Onur Çağlar, Mulino Milling and Storage Systems: “As Mulino, we build wheat flour, corn flour, wheat semolina, corn semolina, feed mills, and storage systems. We equip our machines with sensors and technological tools so that they can be user-friendly. We are able to provide technical service as soon as possible with our offices and engineers in every continent. So far, we have exported to 32 countries in total. We see Far East Asia and South America as promising foreign markets.”
We hosted Onur Çağlar, the Business Development Director of Ankara-based Mulino that entered into the milling machine sectors, in our Technology Platform section. Founded in 2017, the company managed to provide its technology to 32 countries only in 3 years. He said that they made an investment of 2 million dollars in the factory in Çorum this year and eye on making an additional investment of 12 million dollars in the next five years. Çağlar said that the company aims to increase product variety and quality in order to serve the customers in the best way with these investments.
We talked with Mr. Çağlar about the problems of the sector and the future targets of Mulino.
First of all, can you give us some brief information about your company and its activities?
Our company was established in 2017 and serves in the areas of wheat/corn flour and semolina factories, feed factories, storage systems, and flour/bread additives. Our central office is in Ankara, and we continue our production activities in Çorum. In order to provide better service to the African continent, our company has established a company in Kenya that operates under the name of Mulino Kenya Limited. We have offices in Asia and the South America. Our Asian office is in Jakarta, Indonesia while our South America office is in Santiago, Chile. We carry out our continuously developing activities in order to provide better service to our customers worldwide.
Could you give us some information about your production capacity and facilities?
We have 45 personnel and carry out our production in 20.000 m2 open and 2.000 m2 closed area. We produce with our state-of-the-art machine tools, trained and experienced personnel in order to ensure product satisfaction in our facility. In addition to this, we follow the necessary steps in terms of worker health and safety. Every year, we build turnkey facilities between 8 and 10 which vary according to their capacity.
There are many milling machine manufacturers around the world. What does Mulino offer to flour industrialists in this sector where there is fierce competition? What features distinguish Mulino among others?
Our company stands out with its quality in every field and manufactures very different, very specific, and very technological machines, unlike others. We equip our machines with sensors and technological tools so that they can be user-friendly. We are able to provide technical service as soon as possible with our offices and engineers in every continent. Thanks to our spare parts in these offices, we ensure that our customers get maximum benefit with minimum downtime.
You build turnkey facilities. What are their capacities and what kind of facilities do you install?
We set up wheat flour, corn flour, wheat semolina, corn semolina, feed mills, and storage systems. In our flour- semolina factories, the capacity ranges from 50 to 800 tons per day with one production line; in feed factories, it ranges from 120 to 1000 tons per day. In storage, we build storage facilities ranging from 100 to 200 thousand tons.
Can you give us some brief information about the significant projects you have recently put into practice?
Recently, we put storage systems in Egypt and Swaziland into use and realized a turnkey flour factory in Kenya with a capacity of 200 tons per day and in Tanzania with a capacity of 350 tons per day. In total, four factories are now in use.
Are there any innovations you prepare to launch? What innovations does your R&D department offer to customers in the coming period?
We have combined machines that our R&D department has been working on and getting ready to put on the market soon. We will introduce more efficient machines that use less engine power and energy. We continuously renovate ourselves with our R&D department in accordance with the changing needs of the world and innovative moves. As everyone knows, unmanned production is one of the topics we will talk about in the coming years. We are one of the few companies that understood the importance of this in our country. We believe that unmanned production will be a very useful system and we do business development studies with our R&D department. For example, one of the biggest advantages of this unmanned production would be to provide flexibility in terms of production capacity and to respond more quickly and accurately to the needs of our customers. The innovations that we will present in the coming process will help to ensure quality control and product diversity. Our biggest feature is that we can offer new and technological machines to our customers, unlike the machines in the market.
Can you provide information about your foreign operations? How many countries have you imported to? Is there any special region you focus on?
Our Asia office is in Indonesia, South America office is in Chile, North America office is in Chicago, and Africa office is in Kenya. We provide spare parts as well as technical service to our customers from these offices. In total, we have exported to 32 countries so far.
Which regions excite you as promising foreign markets?
Far East Asia and South America are the target regions for us as promising foreign markets. In order to gain more market share in these countries, we continuously create business development projects with our offices and sales and marketing experts.
What do you think are the biggest challenges that mill manufacturers face with?
Some companies that have not previously engaged in market diversification and business development currently have problems in operating in full capacity. In recent years, many manufacturers have made significant investments in their factories for space and bench. However, as they do not have enough market share to meet this investment, they face with difficulties now. Also, many companies compete in the same market. That’s why they compete in terms of price which decreases their profit margin.
You have close links with flour industrialists. What expectations do customers have from mill industrialists?
Generally speaking, our customers’ expectations are to have machines that require less maintenance costs and enable their factories to work regularly. Today, the competition among machine manufacturers increases and the same competition takes place among flour industrialists, and therefore, the profitability margin decrease. That’s why the flour industrialists carry out their machine investment to have maximum profit with minimum investment costs and minimum maintenance and downtime costs. So, they want to have machines and facilities that have a higher quality and require less downtime and less maintenance costs.
Could you tell us about your company’s future goals and expectations?
Our company tries to create a different avenue in the sector with its factory and bench investments in Çorum Organized Industrial Zone this year. We will complete a total investment of 5 million dollars in two years with the 2 million dollar investment we made this year and another 3 million dollar investment that we will make next year. We aim to increase this figure to 12 million dollars in the next 5 years. These investments establish the basis that we will be able to serve our customers in the best way, to provide product variety, to improve product quality, to standardize this and to increase our service by increasing our innovative initiatives in order to provide the best service to our customers.