“As a company, we have always valued human relations. We have a transparent company policy. And we felt the positive aspects of it a lot. We started working remotely as of 13.03.2020. Of course, it was not easy for me, but our engineer team really produced a very high quality product. Even though it is not continuous, we have seen the benefits of working remotely.“-Zehra Sılaoğlu-
Tell us more about your background:
I was born in Ankara in 1977. I graduated from TED Ankara College in 1995. I continued my university life at Gazi University Faculty of Economics. I started my business life in 1999 at the Limak Construction company in Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline Project with a financial assistant. After the project was completed, I worked as the Finance and Accounting Manager at Limak Ambassadore Hotel, which is the first city hotel of Limak Construction for 4 years. As the Finance and Accounting Manager at Limak Eurasia Hotel, which opened in Istanbul in the summer of 2010, I had my 2nd Hotel opening experience.
How was your start with boni, your role and why you joined the company:
In the same year, my brother Sarper Sılaoğlu, who was also the CEO of Boni Global, decided to grow and wanted me to join the team. Thus, I left very valuable Limak Family and established our own company. I set out to transfer my 11 years of education and experience in the field of pre-accounting and finance to Boni.
What are the issues you faced during this period and how you managed it ?
After working in a corporate company for 11 years, working in a start-up company, and even being the co-founder of that company, of course forced me. Sarper provided me with the biggest support in this way as it established its first initiative in university years.
As a company, we have always valued human relations. We have a transparent company policy. And we felt the positive aspects of it a lot. Especially the software team always expressed their desire to work remotely on some days of the week. Of course, I am an office woman, I have to go to that office every day, sit at the table, drink coffee, and greet my team with a smiling face in the morning.
How Boni Global succeeded to manage this situation ?
While having difficulty understanding these requests, we started working remotely as of 13.03.2020. Of course, it was not easy for me, but our engineer team really produced a very high quality product. Even though it is not continuous, we have seen the benefits of working remotely.
Why did you invest in the social distance tracer “Guvenli Alan”?
Since 2011, we have been developing various products on close range and geolocation. The most important measure in Covid-19 was to prevent people from establishing close contact and prevent the epidemic. The product we developed was to prevent the rapprochement of crowded and close-range personnel, especially in the big companies like factories. We also contributed to Hayat Eve Sığar application launched by the Ministry of Health. We believe that with the application we have developed, we will contribute to prevent the spread of the epidemic.
What are your thoughts, recommandations and predictions to handle those kinds of situations?
Economically, like everyone else, we, as a company, took some precautions. We did not think of shrinking our team among them. As I mentioned before, human first for us. The Boni Family grew by adopting this and continues to grow.
We cut our spending, postponed our purchases. Of course, we have contributed to both the Boni Family and the economy with the application. We have become one of the lucky and successful companies in the quarantine period.
How was remote working and how you handled it while being a mother at the same time and if you have recommandations about it ?
I have witnessed many natural disasters throughout my life, but it was not an incident that I know of my pandemic. Of course, it is very scary that an invisible virus can occur anywhere you touch and cause death.
I have a 10 years old son. First 1-2 weeks we started working from home felt like a holiday for the children. I have been working for 22 years, my son Baran, recognized me like that.
In this process, every morning we get up and open our computers together. While I work, he also participates in live classes. I think they adapted much easier than adults. He plans his own homework, games, sleep, television hours between live classes. As such, I did not have to intervene much.
Since I have always been a working mother, we have done many things that we have not been able to do for 10 years. Such as cooking, playing games, puzzles, cleaning, chatting.
Of course, he is an active child, it is very hard to stay home and stay still. We try to eliminate the movement with the live lessons of the basketball school.
I try not to listen to much news and most importantly, I’m trying not to listen to news to Baran.
Baran learned that there was a curfew under age of 20, after 2 weeks, talking with his uncle. The more you normalize the events, the easier the children adapt. We do not have a ban. There is adaptation to the process.