Late Koç Holding Chairman Mustafa Koç, who died of a sudden heart attack in January, has been named businessman of the year in a survey by weekly Ekonomist magazine.
Caroline Koç, the wife of the famous businessman, received the award on behalf of her late husband, while Doğan Holding Chairwoman Begümhan Doğan Faralyalı presented the prize.
“A society which does not dream cannot achieve major successes,” said Doğan Faralyalı during the award ceremony entitled “Businesspeople of the Year in Economy,” which was held in Istanbul on May 26.
“It is highly important to congratulate and invite successful people to the scene in order to inspire and encourage our youth. Every good thing emerges from a dream, so it is very important for the youth to see role models and hear the stories of successful people,” Doğan Faralyalı said a speech entitled “Leadership in a Digital World.”
“Mustafa Koç had been a great example for years with his personality and achievements. Frankly, he taught me two things when he left us. When I saw what people had written and said after him, I recognized him as a person who has fully liven his life. Accordingly, he had hobbies and beautiful memories with his loved ones, besides him business life. I saw that real wealth comes from how many hearts you have captured, rather than your bank account,” she said.
After Koç’s sudden death, his older brother Ömer Koç became the new chair of Turkey’s biggest conglomerate Koç Holding.
During the ceremony, the “Professional of the Year” award went to Pegasus CEO Mehmet Nane; “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” was awarded to the co-founders of Selamlique Istanbul, Caroline Koç and Banu Yentür; the “Global Turkish Professional of the Year” award was given to Coca Cola CEO Muhtar Kent; the “Civil Society Leader of the Year” award was bestowed on Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD) Chairwoman Cansen Başaran Symes; and the “Bureaucrat of the Year” honor was awarded to Turkey’s former Central Bank governor and new ambassador to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Erdem Başçı.
While Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of U.S.-based best-seller yoghurt brand Chobani, was selected “Global Turkish Entrepreneur of the Year,” the founder of the travel app Bitaksi, Nazım Salur, was selected as the “Male Entrepreneur of the Year.”
“I receive this award on behalf of dear members of board, dear employers and of course to all members of TUSİAD who have carried us onward to today,” said Başaran Symes during her speech.