(Article initially printed in Could/June 2022 version.)
Descended from a standard shipbuilding household, Kalafatoglu – with assist from his father and siblings – returned to his roots with the founding of ARES in 2006. His imaginative and prescient from the start has been easy and constant: “You may obtain as a lot as you dream,” he says. “So long as we dream, we are going to live on and construct. So we maintain dreaming.”
Let’s begin with you. Inform us about your self – your upbringing and training.
I used to be born in 1967 within the Surmene district of Trabzon, which is an historic city on the Black Coastline of Turkey. After finishing my major and secondary training there, I graduated from the Division of Econometrics at Uludag College in Bursa. Then I accomplished my grasp’s diploma in Worldwide Economics at Essex College in England.
Extra just lately, I returned to high school to take the well-known Proprietor/President Administration Program at Harvard Enterprise Faculty. After all, it was a supply of nice delight each for ARES and me to graduate from this program, which lasted three years and granted me official Harvard commencement standing in 2021.
Wow, spectacular! What did you do earlier than founding ARES?
I began my skilled enterprise life in 1994 because the founding father of a overseas commerce and maritime enterprise primarily based within the Trabzon Free Zone and dealing within the former Soviet Union market within the Black Sea area. Till the top of 2004, I carried out varied overseas commerce and maritime transport operations as a ship proprietor and supervisor of a logistics firm. I had been one of many largest exporters again then between Turkey and the neighboring ex-Soviet Union states.
When did you discovered ARES and what gave you the concept of founding ARES?
Really, the concept was already engraved to our minds genetically. As carriers of the surname Kalafatoglu, that means “son of caulkers,” my siblings and I got here from a standard shipbuilding household the place the custom was interrupted by our grandfather, who turned a lawyer. So in 2005 we determined to return to our roots and proceed the household custom with nice assist from our father. In 2006 we established ARES, the place I’m at the moment Chairman of the Board of Administrators.
The place does the identify “ARES” come from? What does it imply?
Effectively, I’ll be sincere with you. Because the founding household of ARES Shipyard, we have now at all times been environmentalists and animal lovers. We imagine within the excellent concord of the world with all dwelling beings. Subsequently, we respect and take care of these round us. After we determined to proceed the household custom and begin shipbuilding once more in 2005, we selected the newly established Antalya Free Zone and determined to maneuver from Trabzon to Antalya. After getting approvals and assignments for the brand new land within the Free Zone, we moved to Antalya with the entire household together with our irreplaceable member, the golden retriever.
Whereas we have been discussing the identify of the corporate, I nominated ARES, our golden retriever, the mascot and expensive member of our household, because the identify of our firm. He spent the remainder of his life fortunately with us and all our workers inside the shipyard. It might be probably the most irrational and emotional resolution taken within the historical past of ARES Shipyard, however it was the very best and most memorable one for us with no regrets in any respect. “Relaxation in peace, son.”
What number of places of work and workers are there? Is there only one shipyard?
ARES has 4 separate shipbuilding amenities and a furnishings manufacturing facility within the Antalya Free Zone with over 400 workers. These amenities are separate and devoted to completely different construct supplies – metal, aluminum and superior composites – underneath the identical identify, ARES Shipyard. Throughout the manufacturing amenities we have now trendy places of work for engineers and administrative employees and a yacht administration workplace facility devoted to shoppers and proprietor representatives.
How is the corporate organized, and what are its foremost services and products?
ARES has a hybrid group e consisting of each standard (hierarchic) and practical (project-based) buildings collectively. Board members have accountability areas which might be non-executive positions, appearing as consultants to the professionals within the firm. A CEO and two Deputy Common Managers are executively in cost with another government managers for Monetary Affairs, High quality Assurance, Provide Chain and Contracting. Amongst these, the High quality Assurance Supervisor is probably the most approved and autonomous place, which reviews on to the CEO or might even report on to the Chairman in some circumstances.
We now have a fairly diversified product portfolio in sectors the place we imagine we’re sturdy and differentiated. ARES is able to designing and constructing naval craft, patrol boats, utility and assist vessels, passenger craft and pleasure craft (megayachts) in our 4 separate shipbuilding amenities. We even have an in-house Built-in Logistics Assist Division offering lifecycle assist providers resembling coaching, provide assist (spares and instruments), onsite upkeep for guarantee or contracted upkeep and even manning for end-user operations.
What geographic markets does the corporate serve and who’re your greatest prospects?
ARES is a world shipbuilding and associated providers supplier actively working in Europe, Asia, the Center East, the Caucasus and Africa.
Our greatest shoppers proper now are Qatar, Oman and Turkey. Nevertheless, with our new investments within the industrial and pleasure boat markets, we’re anticipating to increase much more in Europe, Africa and Asia by the of 2022 and develop extra in 2023.
