21-22-23 June 2016, I participated to PowerGen Europe Conference and
Exhibition in Milan (Italy). I came with my wife to Milan before
Conference. We found a comfortable small apartment at reasonable
price for one week close to the exhibition. We visited Milan city
museums, parks, shopping venues, Duomo, Churches, Opera, on the
weekend together on foot,
met with numerous domestic (Italian) and foreign energy professionals
during the conference. I exchanged information. I listened to
speeches and watched presentations, demonstrations. There were
many business professionals from Turkey. However there were also
cocktails to join, free drinks everywhere, lots of face to face
communication to exchange off-the record information, gossip etc.
There were people who came not only for fair but also for travel
leisure for holiday shopping in Milan, world center of fashion.
Majority of technical people in the company booths were not sales
people, hence they did not know sales psychology. A technically
trained people can not be a sales people overnight. Most of them did
not know how to respond questions, how to talk. They were entering
extra long presentations, boring conversations, giving unnecessary
informations, lots of details. Some of them were not interested in
any conversation, as if in the mood just waiting to leave and go to
shopping. There were people who were interested in collecting free
promotional stuff only, pens, book, catalogues, shirts whatever
available. There were all types of people with no culture in good
manners, holding seats at resting places, responding in rude and bad
manners. Most of them did not know any foreign languages, asking lady
translators to help them. Unfortunately most of those ladies were not
able to translate the details of the technical jargon. Most sales
people were not trained upfront what they were supposed to sell, they
were unable to answer simple questions, they had catalogues filled
with nonsense outdated empty information.
senior professionals, we exchanged plenty of first hand market
rumors in face to face interviews.
Just a few words or sentences were enough to relay some critical
information. We understand that outdated
technology was finished, prices were remained too expensive.
Nowadays old, big, too cumbersome firms are about to leave the energy
markets. I'm familiar with old professionals. Some of them were
separated from the company, retired.
were looking for new opportunities to get hired elsewhere. However
they were illiterate in new software and information environment.
East company officials were quite eager to push the market. However
they were speaking with their weird native accent, and could not
communicate properly. In order to overcome that difficulty they hired
mother tongue English speaking sales people however these people were
unaware of the technology they were in for sales. On the other hand,
French, Spaniards, were not comfortable talking other than their
area covers two large halls. Visitors, and exhibitors were from
various countries. I met with many professional friends from my home
country, I visited their booths to talk, to exchange news, gossips,
to feel the market. I sensed that our engineering companies were in
financial difficulties. In most of them, ownership is changed during
project execution, they could not pay money they borrowed and they
had to sell the majority stake to the company they owed. Serious ones
were struggling for survival. We have available human capital,
intellectual accomplishments, and there are international financial
groups who were waiting to buy these blue chip engineering
establishments. I could not see or meet with any serious investor
from my home country. Similarly I could not come across with any
ministry of public official in the conference. There were all
vendors, but unfortunately there were a few investors or purchasers.
On the other hand our contractors were quite good in overseas
business to build new industrial or power installations.
foreign equipment supplier companies have sensed the market
tendencies earlier that we were. One of them said to me, "We are
dealing with the same technological garbage, over and over again".
They are fearing the ultra low cost similar equipment as produced by
Far east companies with or without western license. Western
companies are quite comfortable behind their custom walls, but they
are trapped there. Their home markets are saturated. They can not
supply overseas. They can not sell in international markets.
year's exhibition, I was very pleased to witness the growing number
of companies from my home country. There were equipment
manufacturers, contractors as well as engineering companies. Our big
companies have now started to show interest in holding a booth in
Powergen exhibition halls, encouraging their staff to make technical
presentation, and they have proliferated in the exhibition toured.
all know that our country has a huge investment potential in the
the past I used to have free Internet-cafe-like place. However now
wireless internet usage was available for a fee. Everyone already has
iPhone. WiFi is available standard in hotels.
biggest US energy traders, the GT-ST (OEM) builders, manufacturers of
high capacity boiler companies are still interested in our market.
But now their prices remain very expensive.
equipment are available at a much more reasonable prices in the
international market. As long as you can make the basic design by
running a professional software, the rest is easy. US prices are
quite high which makes them uncompetitive and difficult to make
investors asked me the economy and the investment environment of my
home country. What can I say?
Investors expects to have free
fair and transparent competition, freedom of expression, rule of law,
independence of the judiciary, separation of powers, all these
issues are needing for a investment environment. They do not come in
their absence. In general I sensed their reluctance and indifference
to our environment. I observed their cautious attitude and lost of
investment appetite against Turkey.
the long term, if we see that a very different perception of future
investment expectations in our geography, do not be surprised.
year (2017) PowerGen Europe conference and exhibition will be held in
Germany in Cologne 20-21-22 of June.
highly recommend you to join if you are working in the energy sector.
are many international companies on the energy market, investors,
financiers to cooperate. You can find the senior executives of
international companies, you can talk to them, nowhere else so easy.
I have been told that PowerGen management is seriously considering to
organize the same conference in Istanbul. In order to take that
decision, they have to observe and be convinced that we have an
attractive investment environment, free from regional wars, we must
create the proper infrastructure of market mechanisms in Western
Direskeneli, is a graduate of METU Mechanical Engineering department
(1973). He worked in public, private enterprises, USA Turkish JV
companies (B&W, CSWI, AEP), in fabrication, basic and detail
design, marketing, sales and project management of thermal power
plants. He is currently working as freelance consultant/ energy
analyst with thermal power plants basic/ detail design software
expertise for private engineering companies, investors, universities
and research institutions. He is a member of ODTÜ Alumni and Chamber
of Turkish Mechanical Engineers Energy Working Group.
30 June 2016