Elcab Kablo AŞ Board of Directors Chairman Nejdet Tıskaoğlu:
“Our company, which was established in 1998, 
is active in the production of various products used in home appliances like silicon cables, glass fiber cables, silicon seals, silicon tubing, silicon molding, cable groups, signal lights, plug-in cables and PVC cables”

The recession in the market and demand in the European Union countries and other significant export markets for Turkey due to the Coronavirus is causing drops in exports. Companies are trying to overcome this problem with the least damage. We spoke to Elcab Kablo AŞ Board of Directors Chairman Nejdet Tıskaoğlu about the pandemic and their production and export business during this period.

Could you tell us about your product varieties? 
Our company, which was established in 1998, is active in the production of various products used in home appliances like silicon cables, glass fiber cables, silicon seals, silicon tubing, silicon molding, cable groups, signal lights, plug-in cables and PVC cables. We are confident about our quality and competitive in prices and we can consider our products, which place us ahead of the others, in two groups. Since we place great importance on specializing in the silicon cable and appliances market, we are very confident about producing very specialized silicon cables. This makes up our most distinctive producer identity. When people mention Elcab Cable there may be the impression that all we do is produce cables but a cable producing identity is not all we have. We also do the grouping production for various different cables, especially silicone, and supply these products to the home appliance market.  
Our company, which has been aiming for the future since the day it was founded, has made its first international investment with the production facility it has established in the Durban city of South Africa located in KwaZulu-Natal state under the name of Elcab Cable and Profile (Pty) Ltd. In April of 2008, after Defy Appliances Pty (Ltd.), a home appliance producer in South Africa belonging to Franke Holding AG was purchased by Arçelik, for which we are the certified supplier. All of our products are produced in our factory in Turkey established on an indoor area of 5500 square meters. We are deservedly proud to be the only producer of silicon cables in all of the Sub Saharan countries, not just South Africa.
Could you evaluate your company’s production capacity in the first quarter of the year? To what degree was your capacity utilized compared to last year? 
In the first quarter of 2020, which we had gone into with great hopes after a successful 2019, with the emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak that started in Wuhan China and rapidly impacted the rest of the world the resulting economic effects of not being able to produce and sell products presented serious financial difficulties not just for us but to all industries throughout the country. In addition to this, the economic picture after the pandemic, how long the lockdowns and restrictions would last and how strictly they would be enforced as well as how the economy was going to recover after the pandemic all present many uncertainties. Due to the restrictions imposed in our important export countries, European Union countries in particular, our exports have dropped. However, due to the main industries we serve in the domestic market continuing to produce in a controlled manner, our domestic sales have not dropped so we have been able to balance the gap in capacity utilization due to the losses we suffered in exports by compensating with our domestic sales.
How did you achieve both international and domestic sales in the same period? Are you able to maintain your customers? 
The economic reflections of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which has had both a social and economic impact on the entire world, started being seen more severely and distinctly in April and thereby had a negative impact on our company, which exports 40% of our production. The recessions at an unprecedented scale of market and demand in our important export countries, especially in the European Union countries, due to the pandemic in addition to the quarantine precautions at the borders, have been the main reasons for the decline in or exports. We, as Elcab Cable, have been continuing our sales operations in both the domestic and international market with the 2 separate professional teams we have established. The main industries we serve in the domestic market taking the necessary precautions against the COVID-19 coronavirus and continuing their production operations in a controlled manner has enabled us to avoid a decline in our domestic sales. This has, in effect, given us the chance to balance out the decline in our exports. In general it is clear that all companies, both in our sector and all other sectors, are trying to maintain their existence without growth or development, but just by keeping at the same level without losing too much momentum and complete the year with minimum losses. 

Digital technology has made an intense entry into our lives with the pandemic. To what degree did you utilize digital technology as a company in production and sales? 
In the scope of the COVID-19 precautions we have been holding the meetings and conferences we regularly organize with customers and suppliers online in order to maintain social distancing. Aware that we have to follow the social rules for our own health as well as the community’s health, we are continuing our operations nonstop with the advantages presented by technology.

Would you share your projections and goals for the last quarter with us? 
Due to the crisis situation created by the novel coronavirus COVID-19 consumer demands will unfortunately remain low throughout the year, the global economy will be stagnant and this will have the greatest impact on small to midscale companies. Also, since there is an atmosphere of uncertainty dominating the markets and the anxiety caused by the virus continues we can consider this year to be a loss for all industries and producers due to the uncertainties and fluctuations. So while it is not really possible for us to provide a clear figure for our expectations in the final quarter, all we can do at this stage is hope globally to return to our former healthy and peaceful days.