What does “Concepts for Massive Blue” imply? Is that the company slogan?
“Concepts for Massive Blue” is our company motto. Sure, ARES is a shipyard, however we differentiate ourselves from standard shipbuilders. We’re prepared and excited to offer any resolution associated to the “Massive Blue,” which is the ocean, and don’t anticipate end-users to come back to us with tons of of pages of technical specs. We’re very happy to easily take heed to shoppers’ operational requests about what they wish to obtain and the place to do it. The remainder is on us to make assessments and advocate different options with the professionals and cons of every and go away the choice to them.
Because of our specialists in naval, paramilitary, industrial and pleasure craft operations, we’re not restricted to offering design and product options. We additionally present built-in logistics assist, which is a methods engineering method encompassing lifecycle necessities when it comes to supportability, maintainability and availability. It’s a complete method that’s way more than after-sales assist. In a nutshell, we’re not simply shipbuilders. We establish ourselves as a complete methods service supplier in every kind of manned or unmanned, above and underwater vessels.
ARES is extremely regarded for its custom-made army vessels. What gave you that concept – as an alternative of constructing standardized vessels?
Our imaginative and prescient just isn’t restricted to constructing the very best ships. Our goal is to develop our prospects’ personal imaginative and prescient by working along with them. That’s to say, we take heed to the wants of our prospects and worth their requests. We by no means supply them a ready-made platform and attempt to persuade them to purchase it. We consider their operational wants by sitting face-to-face and figuring out the optimum options and most acceptable technical options for them.
In different phrases, we provide them a consultancy service, gladly and freed from cost, not like many others the place such providers are offered to authorities establishments for appreciable sums within the preparation of tender dossiers. There are, in fact, circumstances the place it’s our prospects who information us. On this approach, we are able to present a win-win resolution. Because the saying goes, moderately than an off-the-peg jacket, we tailor one for our buyer that’s tailor made, so it suits completely.
How have COVID and now the conflict in Ukraine affected enterprise? Will 2022 be a superb 12 months for ARES?
ARES has a well-structured provide chain administration system that has confirmed itself throughout two years of logistical struggles caused by COVID-19. When the pandemic hit in late 2019, we had two giant shipbuilding applications happening consisting of 14-off ARES 85 HERCULES quick patrol vessels for Oman and 165-off ARES 35 HARPOON quick interceptor vessels for the Turkish Coast Guard. Nevertheless, since we deliberate and truly procured our provides upfront for these two applications, even with no or restricted provides we have been in a position to proceed manufacturing nonstop and truly ship all 14 vessels to Oman upfront of the contractual supply schedule. Likewise, the Turkish Coast Guard program has been progressing on-time and conformant to the contractual necessities.
The conflict in Ukraine, then again, has had world results on uncooked materials provides like aluminum and metal, dramatically rising costs with prolonged supply schedules. Once more on this case, since we had ample shares of aluminum our present program for Turkish Petroleum consisting of two aluminum crew switch vessels is continuing as scheduled with supply by the top of the 12 months.
What’s your guiding imaginative and prescient for ARES? The place would you prefer it to be in, say, 5 years?
I’ve at all times given the identical recommendation to my household, my shut buddies and colleagues that “You may obtain as a lot as you dream. You reside as a lot as you may dream of.” All of the achievements we talked about as we speak have been simply desires up to now. However they have been all ours. We dreamed all these achievements. You might need observed this within the posts for the fifteenth anniversary of ARES Shipyard final 12 months: “So long as we dream, we are going to live on and construct,” they mentioned. So we maintain dreaming.
5 years from now, we dream of working with automation-based manufacturing infrastructure providing unmanned options, designing and constructing zero-emission vessels, constructing out of recycled supplies no matter their dimension. I’m dreaming this impartial of the markets we serve. We set these targets not with the prediction that the traits will observe however to create the traits ourselves. ARES Shipyard will proceed to be a difficult firm, not an organization that merely responds to challenges.
What excites you most about your job? What will get you up within the morning?
I at all times go to mattress with and dream and get up with a function. The concept of “change” has at all times been probably the most thrilling driver for me. So a brand new concept from a late night time discuss, a brand new inquiry which can result in a model new idea, a brand new area or nation to work for, a brand new end-user phase, a brand new concept for manufacturing, even speaking to a newly graduated engineer or technician excites me so much. Because of ARES, I’ve no less than considered one of them each day, and I get up early within the morning to satisfy my colleagues on the shipyard.
Great! What do you love to do in your spare time?
I’m in love with crusing. I’ve had varied sorts of pleasure boats in several sizes and fashions over time. Nevertheless, the very best is in manufacturing in the intervening time and is a 61-meter, tailor-made design, oceangoing crusing yacht named Trapezus, the traditional identify of my hometown of Trabzon.
The opinions expressed herein are the creator’s and never essentially these of The Maritime Government.