Commercial life of Vehbi Koç that was to become the driving force for industrialization-modernization of the young Republic that, like a phoenix, was resurrected from its own ashes was instigated in 1917 under the title "Koçzade Hacı Mustafa Rahmi" to be the pioneer of the industrialization of Turkey.
The founding years
Vehbi Koç, who had plunged into commercial life at the age of 16 at the grocery shop established by his father, started his career in 1917 by registering on 31 May 1926 at Ankara Commercial Chamber that signaled founding of his enterprise under the name of Koçzade Ahmet Vehbi.
The first joint stock company: Koç Ticaret A.Ş.
Koç Ticaret A.Ş. was established in 1938. A particular characteristic of the company that proved to be the foundation and development center of the ventures undertaken by the Koç Group of Companies was of its being the first company in Turkey that shared its profit with its employees. It was during this period that the company received the representation of foreign companies. The first Turkish company that was ever established in USA was Ram Commercial Corporation.
First industrial venture
The approach towards manufacturing was initiated towards the end of 1940 with the light bulb factory, being the first industrial venture of Koç Community, in collaboration with General Electric.
In 1960s, various different industrial plants are established in collaboration and partnership with international companies. A multitude of products such as the first automobile, the first agricultural tractor, the first refrigerator, the first laundry washer, the first bottled LPG in Turkey were manufactured by the Koç Group. During this period, Tofaş, partnered by Fiat of Italy, was established, followed by Ford-Otosan that in later years was converted into a joint venture with The Ford Company.
Expansion of fields of activity
Then came a period when Koç Group's business areas were widened considerably. The Group had now arrived at a stage where it was engaged in the manufacture of a large variety of products that ranged from automobile to white goods, from agricultural machinery to textiles, from liquid petroleum gas to heating equipment, from food industry and retailing to tourism, finance and insurance services.
Establishment of Koç Holding A.Ş.
Koç Holding A.Ş. was founded in 1963 for the purposes of achievement of the targeted rapid growth and development, adaptation of the organization towards better suitability for its goals, and to press forward for the institutionalization of the organizational structure. This was when Vehbi Koç in person was elected as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Koç Holding A.Ş.
At the point in time when the Group had felt itself to have sufficiently ripened to create the means for guiding the public's savings towards investment that would contribute to the economic development of Turkey, the company focused on the initial public offering of its shares. Segments of Aygaz and Koç Holding's shares were sold to Koç Group's employees, and share certificates of KAV, established in 1970, were offered to the public.
Growth and Exports
It was in 1970s when the Koç Group, without any loss of its impetus, added new companies to its corporate body; headed towards exports and established foreign trade companies.
Second generation at the helm
Vehbi Koç who believed in the virtues of institutionalization, transferred the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Koç Holding to his son Rahmi M. Koç, and from that moment on, continued to work as the Honorary Chairman of the Board of the Koç Holding.
1987: Vehbi Koç "Businessman of the Year in the World"
That was the date when Vehbi Koç was awarded the title of "Businessman of the year" by the International Chamber of Commerce.
1990s: Koç Group grows in banking
Koç Holding, having taken its first step in the banking sector by collaborating with the American Express Company in Koç-American Bank, purchasing the entire stock of the company in 1992, changed its name to Koçbank.
World Population Planning Award
The United Nations World Population Planning Award was presented to Vehbi Koç on behalf of "Family Health and Planning Foundation in Turkey".
25 February 1996:
Turkey's loss of "the Plane Tree of the Republic"
Vehbi Koç bids his farewell to life on 25 February 1996. Having every moment of his 95-year life spent to its full extent, Vehbi Koç kept working to the last day before his demise.
New vision for the new millennium
Koç Group entered the new millennium with a new vision: "To be one among the community of the leading companies in the world."
Financial services gathered under the same roof
In 2001, bolstered by the partnership of UniCredito Italiano, one of the foremost European banks, Koç Financial Services was established.
Third generation takes hold of the flag
On 4 April 2003, Rahmi M. Koç transfers his title of the Chairman of the Board of the Koç Holding to his son Mustafa V. Koç. He now assumes the position of the Honorary Chairman of the Board of the Koç Holding.
2005-2006: A milestone in the history of the Koç Group
As the sustainable growth rate is relentlessly kept going, Koç Group added to its portfolio the leading industrial establishment in Turkey, Tüpraş, and Yapı Kredi Bankası, one of the giants in the banking sector in Turkey.
Global Compact signed
The accountable citizenship tenet of Koç Holding in effect since its establishment was carried to an international dimension in 2006 by the signing of the United Nations Global Compact that gave it a status of official policy.
2006-2012: Focused Growth Strategy
A resolution was taken for a strategy focused on energy, automotive, durable consumption goods and finance sectors within the framework of creation of high productivity, high profitability and shareholder value appreciation.
Biggest in Turkey… One of the most admired companies in the world…
The Koç Group, in terms of its sales, exports, share in the BIST, and number of employees, is the biggest group of companies in Turkey. Considering the awards it has received in national and international platforms, and its designation as the driving force of Turkish economy, the Koç Group, constantly strengthening its status in the world, is the 341th biggest company in the world.