Ahmet Kulacoglu graduated from the City of London Polytechnic, Shipping Management in 1975 and started working as an office boy at his father’s company. Shipping was a family tradition at the time. His father’s coaster was an important factor in way of practicing of his academic knowledge.
Ahmet Kulacoglu explains his way of operation in the sector since then: “At those times, I learned that the relationships with shipyards, classification societies, ports and personnel were the basics of management. Brokerage was a new concept in Turkey. Being one of the first in this local field brought me the advantage of making a name in the market. Starting with brokerage in import and export world, I worked with a door-to-door delivery system which put me one step further ahead of competitors. Then came the 1980 coup d´état and the Ozal government, and everything changed. With the export mobilization being proclaimed, Turkish contractors had good construction contracts, especially in North Africa. Foreign trade capital companies started to emerge. Those developing circumstances led me to start the ‘’line operations’’. I had no ships, but in a short while, the number of my time charter ships reached to 12. We, as the team of my company, were doing very well, and also Turkey was doing well.” As he purchased two ships by the beginning of 1990s, Kulacoglu stated that; in this period, when line operations had really been established, competition between locals and foreigners started: “Although the locals were not significant, foreigners, especially Germans, were operating with very modern ships. These ships were called self-sustained, multi-purpose roll-on / lift-off container vessels. We needed one week to discharge, those ships could complete in 24 hours. In 1995, I decided to get such a ship built as we need a broader horizon. Created the ‘Mother of Pearl ‘in Tuzla-Turkey by myself with our sheer office team in a hired shipyard .
Ahmet Kulacoglu continued his line operations with his newly constructed self-sustained ship in 1997, but confronted a situation he never imagined during the process. The outcome was that due to political instability, the commercial relationships with North African countries to which Turkey was especially exporting and he himself had established a line, worsened and North African countries started to switch to Europe. In that period, governments needed hot money due to internal debts, the government was financially in a mess, overnight interest rates were deadly high, and Kulacoglu describes the events: “Exports as the main foundation of a country’s development was reduced to nothing. Eventually, Europeans captured Turkey’s export markets which still not regained. Ironically at this period, I started a line with a ship, of which only 30 of its sort were available in the world. However, there was no job, no exports. I made this investment looking at the statistics of the past 15 years. In 2000, Americans- Caldwell Co., asked us to sell the ship to the British- Fishers Shipping Co. for conversion into a ‘’cable layer’’ and eventually to charter the ship from them. I wondered; Why not directly me??since I was the original builder and the creator of the vessel. Soon realized that this was a typical Anglo-Saxon trick, and they would not sign a time charter contract of 5 years at $50,000 per day with me. They asked me to sell the ship to the British, and would sign the Time charter agreement with them. So, that was Turkey’s situation at home and abroad. I Sold the ‘Mother of Pearl’ to Americans. I had pulled the brakes in 2000, and in 2001 I accelerated a little. Under new conditions and in a new style. Having strong background of line operations Ahmet Kulacoglu continues to conduct general cargo transports with tramp container ships, and working with local and foreign contractors. Besides the tradition break bulk contracts, Kulacoglu diverted the company activities to heavy lift and yacht transportation with the motto that ‘’ Top Speed is The Most Economic Speed’’
Burak Kulacoglu as a third generation of the family, graduated from the Southampton Solent University with a (BSc) degree on Maritime Business course on 2011. Same year he started working at Geden Lines, a leading maritime company in Turkey (Genel Denizcilik Nakliyat A.S) as a chartering operator between 2011-2014. In 2015 he joined GENTA in order to grab the flag and continue the family tradition of shipping.