People of LMS: Interview with the founder of the company Turhan Serdar Bacaksiz

24.09.2021

Today, in the traditional People of LMS section, we are talking with one of the founders of our company, a member of the Board of Directors of the Limak Marash Group of Companies — Turhan Serdar Bacaksiz.

Tell us about yourself: where did you study? How did your professional career begin?

I hold a degree in civil engineering. I got my higher education in Turkey, in my hometown Ankara. I received my MBA degree at Baruch College in New York. Upon my return to Turkey, I obtained additional education in «Road Construction» at Gazi University. Alongside with my studies, I worked on construction sites.

For example, at that time I was involved in the implementation of a Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) project in the Tarsus region. It was a small HPP with a capacity of about 22 MW. At that time, we were constructing the building of the plant itself and a 5-kilometer tunnel.

After the commissioning of this facility, I worked in the city of Denizli, where I was engaged in the construction of an irrigation system — it was a complex of structures consisting of a water intake structure at the source, permanent and temporary channels and pipelines, etc.

After 4 years of working directly on the construction site, I continued to work in the central office at Limak Group; I was engaged in preparing project tender documentation, and also worked in the international projects department.

I met Mr. Selcuk Karaca back in Limak Group, and we began to work together on the construction of airports. For example, we participated in the construction of Sabiha Gokcen Airport in Istanbul as a PPP. By that time, we had implemented several airport development projects in Kosovo, Cairo and Kuwait.
Selcuk Karaca and Ertan Ertem were the founders of the company Marashstroy when a tender was announced for the construction of an airport in Rostov-on-Don. And since Limak Group had no experience in Russia, and Marashstroy had no experience in airport construction, we combined the capacities of two companies to participate in this project.
We won the contract and that was how the history of the Limakmarashstroy company began. It was in 2015.

What areas do you manage in Turkish Limak Group and what do you do in the Russian company LMS?

In Turkish Limak Group, I am a member of the Board of Directors. I am responsible for international projects and the construction of public facilities, roads and ports within the framework of public-private partnership (PPP).

I am one of the founders of Limakmarashstroy company. There is no separate direction that my partners or me are engaged in at the company. Founders participate in all decision-making processes. I am actively engaged in the development of our business in the construction market of Russia. I am in charge of concluding large transactions, the company's participation in tenders, as well as the pricing of our services. 

What is the main mission and purpose of LMS, its values and strategy, in your opinion?

Our main mission is to make the company's activities valuable for our customers, that is, high-quality performance of work on the construction of facilities, achievement of minimum market prices for construction, compliance with international and Russian construction standards, ensuring safety on the construction site and compliance with environmental protection policy and prevention of pollution.

Our goal is to make Limakmarashstroy to become a confident and independent company, standing on its own feet.

Our strategy is a development of a construction business. We started our activity as LMS with the construction of an airport in Rostov-on-Don. Now the company's portfolio includes the implementation of various types of construction — housing, transport, infrastructure and industrial. It is important for us to form a long-term partnership and cooperation with customers, confirming our reputation as a reliable general contractor who fulfills its obligations to customers efficiently and on time, who, having made sure of this, trust us to implement their projects again and again.

Safety and high quality of work are company's main values.

What important projects are we implementing at the moment?

Multifunctional Sports Complex Arena in Omsk, the Eastern Exit from Ufa, and a new construction project of a plant in Chernyakhovsk in the Kaliningrad region. I guess these three projects are flagships in each category today. That is why they are essential for our company.

What three determining factors of doing business could you name?

  1. The first is the adaptability of the company's structure. It must be resistant to non-standard situations and changes in the market. For example, the situation related to the COVID pandemic, which is still ongoing. The company had to solve a lot of problems related to the implementation of projects in the shortest possible time. Firstly, it was the hiring of new employees for the construction of facilities. Secondly, there were dramatic problems with changing the delivery dates of building and raw materials, as well as rising prices.
  2. The second is the development of corporate HR. It is necessary to build a system so as to quickly and efficiently adapt new employees to the specifics of working in Limak Marash. It is important to create a system so that, when one employee leaves the company, the work of the entire department or direction will not collapse.
  3. The third is investing in the new projects’ development for the sustainable growth of the company. We do not have a goal to win only one profitable contract — it is important to always think ahead and strive to achieve the best results.

Investing in people: is it necessary to increase the level of competencies, develop soft and hard skills?

The company is not created on paper, it is created by people. If you have proper human resources with high professional competencies, your business will grow and develop.

We have a lot of employees in our company who have been working with us since the first day of Limak Marash — all directors, project managers, all key employees have been working with us for six years. Many have joined Limak Marash back in Marashstroy time. The most of them were Russian-speaking specialists. Some employees were involved in the process of working on a certain project.

Investing in Human Resources is a long-term and long-lasting process for us. We do not work with a person in the short term to say goodbye in six months. We try to build up the team by joint efforts for the growth of the company's business and capacity. We will be glad if the employee is loyal to LMS just as we are to our employees.

What needs to be done so that the company does not just stay afloat, but also develops?

We never think about our plans in the short-term. This is always a long-term perspective of the company's development. Even our office in Moscow is a long-term plan.
When we first bought the building, we considered what future our business would have. And we sought to implement the best results for the further growth of the company.
It is important for us to invest in our own business, to invest free resources in the development of the company.

What are the company's plans for near future?

Now the company has such a period when we do not need to urgently search for new projects and conclude new contracts. Our priority task is to successfully put all our facilities into service by the end of 2022 (six months earlier or later). These are Multifunctional Sport Complex Arena in Omsk, the industrial complex in Kaliningrad, the airport terminal in Novy Urengoy and the Eastern Exit in Ufa.
It seems to me that the most important things for any company and its employees are stabile work and confidence in the future.

What are you into besides work? 

I like to play chess and read books. I try to go to the gym two or three days a week. Now this is not a hobby anymore, but a part of my daily life. But, of course, my main hobby is my three children. I spend almost all my free time with them.

People of LMS: Interview with the founder of the company Turhan Serdar Bacaksiz-photo-1