Our Founder

Vehbi Koç

Vehbi Koç was born in 1901, in a house in the Çoraklık neighborhood of Ankara. His mother's family (the Kütükçü family) dates back 600 years in Ankara, while his father's family (the Koç family) dates back 250 years in the same city. He was the only son of Mustafa Efendi from the Koç family.

Vehbi Koç first attended a neighborhood school called "Topal Hoca's School" (School of the Lame Teacher), and later on, a primary school in the Hacıbayram area. After completing his education in this school, he attended the so-called "Taş Mektep", or "İdadi", which is the equivalent of high school.
When he was fifteen, Vehbi Koç finished school and started his professional life.

From the story of his life, we gather that his first place of work was a small shop in the Karaoğlan (now Ulus square) neighborhood (1917). He laid the foundations of the Koç Group when he registered the company he founded as "Ahmet Vehbi of the Koç Family" at the Chamber of Commerce in 1926.

Koç expanded his vision further when Ankara became the capital of  Turkey. He concentrated on the construction sector and trade of construction materials. After 1928, he became the representative for Ford Motor Co. and Standard Oil (now Mobil) in Turkey. He opened branches in İstanbul and Eskişehir and grouped his enterprises under Koç Ticaret Anonim Şirketi (Koç Trade Inc.) in 1938.

When the Republic of Turkey began its industrialization effort, he reached an agreement with General Electric in 1948 to establish a light bulb factory. Later on, Türkay, Gazal, T.E.E.factories and a cable factory with Siemens were founded. Tractor production was initiated under the Fiat license.

The breakthrough achieved by Koç in the automotive sector evolved into a complete industry. The leading automative company, Otosan, started its operations as a result of an agreement made with the Ford Motor Co. for the assembly of trucks. After Turkey's first locally manufactured car 'Anadol',

Vehbi Koç led the way to the foundation of together with Italian Fiat, as economic development progressed rapidly in the country. The production of Murat, the second locally manufactured car brand, shortly followed. The giant automotive and subsidiary industries of the present are all results of the spark produced by Vehbi Koç.

He brought together all of his companies under the name of "Koç Holding A.Ş." in 1963 and thus initiated an important step in Turkey's economic life. The period of holdings in Turkey started with this Koç initiative and many businessmen followed suit.