Every investment in the arts and culture directly contributes to the development of society's wealth, to the economy and politics and to the whole fibre of society.
Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı
Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı, the founder of the Eczacıbaşı Group, was born in 1913 during the turbulent final years of the Ottoman Empire. The period was marked by armed conflict, scarcity, and a massive influx of migrants to the cities, which struggled to provide them essential services. Dr. Eczacıbaşı’s father, who was the first university-educated pharmacist of Turkish origin in Izmir, was at the forefront of efforts to accommodate the city’s rapidly expanding population, co-founding an association to help immigrants and implementing programs to combat cholera and typhus. In 1934, in honor of his many years of public service, Dr. Eczacıbaşı’s father was invited to adopt the title of “Head Pharmacist” (“Eczacıbaşı”) as his surname.
Dr. Nejat F. Eczacıbaşı was profoundly influenced by his father’s dedication to improving the conditions of his community. In 1939, on his return to Turkey from graduate studies abroad, he focused his training and resources on producing vital goods that were largely unavailable in Turkey. In 1942, he began manufacturing a vitamin A and D substitute for cod liver oil, which had become scarce during WWII, and a decade later he opened Turkey’s first modern pharmaceutical plant. Over the following years, he expanded the Group’s activities from pharmaceuticals to building products, consumer products, finance, information technology, and welding technology, in many cases establishing the first manufacturing plants in Turkey for some of the essential products of modern life. This entrepreneurial history is embodied in the Group’s mission statement of being “a pioneer of modern, high quality and healthy lifestyles”.
Apart from supplying much-needed products and services using the most advanced technologies available, Dr. Eczacıbaşı strived to contribute to the development of Turkish industry and civil society through the establishment of professional business organizations, research institutes, educational institutions, cultural foundations and scholarship funds. For Dr. Eczacıbaşı, contributing to the development of Turkey’s economy and social institutions was as important as developing a successful business. One of his most oft-expressed ideas in this regard was: “The real measure of private entrepreneurship is its success in increasing the wealth of the whole community”. Today, every Eczacıbaşı Group company contributes to one or more non-profit institutions and one of the primary corporate values that all Eczacıbaşı employees are expected to share is the “tradition of serving our community”.