Turkey wants to reduce non-revenue water

Turkey, like many countries, has problems with non-revenue water. Water utilities are, however, eager to learn about new technologies and new quality products because they want to improve their entire water system.

“We see a lot of interest in products that can reduce non-revenue water. The water in Turkey is clean, but they have a poor distribution system that has not been updated for a long time. Pipes, valves, couplings – the whole system causes non-revenue water. Danish suppliers have knowledge and quality products for this area, and that gives us a competitive edge,” says Kieran Cantrell, Market Development Manager at AVK International A/S.

Install valves above ground

The poor distribution system partly comes from low quality equipment.

“I think that there are more than fifty local suppliers of valves that vary in quality and the utilities have a tradition of supporting these suppliers,” Kieran Cantrell says. He continues:

“Utilities, for example, do not install valves underground because the locally produced valves have to be replaced often. They build a concrete chamber around the installations, which is much more expensive than a standard solution where the valves are buried.”

Market employee creates results

AVK is on the way to achieve a good position in the Turkish market. However, it took some unsuccessful attempts to get through to potential customers.

“We have worked on the market for some years without noticeable results. In the beginning, we had an employee travelling to Turkey with no luck. We knew there was a market for our valves, so we decided to hire a Turkish employee based in Istanbul,” Kieran Cantrell explains.

A full-time employee in Turkey soon paid off, and today AVK has revenue on the market.

“Our Turkish market manager started in February last year and since then we have made offers on public tenders and gained a lot of knowledge on the market. Now we know what the Turkish municipalities and contractors want and how they want it – knowledge we could not have obtained travelling from Denmark,” Kieran Cantrell says.    

The Turkish way

One of the experiences AVK has gained is that there is a Turkish way of doing things.

“You have to have the right contacts and a partner who knows how to tackle their culture. It is impossible to do it alone – you need someone you can trust,” Kieran Cantrell says.

One way of finding a partner is by activating your network.

“You can use the embassy or your network. Another possibility is to look at your business and see if someone matches your products. Visit them, make appointments, and work on the contact, and soon small circles spread. Just be aware that a lot of traveling is necessary,” Kieran Cantrell explains.