It has always been difficult for woman to gain a place not only in social life but also in developing countries such as Turkey for the pre-millennium periods. In a world where the place of the woman in every color of life is questioned, it will continue to take its place in the memory of humanity throughout history as a period of labour and struggle in the 1920s and beyond. Just think; while intitling right to vote and stand for election to woman in 1944 France, the cradle of democracy, has managed to become a pioneer of all times in its own field with the innovative products developed for a woman cleaning agent in Turkey in 1960. The business life of a ‘female chemistry high engineer’, which started in a holding, became a whole other after the early retirement, and today the foundations of Uzay Chemistry, which has opened its own place among the most prestigious brands in organic cleaning groups, was laid. As the team of Made in Turkey Magazine, we interviewed with Sevda Arıkan, the Chemical Engineer of Uzay Chemistry, in this week’s CEO conversations, and we have achieved a pleasant conversation about Uzay Chemistry’s new era targets in the track of the past.
‘’ The work given was important, but I went after what was not done’’
‘The desire to do what is not done’ is one of the best words to describe Sevda Arıkan, who started to work at Deva Holding in 1968 after graduating from Istanbul Technical University in 1968. At that times when holding decides to produce detergent with ‘Çiti Bacım Detergents’, detergent already finds its place on the global scale as a product that entered the market with the 1960s. Stating that after 15 years working in the company, she makes liquid, powder and cream detergent manufacturing, Sevda Arıkan continues her words; ”Because Turkey was unable to go further than Arab Soap and solid soap until the early 70s, the synthetic detergents that we produce was pointing to a considerable potential.”
The idea that contributes to the growth of plastic packaging sector
Having decided to make cologne production at that time for the Holding, Ms. Sevda, who has achieved a great innovation in this field, summarizes the decision with these words:” I can say that I have directly contributed to the growth of the plastic packaging industry with my business idea. “
Reminding that when the holding management decides to enter cologne production, the only cologne brand that sold in Turkey was the brand Peraja, Sevda Arıkan continued her words; ”Peraja was a product sold in glass bottles and wooden crates. But the main disadvantage of the product was the high rate of breakage of glass bottles and the presence of one thousand square meter crate assembly line in the factory for crates. In addition to high bottle fills, the cost of the cologne was very high due to the very expensive logistics cost because of the weight of the glass. Of course, at that times not only in Turkey but in the world the use of plastic and corrugated cardboard was rather a recent application. Consequently, with the feasibility I made, we led the way in Turkey by using corrugated cardboard, PE and PVC for packing first in the Bosporus cologne then in the Bosporus shampoo.’’
Produced Dishwashing Detergent and contributed to domestic production
After 15 years of working life at Deva Holding, when it comes to early retirement, transforming the kitchen of her house into a laboratory and sees her desire to produce in the first place as a hobby and keeping that desire alive, Ms. Sevda laid the foundation of present-day Uzay Chemistry thanks to her desire towards knowledge and perseverance to do what has not been done yet. After her retirement realizing that no dishwashing detergent was produced for the dishwashers imported to Turkey (At that time in the domestic dishwasher production it had not yet begun in Turkey.) and people who had machines at their homes could not find detergents that could be used in their dishwashers on the shelves, Ms. Sevda decides to make production as powder, salt and shiner. Exploring Aerasol furniture polish in America where she lived for a year, Ms. Sevda also decides to produce this product with the brand Uzay. At that time, all the wooden furniture was wiping with a cloth soaked in water, the natural woods were immediately deteriorating, and their polishes was disappearing in Turkey. Ms. Sevda, who laid the foundations of Uzay Chemistry with both products, continued her innovativeness by putting into practice many products that Turkey cannot produce such as laundry and tulle bleach, floor wax, wood cleaner and gel detergent for dishwashers over the years.
Transparent production for health
When the dates showed 1986, Uzay Chemistry was established and managed to be the first in the group of cleaning products with the products which were not exist in the market. At this stage today, focusing on contemporary production to protect human health and the environment, Uzay Chemistry exports its products to 25 countries with its organic cleaning product groups. Underlying that despite all the demands back in the days, they have not included strong acidic and alkaline product groups on the production line, Sevda Arıkan continues her words; ”First of all, it is the focus of our working principle to look after human health and, above all, the health of employees and consumers. For this reason, by incorporating biodegradable raw materials into production, we have reinforced our contemporary production understanding in a way that is in harmony with nature.”
” The seas are now cleaner’’
Evaluating that the company’s environmentalist production model is becoming more and more widespread in both domestic and foreign markets day by day, Sevda Arıkan emphasizes that the dishwashing and laundry detergents used in yachts and the elimination of hand soaps increase the dissolution rate of the sea by more than 95 percent. By using raw materials with herbal origin, the company removes the residues in the sea and uses herbal raw materials in the baby products group and rapidly expanding its product range. In addition to the ISO 9001 Quality, ISO 14001 Environment and Ohsas Occupational Safety documents , the Company is entering a new challenge to obtain the certificate of organic product groups. In this area, choosing Belgian origin Certisys / Ecoguarantee, which is one of the most stringent regulation that no one dares, Ms. Sevda and her employees has managed to become a local company that produces ecologically certified products with the brand U-GREEN CLEANwhich includes Eco- Guarantee certificate in its cleaning products group. Stating that because the regulations of the certificate are serious, many companies that have applied have given up at the beginning of the road, Sevda Arıkan continues her words; ” We did not give up. We have provided all the processes in an organic way until the production phase of the raw material we use is pull out of us. The preparation of our product formulation preparations cost us two years to be able to fully realize the regulations of Eco Guarantee and to be able to satisfy even the most discerning customer. However, thanks to this effort, we have opened the doors of exports to the most developed countries, especially to Europe.” Noting that Eco Guarantee is a company that carries out audits every year brings a structure that is in harmony with the corporate culture, as of today, Ms. Sevda also reports that Uzay Chemistry manufactures in a large scale from laundry to food, from baby products to domestic animals, by using organic certified lavender and orange oils instead of synthetic essences in herbal extract cleaners , and the 20 percent of its current turnover is covered by exports. Stating that with the same formula as Eco guarantee certified products exported abroad and under the brand name ECOGENIC, Sevda Arikan also adds that they are aiming to increase this figure to more than 40 percent in the medium term and that the company will continue to offer innovative products to the market with its strong Ar-Ge structure. Arıkan indicates that beside their eco guarantee certificates, both U Green Clean and Ecogenic branded products have Ecolabel, Vegan and Halal certificates at the same time and they are reliable in the eyes of consumers and meet all expectations.
ABOUT UZAY CHEMISTRY
Producing the first dishwasher detergent and furniture polish in Turkey, Uzay Chemistry began its activities in 1983. Since then, the company has been producing to both its own brands and the brands in the Private Label group and the company is manufacturing to many other chains such as Migros, BİM, Metro in the domestic market. As of today, the company manufactures dishwashing and care products, laundry and care products, cleaning products for babies and home care products. Expanding its product range in the category of environmentally friendly products, the company is still continuing its firsts with liquid soap, dishwashing detergent, general surface cleaner, heavy oil solvent, wood cleaner, glass cleaner, dishwasher gel, liquid laundry detergent and dog shampoo.