Enjoy Istanbul with Marc Guillet

DSM products are everywhere

31 Mar
Written by Marc Guillet
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Interview with Mrs. Nilgün Demir, new member of the board of DBA Turkey

Invisible and still everywhere. That’s the way you could describe the kind of products Royal DSM N.V. creates. You are not aware of them, but they are all around us.

“We are talking about innovative products and services in life sciences and materials sciences that contribute to the quality of life”, says Nilgün Demir, general manager of DSM Nutritional Products Turkey.

In her office in Kavacık, on the Asian shore of the Bosporus, she offers her guest coffee or tea. She has turned her own cup of Turkish coffee upside down after finishing it. The thick, muddy sediment at the bottom of the cup, has left some patterns on the surface of the cup. It is a popular way of fortune telling in Turkey. “I do it just for fun”, Mrs, Demir says smiling. “It is nothing serious”.

Her job as general manager at DSM Nutritional Products, for nearly 14 years now, is the complete opposite of traditions, rituals and interpreting impressions of coffee sediment. It is all about science and understanding of trends that are driving societies, markets and customers.

Demir: “DSM’s products and services are used globally in a wide range of markets and applications. They support a healthier, more sustainable and more enjoyable way of life.”

What kind of products are we talking about?

“DSM products are everywhere. In yachts. In human and animal nutrition and health, personal care, pharmaceuticals, automotive, coatings and paint, electrical and electronics, life protection and housing. Coloring and vitamins in drinks. In margarines, meat, bread and drugs. In cosmetics, telephone and CD covers. Enzymes in cheese, wine and olive oils.”

The materials DSM produces are also used in cages for fish farms. “This material is called ‘Dyneema’ and it is stronger than steel”, Demir says. This ultra high molecular weight polyethylene fiber is manufactured and sold in a variety of forms, including fiber, tape, and unidirectional sheets. “Dyneema is also used in applications ranging from bullet proof cockpit doors in passenger planes, in bullet proof vests, helmets, and cut-resistant gloves.”

DSM  has developed a portfolio of specialized performance materials with higher value added businesses, serving the global automotive, electrics & electronics, building & construction, food-packaging, high-performance textiles & life protection end-markets.

DSM is a market leader in the development of high temperature resistant thermoplastics for automotive engines. New legislation places very tight limits on car emissions, with strict targets on CO2  emissions. DSM focuses on driving forward solutions that significantly decrease environmental impact, leading to the development of a complete portfolio of thermoplastic products that answer the changing needs of the automotive industry. Diablo technology, invented and patented by DSM, improves the long term temperature resistance of materials such as Stanyl PA46 and Akulon PA6 that already has better high temperature performance than standard polyamides; and DSM is also using it to upgrade performance in its Akulon polyamide 6.

In Turkey approximately 50 people are working for DSM. They are serving to the food industry, engineering plastics industry, pharma, food supplements, cosmetics, and feed industry. The last one is not the least one. It is the biggest one in terms of turnover. About 50% of the sales of DSM Nutritional Products in Turkey are blends of feed additives for livestock farms: dairy cattle, poultry, veal cattle, sheep, fish. “In our factory in the Gebze organized industrial area we produce different blends of feed additives. We are importing the ingredients from DSM in Switzerland and mixing the vitamins and enzymes the way our customers prefer. Our customers request their own recipes depending on the type of animals they grow, their age and breeds. Our main focus is primarily on the highly growing poultry and aqua segments. DSM offers high tech solutions which help the industry to reduce the CO2 and Nitrogen release and almost completely stop the Phosporus polution of the environment while significantly reducing the feed cost. We serve not only the Turkish market. We export to northern Cyprus and Azerbaijan as well.”

DSM is also investing and contributing to a healthier life style and food supplements. “Elavida™ for instance which is a superior olive polyphenol formulation with excellent application performance to support heart health, joint health, cellular energy metabolism and help boost the body’s own antioxidant system. It is just one of many DSM products i.e. Fruitflow®,  Oatwell®, Life’sDHA™ contribute to the same goal. For us, we have customers, but we also consider our customers’ customers which are the consumers. So that in food supplements we approach health benefit solutions based on consumers’ profiles. In order to do that we do not only provide products, but we offer our technical and scientific expertise and develop tailored nutritional solutions in premixes as well. Most of the R&D is done in the Netherlands, but we have many R&D centers all around the world.”

DSM is also recognized for its commitment to humanitarian efforts as well. USAID, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the UN are some of many examples that DSM has partnered with and has received the prestigious 2010 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the United Nations Association of New York for his outstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility and in particular for DSM’s partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). By partnering with the UN-WFP, DSM has made a commitment to fight hunger and malnutrition around the world and has been raising awareness of the pressing issue of malnutrition – also known as hidden hunger.

General Manager is printed on Mrs. Demir’s business card, but they call her ‘national point of reference’. “It means that whatever happens in Turkey or surrounding countries, I’m responsible. For example during the bird flu in 2003, I was the head of the team that prepared the risk analysis, made plans what to do.”

The mission of DSM Nutritional Products in Turkey is ‘to support our customers in terms of progress in the world in their areas. Being a business partner in all senses, that’s what we want to do. And grow in a profitable way.”

DSM Nutritional Products Turkey is very successful, Mrs. Demir says. “We are all the time growing, and very profitable. That’s why we are popular in the DSM world, I can say”.

DSM had annual net sales of EUR 9.1 billion in 2014 and employs some 23,500 people worldwide. The company is headquartered in Heerlen (the Netherlands), with locations on five continents. DSM is listed on Euronext Amsterdam.

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