Leyla Alaton

İş İnsanı

Fairleigh Dickinson University Department of Business

Businesswoman. She was born in Istanbul in 1961. Leylâ Alaton (Güneyli) is the first child of İshak Alaton, founder of Alarko Company and sister of Vedat Alaton. Her mother has a Swedish and her father a Turkish Jewish origin. She studied the primary school in Şişli Terakki High School’s primary education department, secondary school in Saint Pulcherie French High School’s secondary department and high school in Notre Dame de Sion. After completing her higher education in USA in the Department of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University she completed a master’s program in Social Sciences / Psychology of Industry at New York University.

While studying in USA she started with small-scale commerce. Alaton, who said “I never felt my father’s wealth and wide possibilities truly, until I finished university, we always lived in a modest way”,  reached a turnover of two million dollars two years after taking belts for men from Turkey to USA in a bag and marketing them there. When she returned to Turkey in 1986 she started to work as an assistant of the businessman Üzeyir Garih and started her professional business career. In 1989, she became the Introduction Coordinator of Alarko Companies Group. While undertaking the introduction and marketing of Alkent Etiler Uyduşehir and Alsit Villakent projects, she established her own company Megatrend Public Relations Consultancy Company independently from Alarko Holding in 1993. Leyla Alaton is a member of numerous associations and NGOs including primarily Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD), Society for the Protection of Nature and İPRA. She was chosen “Businesswoman of the Year” by National Center of Productivity in 1992 and was on the list of “Leaders of the Future” prepared within the Davos World Economic Forum for the first time in 1993. Eleven years of being married to Mehmet Günyeli, Leyla Alaton divorced her husband and has two sons named Efe Eros and Alp Atlas. She is Executive Board Member of Alarko Companies Group.

She told the days when she was doing marketing in USA as following “When I was walking in the streets of New York and going from door to door with a luggage in my hand, I was neither İshak Bey’s daughter nor Alarko was behind me. Leyla Alaton, who explains as: “There was an extraordinary self-confidence behind me because of earning my own money”, said that her father supported her about earning her own money but did not say anything to her about that. It made her father very proud that his daughter could stand on her own feet and made effort to work. While Leylâ was selling belts for 20 cent profit, her brother was selling vacuum sweepers.

In the interviews with her, Alaton says that she had a limited budget and her family did not offer her a luxurious life although she was the daughter of a wealthy family and she explains this situation resulting from a mother who experienced the 2nd World War, suffered from poverty and a father who had to leave high school education as incomplete, again because of poverty. After growing sufficiently in the business she established, she traveled around the world to develop herself in her profession and went to numerous countries from India to Peru. She explained in conferences she held at universities from time to time the “golden rules” of a successful enterprising to students. 



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