Industrialist and businessman (B. July 20th, 1901, Ankara; D. February 25th, 1996, Istanbul). He was the first child of Koçzade Hacı Mustafa Efendi and Fatma Hanım from the Kütükçüzadeler. His grandfather Koçzade Hacı Mehmet Efendi was also a prominent businessman of his period. After graduating from the community college, he received education in Ankara High School, aka “Stone School”. He began his career by operating a grocery when he was 17. He was engaged in selling construction materials for a period. Afterwards, he founded the general partnership company named “Vehbi Koç and His Partners” in 1937 and was engaged in construction undertaking for a period. In this period, he completed the construction of Ankara Hospital and Elazığ-Van Railways and dealt with automotive trading.
He established his first joint stock company in 1938, gathering Koç companies under the same roof of “Koç Holding A.Ş.” He firstly established the General Electric T.A.O. in Turkey in 1948. He founded the first foreign trade company Ram Dış Ticaret and Koç Yatırım ve Pazarlama A.Ş. and acquired Migros and Arçelik. He manufactured Ford automobiles in Turkey. He transferred the management to his son Rahmi Koç in 1984 and carried on his works with the title of Honorary Chairman of Koç Holding.
Sharing his life and business experiences in two books named My Life Story and Memoirs (1973) and My Ideas and Advice (1987), Vehbi Koç attached great importance to social services, charity and foundation works, being the number one member of TEMA (The Turkish Foundation for Combating Erosion Reforestation and The Protection of Natural Habitats). He enabled the foundation of Ankara University Vehbi Koç Student Dormitory in 1946, Ankara University Faculty of Medicine Vehbi Koç Eye Bank in 1963, METU (Middle East Technical University) Student Dormitory in 1968, Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty, Istanbul University Institute of Cardiology in 1964, and Turkish Education Foundation in 1972. He provided useful services in healthcare and education through such organizations. He had many awards.
REFERENCE: Kırk Yıl Kitabı (2009), İhsan Işık / Encyclopedia of Turkey’s Famous People (2013), Tarihi değiştiren kişilerin gençlik halleri (haberturk.com, 31 Ekim 2014), Günümüz müezzinleri şov yapıyor (yenisafak.com.tr, 26.06.2016), "Vehbi Koç Anlatıyor-Bir Derleme" kitabı yayımlandı (cnnturk.com, 17 Eyl 2018), İhsan Işık / Resimli ve Metin Örnekli Türkiye Edebiyatçılar ve Kültür Adamları Ansiklopedisi (Cilt 12, 2019).