in the industry I have started searching new things. I’ve built a stock farm, but couldn’t get the desired result. In 2005, I decided to go to Turkmenistan. There, I worked as a general manager of a firm. Have carried out important construction projects. And, of course after some time, I strongly desired to return to my country. In 2010, I’ve returned to Turkey.” Management graduate of Dokuz Eylül University Engin Yigit also, due to his marriage after the army has changed his route to abroad. Yigit explained: “As my wife lives in Switzerland, we’ve moved there in 2003. I started working in an international company providing closed system storage. Most recently, was doing project quality management. And after some time, had an increased desire to return to motherland.”
BUILT A FARM WITH 125 GOATS
Metin Sechim and Engin Yigit who have returned to Turkey almost at the same time, have started searching new jobs. Metin Sechim explains: “The situation in my own field didn’t satisfy me much. With guidance of a professor from Ege University i got goats on my agenda. I’ve traveled several countries of Europe for goats and goat milk. I come from a yoruk family, we love goats. Here, we do not value them as they do in Europe. I’ve started my journey with a dream to value the goat milk. And during this period I’ve met Engin Yigit who is my relative at the same time. I’ve offered him to share my dream. Apart from this, we’ve included 2 more friends who are involved in different works abroad. Firstly, we built a farm. We started up with 125 goats. We have bought Saanen goats from certain places in Switzerland, as per recommendations from Ege University. Also, we built a dairy farm. Started producing milk and dairy products under the brand name Keçicik.”
AND THIS IS A NATIONAL BABY FORMULA
Metin Sechim starting with: “We didn’t start this with money earning purpose”, continued saying that after a certain time milk and dairy products didn’t fulfill the desire to create a difference, he explained the current situation by saying: “Intention of all 4 partners was to create the unique, different product. In addition, with national feelings, we had a mission to leave a good work of art for the future. And based on all these purposes we have started R&D on production of infant formula from goat milk about 3 years ago. We accomplished this in laboratory environment. In 2005, we have decided to invest and after the 3 months test production period, this year, we have launched our product under the brand name Baby Goat to the market. We have considered production of infant formula from goat milk that is of equivalent value to the breast milk as a strategic subject. Together with this year’s plans, total amount of our investment will reach 10 million dollars.”
AIM IS 10 TONS OF MILK PER DAY
METIN Sechim states that their adventure of goat farming with 125 goats have now reached 500. Sechim says, “Together with our own milk, we get milk from 4 other farms located nearby which are of the equal quality with ours. These farms also cooperate with Ege University. Currently, we process 1 ton of milk per day from our own farm. From the farms nearby, we get for processing around 1-1,5 tons depending on the season. We are aiming to increase these figures to 5 tons next year, and later on to 10 tons in the future.”
DIDN’T DISCLOSE UNTIL THE PRODUCTION
Engin Yigit mentioning that till now no one had the courage to produce goat milk based infant formula in TURKEY, also stated that they haven’t found out the real reason behind it and shared the information saying: “Either no one had the courage, or they were restrained. Because competitors are international companies. This is why we kept it secret until the production was started. Now we are producing in our factory located in Aydin, Kocharli. Our monthly production capacity is 60 thousand cans. Right now we are supplying the domestic market. Later on, we will launch internationally as well.”
IN MEDICAL STORES
BABY Goat meets the customers through the medical stores. The reason for this, as Metin Sechim stated: “Conscious mother do not want to buy infant formulas from the market. They do as recommended by doctors. In case of infant formulas consumption – awareness is important. We got in direct touch with doctors and meet our consumers as per their recommendations. Currently we supply to Ege medical stores. Soon will get to medical stores in Istanbul and Anadolu. And until our brand is fully recognised we will continue meeting our customers through medical stores.”
WE HAVE BABY FORMULAS, AS WELL AS SOAPS
Engin Yigit, mentioning that they have stopped production of milk and dairy products and that nowadays along with baby formula production, they’ve entered production of cosmetic products under the brand name Keçicik, he said: “We have goat milk based soaps. In addition, we have 6 types of cosmetic products, such as shampoo, creams etc. These are fully exported, currently. From now on, we will continue our journey with three lines of production, such as cosmetic products, baby nutrition and baby care products. In nutritional product line we have new products coming up. Here, we will have different products, except baby formulas. To stay in market it is necessary to have product varieties, especially in baby products group. We are working based on this.”
“There are many firms doing classical dairy farming. We want to be in the different league. There is more spiritual satisfaction in this. Also, there is a certain odor perception with cow milk in Turkey. Therefore, goat milk and its products do not fully appeal to the taste buds of Turkish nation. Europeans know its value. It is difficult to change the habits and perceptions in Turkey. Today consumption of goat milk and its products is proceeding only due to its health benefits. That’s why it would be very difficult to move forward here. And we changed our lane.”
* Engin Yigit is complainant about the fact that the size of baby food market in Turkey is not clear. “Amounts of import and consumption are not clear” said Yigit and stated that it is discussed that there is a market of 15 million dollars monthly.
* Mentioning that there are very few companies producing goat milk based baby formulas, Engin Yigit said: “We entered this market from Turkey.”
* Metin Sechim who has built a factory on his motherland mentioned that they are established on 30 acres of land and shared his strategy saying: “We are not after producing big amount of milk. We are after the high quality milk.”
* Metin Sechim explained that they are moving forward with a team of 25 people.
Mete Tamer Omur