Bornemann: Turkish People Value Family and Forming Close Relationships with Colleagues

BORNEMANN says, it took him two minutes to decide to come to Türkiye and taking the CEO position in Nestle Türkiye 11 months ago and since feels that Nestlé Türkiye is one big family who welcomed him in from day one.

The history of Nestlé Türkiye begins in Istanbul in 1909. What are the key milestones of Nestlé Türkiye?

I want to take a step back and tell you about Nestlé's story briefly first. The story of Nestlé begun with the significant invention of Henri Nestlé in 1866. When Henri Nestlé learned that a premature baby could not be breastfed by his mother, he developed the first milk-based baby formula 'Farine Lactée', which was the only product that the baby could digest. And with this invention, Henri Nestlé saved the little boy's life.

This has set the purpose of our company; “enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future.”

Today Nestlé is world's leading Nutrition, Health and Wellness company, with our products and services we touch 1 billion people every day in 190 countries.

Around 40 years after Nestlé's foundation in Switzerland, Nestlé's 114 year journey started in Türkiye with sales of infant nutrition products. We have opened our first sales office in Karaköy in 1909, which is the 3rd global office after London and Paris. Later on, we have opened the first chocolate factory of Türkiye in Feriköy, in 1927. This was also one of the first investments of the Republic.

Nestlé has introduced novelty with Turkish consumer since then. The first pistachio chocolate DAMAK in 1933, the first instant coffee NESCAFE in 1984, the first chocolate powder drink NESQUIK in 1986, the NESCAFE 3'ü 1 Arada in 2002 are some of them.

Since then, we have been continuously working on innovative products that are born in Türkiye and extended to the World. As I mentioned Nestlé DAMAK, the world's first Antep pistachio chocolate, has become a national pride for us. Today, Nestlé DAMAK is sold in 15 countries from Japan to the USA. Our goal is to make DAMAK a world-wide brand.

Last year, we launched NESQUIK Lactose-free and No Added Sugar product to meet changing expectations of our consumers better. This is a first in the Nestlé world. A product that is developed by Turkish engineers and now we are meeting with other Nestlé markets extension.

Today we are operating with 4 production facilities in Karacabey and Kestel districts of Bursa with our 3.000 direct employees and 4.000 extended partners. We create value for Türkiye with our production, using 92% local raw materials to present around 800 products in 10 different categories to the Turkish market.

Türkiye's economy has passed through a difficult period in 2019. Can you tell us about the investment of Nestlé in Türkiye?

With a population of 80 million, Türkiye is a country with great potential and strategic importance for Nestlé. I am happy to say that we have been growing at double-digit rates for the past 12 years. With this growth momentum, we took our place among the fastest growing markets in the Nestlé world. We just had the 2019 results revealed, and we met our business goals rather nicely, we maintained our double-digit sustainable growth above the industry in Türkiye.

We have invested 150 million liras from 2018 to 2020 for enhancing our operations. Last year we invested 80 million TRY for capacity increase of our factories. In 2020, we plan to invest an additional 120 million liras.

Our labor force in Türkiye is very strong. If we take a look at 2019, we can see that our factories ranked among the top three. We have very competent and hardworking teams both in Head Quarters and the production facilities. We will continue to support them with necessary investments.

Operations is not the only area we invest in Türkiye. We also invest for individuals and families, communities and our planet in scope of our Creating Shared Value approach.

We believe that our company will be successful in the long term by creating value for both our shareholders and for society as a whole. We call this Creating Shared Value; it is the principle for how we do business. It enables us to bring our purpose to life.

Nestlé in global has made 42 commitments in line with UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. Helping 50 million children to lead healthier lives, improve 30 million livelihoods in communities connected to our business and strive for zero environmental impact in our operations are the three main commitments we have made.

Following these commitments in Türkiye, we have been conducting long-standing and effective projects. We have been conducting the Healthy Steps project since 2012 with Ministry of Education to raise awareness of balanced nutrition and physical activity in 17 cities. We have been partnering with TEMA Foundation since 2011 to increase efficiency of pistachio and enhance welfare of pistachio farmers in Gaziantep. There are many more projects to talk about. We have invested a total of 14 million liras to Creating Shared Value projects in past 8 years and in 2020 we will continue to do so.



You have been in Türkiye for almost a year, what were your initial thoughts about Türkiye before coming here and what changed in this period of time?

Including my place of birth Germany, I had a chance to live in different countries with my family for work such as France, Serbia and Saudi Arabia. My last working assignment before Türkiye was Ukraine. Once I was offered the position of Nestlé Türkiye CEO last year, I was very excited that it took me two minutes to decide to come here.

I have always been fond of Türkiye but I never lived here before. I am mesmerized by the beautiful city of İstanbul. It is definitely very authentic in terms of culture, architecture, history and texture.

I am very impressed as to how Turkish people value family and forming close relationships with colleagues. It has been 11 months since I took this position, but I truly feel that Nestlé Türkiye is one big family who welcomed me in from day one. This type of solid relationships enables this team to achieve such a success.

How would you define Turkish business world and ecosystem? What are the distinctive characteristic features? What would you say about Türkiye's production and manpower?

As I mentioned, Türkiye has been placed as one of the fastest growing markets in the Nestlé world. We plan to continue this growth and further invest in Türkiye. In my experience in Türkiye, the part about the business world that really attracts my attention is how open minded it is. The welleducated, well-informed and young manpower poses as the greatest attribute. In the Turkish business world, I am amazed by the speed in adaptation at times of economical, and sectoral change, especially through technological development. Even though there are fluctuations on macro economical terms, the business world is keeping its ambition intact. Parallel to this, the ability of human resources to be flexible can be detected on every level. Servicing the purpose of their business, the reflex to put oneself on the line is very high in Türkiye. They exhibit good collaboration and a motivation for solidarity towards a common goal. I am delighted to work in an environment shared with our Nestlé Türkiye team.

Did you have a chance to travel in Türkiye? Where are your favorite places?

Yes, indeed. I have visited Cappadocia some years ago. Definitely one of my favorites, a world class tourist attraction. In the past year I visited Ankara, İzmir, Bodrum, Bozburun and Ayvalık. Although I extendedly appreciate Turkish Cuisine, I especially love the food in Bodrum and Bozburun.