Doctor of chemistry, businessman, founder of Eczacıbaşı Holding (B.5 January 1913 Izmir –D. 6 October 1993 Pennsylvania, USA). He was the son of Süleyman Ferit Eczacıbaşı, who was a doctor of chemistry, businessman, and an industrialist. He was a founding member of Izmir Rotary Club and a civil-society leader. He was the founder of Eczacıbaşı Group. He graduated from Robert College in 1932 and from the Chemistry Department of Heidelberg University in Germany in 1934. He studied for his master’s degree in chemistry in Chicago University in the USA between 1934 and 1935. Between 1935 and 1938, he returned to Germany and completed his doctorate in chemistry in Berlin University. Later, he conducted biochemistry researches in Kaiser Wilhelm Institution between 1938 and 1939.
Thanks to his educational background, Eczacıbaşı had a universal scientific and systematic viewpoint, because of which he always pondered how the Turkish society could attain better living conditions. He first opened up a small laboratory, which produced vitamin pills and baby formula with vitamins. Later in 1941, he established Eczacıbaşı Ceramic Factory and Eczacıbaşı İlaç Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş (T.N Eczacıbaşı Pharmaceutical Industry and Trade Inc.) in Kartal, Istanbul. In the following years, he founded İpek Kağıt Industrial Plant and managed to turn this company into a holding. Between 1950 and 1990, he was engaged in making breakthroughs in medicaments, building materials, sanitary papers, and healthcare products as well as in the capital market, exportations, and data communication.
Eczacıbaşı Holding, founded by Nejat Eczacıbaşı, was founded with a contributed capital equal to 180 million TL. The pharmaceutical factory in Levent, the ceramic factories and the İpek Kâğıt plant in Kartal - Maltepe are the primary institutions of the Holding. The affiliates of the Holding include Kaynak Tekniği Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (T.N. Kaynak Tekniği Industry and Trade Inc.) (31.2%), Dosan Konserve ve Ticaret A.Ş. T.N. Dosan Canned Food Factory and Trade Inc.) (28.9%), Ansa Antibiyotik ve İlâç Hammaddeleri Sanayi A.Ş. (T.N. Ansa Antibiotics and Pharmaceutical Raw Materials Industry Inc.), (24.4%), Tekirova Enternasyonal Turizm A.Ş. (T.N. Tekirova Enternasyonal Tourism Inc.), (20%), Tam Sigorta A.Ş. (T.N. Tam Insurance Inc.) (% 10), and Toplu Konut Holding (6.25%). Moreover, the Holding established Eczacıbaşı Yatırım Holding A.Ş. (T.N. Eczacıbaşı Investment Holding Inc.) with a capital of 80 million TL in 1974.
Recognized with his pioneer enterprises, Eczacıbaşı struggled hard to offer the most suitable solutions to the initiative freedom of creative individuals, and to social responsibilities, and he managed to be remembered as the leader of civilized future. His advices as “The real measure of private entrepreneurship is the success with which it increases the wealth of the community as a whole, and success comes not to those who choose the easy path, but to those who dare to embrace innovations and advances,” can not be ignored. His memories and views of the early years of the Turkish Republic and of the growth of the Turkish Industry are recounted in his books Kuşaktan Kuşağa (From Generation to Generation) and İzlenimler, Umutlar (Experiences, Expectations).
Nejat Eczacıbaşı is also known for giving great significance to culture and arts. Because of this sensitivity, he founded several foundations, and served as a successful director for the Turkish Education Foundation, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, and the Foundation of Management and Consignment Education. He was awarded a medal by the Council of Europe, a certificate of honor for his contributions to the Chemical Industry, the Medal of Honor by the Turkish Red Crescent Organization, and the Supreme Civil Merit by the Federal Republic of Germany.