The person. The entrepreneur.
„Fortes fortuna adjuvat“, as the Latin scholar would say… Fortune or fate supports those that are brave and diligent?
I don’t believe in fortune! I believe in fate and that I myself can – to a certain degree – help determine it through diligent work. I am a native Bavarian (Upper Bavaria), born in Bad Tölz in 1970 as the youngest child of a Turkish immigrant worker family. I have three siblings. From my youth onwards I have always been interested in history and oriented myself by certain personalities.
My parents worked hard to fulfil the “German dream” of a modest quality of live. For this reason, my three siblings and I were more or less relying on each other. This really united us! As a child I had to deal with the most various challenges of everyday life and I learned at an early age what it meant to prevail.
Guided by history
Frederick the Great proved how you can turn a vision into reality if you are working persistently and relentlessly enough. And if you don’t take yourself too seriously as a person – always in service of the task. The other – the private – side to this descendant of the noble family of Hohenzollern could just as well have been a Wittelsbach. To be in exchange with leading figures in art and culture and thereby learning, to relax, to leave your cares behind and celebrate after some exhausting weeks. The „great Prussian“ once said: „I am the first servant to this state!“ For me, a native Bavarian with migration background, he is expressing exactly what I feel. The first servant to my projects – no matter if they are of small or global dimension – that’s always me, Cengiz Ehliz. Within my team I wouldn’t ask for anything that I wouldn’t be willing to contribute myself, that I wouldn’t be setting an example for. You have my word on that!
Passion for people
On one hand, my classic curriculum vitae is conventional, almost boring, but on the other hand it is also exciting and unusual: I am a family man and proud of my 18-year-old daughter and my 3-year-old son. Whenever possible I recharge my batteries within my close circle of family and friends. I love my home state Bavaria! I love the opera in Milan! I enjoy the changing seasons at Starnberg Lake and the mountains! More than 20 years ago I absolved a conventional vocational training: electrical engineer! Even back then I already felt that tingle – I wanted to become an entrepreneur… In 1993 the time had come: finally self-employed, finally a young entrepreneur. As a passionate „entrepreneur“ for security monitoring systems. My passion turned into profession. After five years of hard work I was offered the chance of a lifetime in the telecommunication / energy sector – a leading position… here I was able to build a customer base of 1.6 million customers and more than 60,000 sales partners in seven European countries, with an annual turnover of about 1.1 billion Euros.
„Das Herz eines Boxers…“ (The heart of a boxer…) Max Schmeling sang in the 30ies
My athletic passion has always been boxing and it still is. As a teenager I already learned how to prevail within a framework of clear rules. Whoever believes that boxing is just wild scuffling is very wrong. In boxing, physical and mental fitness are just as important as technique. It is necessary to work tirelessly on all three of these subdisciplines. In boxing I have learned how to deal with fear, to control it, to look my opponent in the eye and to overcome myself. Here – as opposed to other sports – for every mistake and every carelessness you get physically punished by your opponent. And that hurts, you want to avoid that… Hence the rule: You only enter the ring if you’re fit. That mental strength, which you also need as an entrepreneur, is a prerequisite for being successful at boxing. Up to this day, this formative experience is deeply rooted within me as a mindset.
With all necessary modesty, I clearly consider my team and myself among the market leaders in our field. In my function as a top manager in the telecommunication/energy sector my passion was dedicated to designing sales strategies. In 2004, we successfully launched a system that helped retailers to double their customer bases. The foundation of today’s weeCONOMY business model is built upon this strategy and the successful experience during its operative implementation. From vision put to practice: in 2010 we started with the implementation of the sales model „Mobile Network Development Franchise (MNDF)“ for an innovative, unique cashback system.
What was the momentum for the project that is currently closest to my heart? In 2004, when I was on my flight back from three seminars that I had been holding in three different countries. Quite exhausted, I was waiting for my return flight to Munich at the Milan airport… across from me, there was a duty-free shop that was crowded with people that were trying to get ahead of each other in their shopping activities. I observed…. and observed… countless times the cashier swiped the plastic cards through the PoS terminal…. and I started wondering: who is actually earning from every single purchase that is made? The designer, the manufacturer, the retailer, the distributor, the provider, the card agent, the bank… and I continued asking myself: Could perhaps the customer himself benefit from the purchase as well, together with the retailer? Maybe even with further purchases at other locations? Could – on top of all that – some of it go towards a good purpose? At that time I had been contemplating the meaning of life a lot. My father had died only shortly before and with a small donation I had paid for a comparably simple surgery that helped a young blind girl regain her eyesight. I just couldn’t shake this idea anymore. Up to this day! I talked to many, many people, I persisted and persisted… until the idea turned into a strategy with financing, partners, markets, products and services. I often and gladly reminisce about this defining moment in Milan.
Do good and spread the word
I believe in building wee as a sustainable global cashback shopping community. Already now in the pilot phase approx. 10,000 retailers and more than 1,000 renowned online shops in 19 countries – in and far beyond Europe – are connected. It is my vision to connect local trade and virtual trade with one another in a global market place and to do this in a way that allows the local retailer, the baker, the butcher, the hairdresser, the restaurant or the boutique – together with their customers – to benefit from it. Online and offline. Consequently, and this is an almost philosophical approach, I would like to help people worldwide to have more quality of life, to offer ten thousands of people a lucrative side job, to give more financial freedom to people who – in their everyday lives – are counting on every single Euro, Dollar, rouble or franc. I would like to revive retail trade, the motor of any given economy, with a turn-key innovation boost.
Become our fan. Become our partner.
And now if you, dear readers, at least cross your fingers or, in a best case scenario, actively take part within the social dimension of this market place that globally connects the world wide web and local trade in a unique way – that is exactly what brings us one step further with the implementation of our fascinating vision. Regardless of that, for me it is only natural to give back a part of what life has granted me. With charity activities we support specific and identified aid projects within our local markets helping children who are suffering from poverty. Not by putting money towards anonymous charity projects or organisations – no, we take a very close look, we are hearing calls for help, circumstances and people matter to us and then we help in a very pragmatic manner with money and know-how. Always on point. Always with adequate personal guidance and control…
I have answered the question of meaning for myself. In words: „What matters in life are not only the good deeds, but much more what we leave to this world!“