Mehmet Ali Babaoğlu

The challenge of producing quality denim (the fabric from which jeans are made) is to read the minds of teenagers in Los Angeles, London and Tokyo, explains Mehmet Ali Babaoglu, former managing director of Orta Anadolu, Kayseri's fabric giant. When Mehmet Ali Babaoglu (who had studied industrial engineering in Germany) joined Orta Anadolu in the early 1980s this Kayseri textile company was on the verge of bankruptcy. It bought Turkish cotton and turned it into simple cloth that Turkish households would then buy directly to produce their own clothes. Today Orta Anadolu is Kayseri's largest exporters, responsible for one percent of world denim production. When the company first produced denim for jeans in 1986 it could produce 5 different types. Today it develops 300 new prototypes anually, of which 60 are sold to the world's leading jeans brands. In 2003 Orta Anadolu was in the top 100 Turkish companies in terms of revenues and in the top 25 in terms of profitability.


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