Emre Karaahmetoglu

GENERAL COORDINATOR OF ONUR GROUP UKRAINE

Ukraine 2021  I  Ukraine & Turkey Special  I  Interview

Emre Karaahmetoglu ONUR GROUP.png

BIOGRAPHY Born in 1980, previously he worked in the construction company Enka Bekhtal in Croatia as the Head of the Supply Department and at Onur Group as a CFO. He was appointed General Coordinator of Onur Group Ukraine in 2010, being engaged in the financial and economic activities of the enterprise, participating in the development of proposals aimed at economical use of construction materials, among others.

“WE HAVE BEEN WORKING IN UKRAINE FOR 17 YEARS AND DURING THIS TIME WE HAVE IMPLEMENTED HUNDREDS OF INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS AND BUILT MORE THAN 3,500 KILOMETERS OF ROADS.”

WHAT ARE THE MAIN REASONS FOR THE SUCCESS OF ONUR GROUP IN UKRAINE?

 

Onur Group is an international company that has been specializing in the construction of roads, dams, bridges and airports around the world for more than 40 years. We have been working in Ukraine for 17 years and during this time we have implemented hundreds of infrastructure projects and built more than 3,500 kilometers of roads. The main principles of our work are quality and innovation. Our advantages are a qualified team, extensive experience in the road sector and the latest technologies. We not only build kilometers of roads, but also do it with high quality, investing our international experience and knowledge. It is important that people like the product we create. After all, we work for people. Each new project is a new challenge and a big responsibility for us. All this gives its positive results. It is thanks to our values and principles of work that Onur Group ranked 92nd in the ranking of the 250 Largest International Contractors and in 2021 entered the list of the 250 Best Global Contractors according to the American edition of Engineering News-Record.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF ONUR GROUP IN RESHAPING UKRAINE’S INFRASTRUCTURE SECTOR?

 

As part of the Big Construction project, our company has performed large volumes of work throughout Ukraine. However, we were prepared for such an increase in the burden on our team. We are gradually moving towards this by increasing the number of equipment, factories and employees of Onur Group. One of the key projects in this area for the country and for our company was the work on the Dnipro — Reshetylivka, Kyiv — Kharkiv — Dovzhanskyi projects. The bridges across the Dnipro and the Staryi Dnipro in Zaporizhzhia can also be considered iconic. One of them is a beam bridge through the Staryi Dnipro – it will lead from the Khortytsia island to the Baburka district. The other — cable-stayed – will connect Khortytsia with the center of Zaporizhzhia. Upon completion of the construction, the cable-stayed bridge across the Dnipro river will become the eighth tallest in Europe and the first in Ukraine.

 

Thanks to these bridges, we will be able to improve traffic in the city and relieve roads, because they will have 6 transport interchanges with separate structures for each direction. Ukrainians have been waiting for the implementation of these projects for decades. But, of course, every kilometer of road that we have built is important and valuable. It is important that we can implement our international experience, expertise, and new technologies in every kilometer of road that we have built. We are qualitatively changing and improving the infrastructure industry in Ukraine with our integrated high-quality work and qualified team.

“WE HAVE INCREASED OUR STAFF TO 6,500 OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS WITH 90-95% OF THEM BEING UKRAINIANS, WHICH I CONSIDER OUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT.”

WHAT IS YOUR VISION ON ACHIEVING THE FULL POTENTIAL OF RELATIONS BETWEEN TURKEY AND UKRAINE?

 

Turkey and Ukraine have always had good relations, so now one of the goals is to make them more strategic. Signing a Free Trade Agreement will help us to achieve this goal as soon as possible. Now the presidents of our countries are working on this, so we strongly hope that everything will happen before the end of the year. Thanks to the agreement, the economic indicators of both sides will significantly increase, and this will help us to expand cooperation. I am sure that if Europe supports Ukraine in the issue of free trade, as Turkey once did, it will become a major economic hub. Definitely, this is a great potential for the development of our countries.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES ARE YOU LOOKING TO EXPLORE IN THE UPCOMING YEARS?

 

Our company has invested in the agricultural, energy, woodworking and green energy sectors for 17 years of operation in Ukraine. During this time, we have already thoroughly studied the specifics of the country's economy, so we understand that Ukraine is becoming more and more interesting for investors. Therefore, in addition to these industries, our company is also starting to invest in mining. We have already obtained licenses for iron, gold, graphite and potassium, and now it remains to finish developing the project and explore the facilities. If everything goes well, we plan to attract large investments to Ukraine. Among other options, we are also considering the real estate market and tourism — we consider these areas also perspective for Ukraine. Now Ukraine needs international experience and expertise. This is exactly what Onur Group can contribute with its activities. Therefore, we only plan to gain momentum, continue to develop and increase our presence in the market.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES AHEAD FOR 2021-2022?

 

One of the biggest problems in the Ukrainian market is the shortage of qualified personnel, because many specialists go to work abroad. However, even under these conditions, we have increased our staff to 6,500 over the past few years with 90-95% of them being Ukrainians, which I consider our greatest achievement. Of course, after the implemented projects. Despite the fact that competition is only growing every year, as many companies are turning into major players, we are confident in our success and efficiency, because we show excellent results — UAH 720 million in taxes for 2020 and 3,500 km of paved roads are proof of this. We currently have 131 active projects in Ukraine. And constant quality control, a professional team and capacities — now 20 asphalt, 15 concrete and 15 cement-concrete plants — this is what makes Onur Group a persistent and stable company that occupies one of the highest positions in the market.