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Interview

Masttech’s New Generation Mast Systems and Carrier Platforms Expanding into New Markets

President of Masttech, Koray GÖKALP shared details about Masttech, their organizational structure, new and unique products, and the partnership agreement with US-Based Will-Burt company in 2019 that positioned the company in the overseas market.

Issue 99

Defence Turkey: Could you please provide some background on Masttech and its establishment at the Sincan Organized Industrial Zone in Ankara, and the current organizational structure of the Company? 

Koray GÖKALP: Our journey, which we started with the delivery of defense industry engineering services in 1988, has been continuing with the most advanced engineering activities in the sector, such as design and system development since 2007. At the beginning of 2019, after we believed that we had reached maturity in terms of our skills, experience and financial power to take part in the international defense industry, we were in search of a new vision. We carefully analyzed our strengths and weaknesses to determine the areas in which we could compete, and which areas would be more difficult. Our engineering and manufacturing expertise was also quite competitive in the international defense industry market. Since marketing in the global defense market requires a relatively long time and involves great effort, a powerful brand, political power, and strategic requirements, we started to look for a partner with which we could combine our strengths and to eventually become a useful model. Upon this search, Masttech was formed following our agreement with the U.S. Company Will-Burt, which has been the world leader in its own product group for more than 100 years and has also incorporated the German company Geroh which has an important share in the global market with the same product group as well. Thus, Masttech found its place in the sector as the latest Turkish company established with a Turkish-American partnership in the defense industry.

Defence Turkey: How did you achieve this during the difficult period in the Turkish-American relationship in 2019?

Koray GÖKALP: Even though certain interests confronted both countries from time to time, Turkey and the United States are two allied countries. These two countries have the largest armies in NATO. Our mutual interests are much more than those we oppose. Thus, we have proven this with our partnership.

Defence Turkey:  Is the Turkish market your first priority? 

Koray GÖKALP: Of course, Masttech will give priority to the needs of the Turkish market, but we were already in the Turkish market, Molekulas established this partnership to become a global company.

With this structure, Masttech is a first in our country's defense industry and more than 90% of our current sales portfolio is composed of exports. Offering very significant technological and cost advantages to its customers is one of the key features of Masttech. For this reason, we plan our investments by projecting that our domestic and international market share will increase substantially over time.

Defence Turkey: Could you specify your vision briefly? How will Masttech and Will-Burt position themselves in the global market?

Koray GÖKALP: Masttech is now entering the market with new product lines, not previously manufactured by Will-Burt and Geroh. Thus, the entire Will-Burt sales team will market our products as well. These new generation mast systems and carrier platforms allow us expanding into new markets. Thus, we headed out with a vision based entirely on the union of forces, not competition. In addition, we will be able to produce other mast systems of the Group under the conditions which we deem logistically advantageous, and we will be able to make the necessary engineering changes in Masttech accordingly. In the meantime, Masttech has assumed the maintenance, repair and logistics activities of thousands of systems belonging to the Group and previously produced by our partners and used in our country and in the region. This made former Will-Burt and Geroh customers quite satisfied. Activities related to integrated logistics have generated more export revenue than we anticipated. We can now offer more rapid and cost-effective solutions. We are very pleased that we have formed a cooperation based entirely on our mutual interests, not based upon any offset obligation. I am proud of the level that our country has reached in the defense industry.

Defence Turkey: Will the sales of Will-Burt and Geroh products in our country be conducted by your Company?

Koray GÖKALP:Yes, this is entirely a collaboration. We see the whole Group as a single Company. Domestic sales of all products and spare parts of the Group as well as the maintenance services will be conducted by Masttech.

Defence Turkey: Could you please inform us on the competitive capacity of Masttech in the domestic and foreign markets?

Koray GÖKALP: As partners, we use all the technological superiorities and strategic strengths that our countries have. We attend more than 100 international fairs and events every year. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected our marketing activities but being number one in the world market places us among the least affected.

Defence Turkey: Turkey today makes direct procurements not to be dependent upon foreign manufacturers and supports the use of domestic-indigenous products. As Masttech, will you be able to align yourself with this?

Koray GÖKALP: Yes, certainly. Masttech is a company based on 100% Turkish-capital. Our customers will be able to purchase Masttech products as domestic goods without any restrictions whatsoever. Only the products of our partners will be imported, as previously done. Here, I would like to especially mention that in our field, there is no product that our country needs, but we cannot produce, as a Turkish product. We develop the equivalents of many of our partners' products, and they are entirely owned by Masttech.

Defence Turkey: You have built a very modern and impressive factory at the Ankara Organized Industrial Zone. Has production started? Could you inform us about the local content rate?

Koray GÖKALP: We start production in August this year. We are still making pilot productions for prototypes and mass production. 95% of the products will be produced by Masttech and local SMEs.

Defence Turkey: Thank you for this interview