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How will the deal affect the company’s digital projects? More digital projects will be introduced both for existing titles as well as new titles. MDG has just announced its launch of F

ortune’ s digital edition.

How easy do think it will be to combine the two cultures? Japan and Turkey have each been building on its own culture; be it corporate culture, publishing culture or commercial practices and it will not be easy to achieve convergence of two different cultures. However, what the two countries have in common is that we both have long histories and tradition, which we value highly, while we are both aggressive about taking in cultures from the western world. Linguistically, there is similarity between Japanese and Turkish in terms of grammatical composition. The Japanese have an affinity towards the Turkish people, while Turkey is one of the most pro- Japanese nations in the world. We will both honour each other’s culture, including their differences, and acknowledge that there is a common cultural base between us. We hope that NIKKEI-Mutlu Dergi Gurub will become the bridge that will bring together the culture and the technology of Japan and Turkey.

Will you be introducing big changes at the group? ‘Change’ is not the right word, but ‘expansion’ is. In the initial stages, we will aim to launch technology media where Nikkei BP has a wealth of know-how such as medicine, architecture/construction and manufacturing. We are also very interested in organising seminars and events, as well as in the consultant business to support Japanese companies wishing to enter the Turkish market. From the management point of view, we will look into the profit and loss situation on a media-by-media, product-by-product

basis to build a ‘muscular’ organisation.

When will Nikkei publications launch in Turkey? We will firstly need to investigate which kinds of media are a good fit for the Turkish market and then try to launch as soon as practical. Next spring is the most likely timing and the first product a digital one.

How soon do you expect to expand into nearby nations? One of our strongest interests in entering the Turkish market was its geographical positioning that would enable us to make our next step into EMEA. Our priority, of course, is to build a firm base in Turkey, so there is no specific timing in mind. But we will always keep a close watch on what is happening in the surrounding countries so that we can move quickly when the time is ripe.


Best of both worlds: Kohei Osada and Zafer Mutlu seal the new venture

NMDG will be able to create new segments, rather than expecting to get market share from our existing competitors, we aim to launch new segments.

How do you view the acquisition? [ ZAFER MUTLU ]

I find our merger with the Nikkei Group exciting and important in two aspects: first, the connection between Turkey and Japan. Japan is technologically and economically far more advanced than Turkey. However, economic dynamism in Japan is under threat due to its rapidly aging population. It is fair to say that Japan has not been even near the constant expanding environment it enjoyed in the 1990s. Nowadays, they are in the process of getting back to that point with the economic policies of their charismatic Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

A natural synergy: Nikkei and MDG will exploit each other’s advantages

Turkey, on the other hand, has seen enormous economic success, especially since 2002. Annual per capita has increased from US$3,000 to more than US$10,000. Infrastructure and urbanisation have attracted large amounts of investment. Turkey’s foreign trade volume has accelerated many times within 12 years. Its population, with an average age of less than thirty, has started to make more money and spend more money. Therefore, Turkey is an attractive market

for Japanese companies, whereby expansion is limited within their national borders. We welcome many established Japanese companies with very large investments. Toyota, Honda, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Panasonic and Mitsui are amongst many. I believe the partnership between Nikkei and Mutlu Magazine Group will have a dramatic, positive effect on the economic relations of the two countries. We have B2B publications planned for publication within the NIKKEI MDG (NMDG) group as of next year and I expect this to provide potential growth for new territories in both countries. The second aspect of this merger that

I find exciting concerns the Turkish media: Nikkei is one of the leading media groups of the world. Newspapers, TV, digital publications and magazine publications are all covered within the group. Nikkei is the second largest global player investing in Turkish Media, following News Corp (Fox TV) and this, itself, is a thrilling development. When we take a close look at Turkish media, we see a bottleneck. There are hardly any new segments created other than in the digital publications field these days. New initiatives are taken only in existing segments. NMDG will be able to create new segments. Rather than expecting to get market share from our existing competitors, we aim to launch new segments. This will have an additional impact. Well, it

is a fact that Turkey may have made a dream come true with its economy and it is now amongst the developing countries. However, it did not make advancement in science and technology during the same period. We are currently in the process of becoming a giant factory. The engineers of different countries design all the goods produced and the vast majority of those engineers are Japanese. issue 84_2014 | Magazine World |39


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