Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

“My most proud project is TOBB ETU”

22.09.2022 / Ankara

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) President and TOBB ETU Board of Trustees Chairman M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu met with students at the “Entrepreneurship and Leadership” course at the opening of the TOBB ETU 2022-2023 academic year.​

Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that, as TOBB President, the project he is most proud of is TOBB ETU, said, “Because our future is here. At the point we have reached today, we should all be proud of the achievements of TOBB ETU.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu, who gave examples of the successes in the last year, said, “The 1st TUS came out of TOBB ETU this year. In KPSS and ALES, our graduates do not lose the first places to anyone. We have graduates who have received scholarship doctoral admission from the best universities in the world such as Georgia Tech, University of Southern California. Recently, Simay Tunçkılıç, one of our graduates, made a magnificent speech full of hope at the Council of Europe. A few weeks ago, at TeknoFest, the TOBB ETU hurricane team won first place with its chip design. We also have a team that finished 2nd. The Phantom Team is here. That’s all we got through hard work.”

Referring to the importance of entrepreneurship, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that the solution to prosperity and unemployment is through entrepreneurship, and that the world’s 10 largest economies are the 10 most entrepreneurial countries.

Pointing out that there is a great entrepreneurial potential in Türkiye, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that there are approximately 600 million entrepreneurs in the world and that approximately 100 million startups are born every year, “60% of them were established with zero capital. The capital is now a garage and a computer. In the past, one idea, one computer was enough. Now I have a question for you: Where is the most valuable land in the world? The most valuable land is in the palm of our hand. Mobile phone screen. Take this opportunity.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu, stating that 940 students from TOBB ETU graduates established their own businesses, continued as follows: “You see what kind of entrepreneurial potential we have from here. The key to wealth is here. As I have always emphasized, the real capital in this era is not money. It all starts with a dream. It’s the only place where we don’t have borders. The area where we are most free. There are 12 people under the age of 30 on Forbes’ 2022 billionaires list. As long as you dream, set goals and work!

Secondly, you need to be a brand. You will set out to make a brand! When you become a brand, both your reputation and earnings increase. If we want to win in this era, you will make your product, your city and your country a brand!”

Hisarcıklıoğlu said that Andrew Carnegie’s grave reads, “Someone who employs smarter people than him lies here,” and touched on the importance of building a good team.

Hisarcıklıoğlu asked the students to adopt the partnership culture, saying that those who do not know how to share cannot own anything, and that there is grace and prosperity in unity.

Hisarcıklıoğlu said “We have to be innovative” and said, “We were raised to invent. The era is the era of invention. Bring new customs to the old village. The era is the age of technology. You have to bring technology into every business. McKinsey says 7.3 million jobs will disappear in our country by 2030. One in every 4 employees will be unemployed in the coming years. Artificial intelligence will be your biggest competitor. We are living in the era of high technology. 7 of the world’s 10 most valuable companies are technology companies.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu, who gave advice to the students, said, “Get out of your comfort zone. Be conscientious in everything you do, in every environment you are in. Be fair. Work for a world where the right is strong, not where the strong are right. And don’t miss life. Travel, learn new cultures. Never stop reading and researching. Be the hero of your own story, not someone else’s. Most importantly, do not marginalize anyone because of their language, religion, identity, opinion or ethnicity.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “As our leader Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, for whom we are grateful, said; ‘Great success occurs with successful young people raised by precious mothers’. That’s who you are. We trust you, we believe in you.”

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