Open Forum with Mr. Baybars Altuntas: My way to White House
April 25th, 2013
“Always believe in dreams, find the best business ideas and never to give up”
The author of best seller “From Bus, to BMW”, that broke the sale records in Turkey, now a bestseller also in Albania published by OMBRA GVG publishing House, Mr. Baybars Altuntas visited Epoka University on April 25, 2013 and discussed with the students at the Open Forum, which was organized by “Entrepreneur” Club. He was invited to present and provide the further information about his bestseller book in Turkey that overtook Steve Jobs’ book sales within a week and now in Albania is following the same steps. Mr. Altuntas congratulated the student for taking the initiative to create the “Entrepreneur” Club and also thanked the Epoka University’s Rector Prof. Dr. Remzi ALTIN, the Dean of Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences Prof. Dr. Gungor Turan and the Dean of Students Mr. Sezer Erdogan.
At the beginning of the discussion with the students of Epoka University, Mr. Altuntas explained his way to the White House, becoming the only Entrepreneur from Presidential Entrepreneur Summit 2010 who managed to get a personal meeting with President Obama. He noted that everything started on a Sunday morning at the library during the time that he was a student at Bogazici University. “When I student at Bogazici University I carried how to make money. I tried to make our packet money by photocopying the lessons and selling to the other students. What I was doing during these times was going at library, spending my time at library and reading free of charge the magazines, newspapers etc. One day I started to read one economy magazine, an article about franchising. This happened in 1991 when I was 21 years old”, he said. He told students that franchising system was a news system in Turkey. “I was studding in English in a good university and I didn’t know the meaning of franchising or understanding what franchising means. Everything started by the article telling about McDonalds which was able to come to Turkey. And I asked myself why McDonalds is able to come to Istanbul form one part of the world to the other part, because we have many Turkish restaurants?,” he noted.
Discussing with the student he told them they should focus on the business idea, because according to him, the most important asset that everyone has is not the money but the business idea, because by money you cannot gain business ideas, but by business ideas you can gain money.
As a student and a young entrepreneur he was very persuasive in his ideas and dreams. Every time someone told him “NO”, he asked “Why not?” and he tried again and again. Every time he wanted to achieve a goal he said to him “What do I lose? Nothing” He achieved his goals and now as a result he is awarded as one of the top 40s greatest businessmen who created innovation and his company Deulcom International has taken the prestigious award, “Euroawards”.
He stressed the fact that students should challenge their ideas and try to follow their dream. Because if you dream big, nobody believes in you, if you dream small they would. But everyone should keep in mind that they should believe in their dream, because that is the most important thing to go on. “You don’t have to know something well, but you have to believe to your dream even it is looks big. If you know something well, it takes to much time to you to make a decision. If you don’t know and issue you are immediately saying yes”, Mr. Altuntas said.
At the last section of the conference, student asked him questions. First question was if he would have wanted to meet any historical person from the past, who would he be. Mr. Altuntas said that: “I have met people that made history nowadays but from I never created any affection for past historical figures”. Asked by students if he would believe a student that would came to him with a big dream for a business, Mr. Altuntas answered that he would do it, because when he had his dream and business ideas, he was a student as well. “Also important for a young entrepreneur is to find and create the needed network”, he said. The one that Mr. Altuntas chose as the best question of the conference was if whether it is important to have a degree on economic or business, to become a successful entrepreneur. Answering this question he said that important was the dream ant the network the entrepreneur creates while the part of economy may be important but without an idea you cannot have innovation. At the end of the conference he made some photos with students and signed their books.