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Published on March 20th, 2014 | by Alexandra LACROIX | Credit: Denodia

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“We are hungry. We want to be big in the industry.” Interview with Ümit Sahin and Erkan Ersoy, founders of Denodia.

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Many of us, both young and old, dream of starting our own business and becoming our own boss.

This was also the case of Ümit Sahin and Erkan Ersoy, two young entrepreneurs who founded Denodia, a communications agency, in 2006.

One of them studied computer graphics. The other one has a degree in marketing and business. They both are 35 years old, and launched their first company right after university. Both of them were born in a family of entrepreneurs.

Erkan’s parents were in the furniture sector and in the transport of persons. For my part, I grew up in a grocery store. Financially, we managed it on our own. But without the support of our family or other people in general, we would not be where we are today.”

They first worked on the same projects and in the same building before deciding to merge their companies and create Denodia, which name comes from the words Design, Technologie and Media.

They deliver, in particular, services related to marketing design, brand image conception and web design. They thus possess transferable skills that allow them not only to offer multiple services to the same client, but also to ensure consistency in the delivery of their products.

For example, for a customer who opened a store of clothing and accessories for weddings, Denodia carried out a market study, created the name, the logo, the graphic charter and even gave ideas to decorate the showroom.

Initially, the two entrepreneurs relied on a niche market: Belgian professionals of Turkish origin, who still represent 70% of the customers. But they had to be persistent and convince them of the importance of brand image today.

In Belgium, we still have a long way to go in this area. Until recently, companies did not understand the importance of online presence. To convince them, it took a lot of time. We had to start with extremely low prices, but we eventually reached a high level with several hundred clients.

Ambition fuelled their desire to become entrepreneurs and they will not stop there:

We see big. We are hungry. We want to be big in the industry. The best way to achieve this goal is to start your own company“.

But they also admit that creating and maintaining one’s company is not easy.

Being an entrepreneur, young or not young, is always difficult; especially today, when we compare the number of businesses created with the number of those falling into bankruptcy. You have to survive one day after the other”.

What advice do they give to young people who want to get into entrepreneurship?

You have to be ambitious, especially when you are young. To engage in entrepreneurship with 45 years is not the same. You take less risk. You are much more responsible, which is not always good when doing business. To get somewhere, you have to take risks. But not completely blind. You should first carry out a good market research, study who your competitors are, calculate all costs, etc.”

What is certain is that they have found a good way to fight against “the phobia of going to work”, by creating a home office environment, as evidenced by the presence of a large sofa, a flat screen TV and a pool table!

Nothing better than a comfortable and peaceful atmosphere to inspire these young designers!

 

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