A SUCCESS STORY ENVIED BY ALL
Nurten Öztürk, Founding Member of OPET Executive Board, stated that it was the major duty of adults to prevent the youth from getting lost in dark tunnels, and open their path to success. Öztürk, who addressed the students at the 2nd Human Resources Summit: Those Who Make a Difference titled event organized by Izmir University of Economics (IUE), stated that their story was not a fairytale, that as a teacher couple, she and her husband stood shoulder to shoulder and established OPET, a domestic investment company that ranks first in customer satisfaction for 11 years.
Öztürk reported that their journey started out on a promise to establish a domestic company and to do their best. She said, “The secret to our success story is not the gas station, it comes from putting people first. Gas stations used to serve vehicles until we entered the sector. But, we started to serve the people who use those vehicles. And people started to take a notice of that”.
Öztürk stated that their social responsibility projects attracted great attention, that they reached out to 9 million people with their first project, “Clean Restrooms Campaign”, and they invested more than $100 million up until now. Öztürk reported that she was also raised in a village, and that the villages did not change much, they stayed the same as they were in the 50’s. She said that the “Respect to History Project” in Çanakkale – Gelibolu Peninsula focused on arranging the villages and historical places in the region, and they transferred $30 million to this project since 2006. “Our projects never come to an end. We are carrying out sustainable, living projects. We are turning our stations into green stations and following up on them. We held training courses about our clean restroom campaign in Mecca, Medina, and Riyadh. We’ve come over the restroom problem in Turkey substantially. We’ve identified the restroom standards of Turkish Standards Institute,” said Öztürk.
‘Youth should be brave’
Öztürk, who stated that youth needed to be supported, said, “I admire youth. I try to understand them but I can’t say I understand them completely. We need to prevent the youth from getting lost in dark tunnels, and open their path to success”.
‘Entrepreneurship is to live it, feel it, and do it’
Öztürk said that they, too, learned a lot from their own children, and they were happy to be exchanging ideas. Öztürk stated the following:
“If I didn’t have kids I would have gone abroad at a later time. If I didn’t have to think about the future of my children, I wouldn’t have to work this much. Entrepreneurship is actually living. In other words, it means to feel it, and doing what you feel. I see so many people have this courage. Of course, there will be obstacles. If you put a barrier in front of water, the water will get over it if it’s a small barrier. If you raise the barrier, the water will accumulate, get stronger and get over that also. Therefore, we should not give up because of minor obstacles. In my opinion, entrepreneurship requires courage.”
‘Women should be educated and they should work’
Öztürk stated that time passed so quickly, and that no one should be left behind the change, and she said that she believed in being conservative when it came to some of the values such as history, or showing respect to the elderly. She said that she was a great admirer of Atatürk, and that, men and women were different genders, however, women were just as capable of doing pretty much everything. Öztürk made the following recommendations to fellow females:
“I believe women are capable of doing everything men can do. People ask me what I would like to be born again as, if I had a chance. I would like to be born as a woman if I were to be born again 100 times. I feel so sorry for all the women who are subject to abuse and violence. I feel extremely like compared to those women. I am happy to be able to turn my thoughts into action. I believe the reason behind this is being an educated woman who works. Education is the key to transform a woman. Therefore, female education is much more important. I believe women should be in the workforce. I also recommend our branch offices to employ female gas station attendants.”