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Celebrating Creativity: Ahmet Batı

Ahmet Batı, the founder of hop which offers an “environmental alternative to urban transport,” believes that it’s not a dreamer’s fantasy to imagine noise- and traffic-free cities with clean air, which we’d all enjoy more as inhabitants.

Full Look: Vakko

Can you tell us about the foundation of hop? How was it born? Since 2013, I and my partners have been creating, within the startup ecosystem, large-scale IoT projects for smart cities, in which hardware works in alignment with software. One of these projects is a large-scale cab management and request platform that is still actively used in Istanbul. Over time, instead of limiting ourselves to projects, we’ve started working on new developments that are both more permanent and eco-friendly. Empowered by our know-how in the mobility industry gained through our various solutions, it actually wasn’t a surprise that hop became an enterprise focused on mobility. In 2018, when we started product-based R&D, the micro-mobility enterprises abroad caught our attention and we started our market research aimed at Turkey’s needs. We carried out multi-aspect works to develop an eco-friendly product, which changes the public perspective on transportation by solving the traffic issue, and create a successful brand. In December 2019, we launched one of the first micro-mobility enterprises in Turkey. Today, we’re happy to offer the widest service network for micro-mobility operations in Turkey and to have become a renowned global player by offering our services in three countries.

Your career is filled with different and creative enterprises. What has attracted you to this field? I cannot deny the effect of my upbringing surrounded by engineers and entrepreneurs on my mindset and motivations in general. In fact, I’ve always pursued innovation, new technologies, and creating something new. I enjoy doing research and going on adventures. I have always enjoyed specifying certain needs, directing my path towards working on and fulfilling them, and helping people in any way I can. I believe technology can make our lives easier when utilised properly. So, I’m further motivated when, with each project, I’m trying to instil a new technological development in our lives.

Sweater: Vakko Pants: Wood, Vakkorama

Boots: Vakkorama

You’ve been a part of the enterprising world for many years. How do you think business models and processes have changed?

The speed of technology has been a critical factor in this. With fast-paced developments in technology and social progress, entrepreneurship has stopped being monopolised by a specific group. Now, each valuable idea can find its audience through technology. One can see this just by looking at the progress of social media in a few years. For example, Gen Z is making such breakthroughs, leveraged by technology, and is so comfortable expressing their ideas in public that you cannot help but believe in the future. Five years ago, the number of people with access to the Internet surpassed the ones without access. This means more people accessing more sources of information and inspiration and more people having the opportunity to easily share their ideas. Compared to the entrepreneurs of the ‘50s or the ‘60s who had to go from door to door trying to express their ideas, today’s enterprises can be followed by global actors and big companies and even receive investments from them. Additionally, the increasing concerns regarding the climate and the awareness that each of us has a social responsibility to fulfil have played a vital role in changing business models, and it seems this will only continue. For instance, hop is an environmentally sensitive and sustainable enterprise. It’s an embodiment of our ideas based on our concern to prevent human-sourced environmental destruction and reduce the burden on nature. Many entrepreneurs have similarly set off from this net-zero vision and have been focusing more on how to maximise social benefit. This, in turn, directs business models towards increasing social benefits.

In essence, hop celebrates urban life and invites people to “enjoy the city.” You continue to develop environmental alternatives to transportation. What is next on your agenda? “Enjoy the city” is much more than a slogan. It’s one of the fundamental catalysts of our journey. According to the United Nations, by 2050, 70% of the global population will start living in cities. Many urban issues such as the rapid increase in urban population, air and noise pollution, lack of infrastructure, and traffic congestion, which we already experience to an extent, will become even more complicated. The hours spent in traffic and breathing polluted air will surely diminish the pleasures of living in the city. However, we believe that it’s not a dreamer’s fantasy to imagine noise- and traffic-free cities with clean air, which we’d all enjoy more as inhabitants. We need micro-mobility solutions to be adopted by the public and decision-makers, to become more widely used. We work towards our vision to offer the market environmental alternatives with our electric vehicles so that many can benefit from the advantages of micro-mobility. We soon plan to add electric bicycles and semi-electric carts to our gamut of products and to double our current fleet. With this, we aim to increase social benefits and allow people to experience and enjoy the city without the burden of traffic.

What aspects of your job make you the happiest? For me, this is a journey of passion and belief so, each day is new and unique. I would even say it’s a new adventure. My passion and belief are a sum of our effort to make it better; it’s also a recipe for happiness for me that we’re doing this creatively in terms of marketing. Additionally, knowing that we’re making a positive contribution to our planet further increases the passion I feel for my job. To give you an example, we’ve saved more than 3,000 tons of carbon in only three years. Our positive effect on the environment is a collaborative success with our users. I believe each of us is responsible for not ignoring the emergency signals of the planet and for fighting climate change even if on an individual level.

Photography SAMET TURKAN Photography Assistant: MELİH ARAN





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