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KW23_RC_Limak_Ebru Özdemir_PORTRAIT

KUWAIT - Real Estate & Construction

Ebru Özdemir

Chairperson, Limak Holding

Bio

Ebru Özdemir completed her BS degree in civil engineering at Boğaziçi University and an MBA in international business and finance from Fordham University. She serves as member of the board at DEİK and chairwoman of the DEİK/Turkey-Kuwait Business Council. She is also a member of the board of Endeavor Turkey and the Turkish-American Business Council and DEİK/Turkey-Korea Business Council as well as a member of TÜSİAD and WEF. Özdemir is also a member of the Young Society Leaders of the American Turkish Society. She was named as a member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors since 2016. Özdemir also acts as Limak Foundation’s chairwoman.

"The airport project is important for Limak as we consider Kuwait to be our second home."
A construction company specializing in super projects, Limak has been a prominent contractor in Kuwait and the Middle East.
Limak has taken on the large project of the Kuwait International Airport Terminal 2. What has been the experience of this project so far?

The airport project is important for Limak as we consider Kuwait to be our second home. When completed, Kuwait International Airport Terminal 2 will be one of the most advanced and environmentally responsible airports in the world. Limak Group is now active in 15 countries around the world and one of the largest business groups, not just in Türkiye but in the region. After Türkiye, Kuwait is our second-largest construction market due to the value of the airport, which alone attests to the sheer value of the project. Limak began contributing toward Kuwait’s development in 2009 with our first project, the Infectious Diseases Hospital, as a regular contractor through an agent. After the hospital, a West Abdullah Al-Mubarak Infrastructure Works project, we won the contract for Terminal 2, before signing our fourth contract for the South Abdullah Al-Mubarak’s Infrastructure Works project. Through the Kuwait Direct investment Promotion Authority (KDIPA), we were the first construction to be set-up as a local company in Kuwait and one of the first 12 established under the law. Kuwait is a long term and permanent location for our operations, which is why I refer to it as a “second home” for Limak.

What is your perspective on Kuwait Vision 2035 developments, and how is Limak Group contributing to this initiative?

The Kuwait International Airport development is a key component of the Kuwait National Development Plan and Vision 2035. As an iconic gateway to the rest of the world, it will help Kuwait move one step closer to achieving its vision of becoming a financial and trade hub, and more attractive to investors. The structural design of Terminal 2 is extremely complex, but unlike other tenderers, we were confident in our ability to find the engineering solution. For Kuwait, our contribution is not limited to the airport’s construction. We work to help prepare the next generation of Kuwaitis who will soon undertake large and highly complex projects. We want to empower them, inspire them, and give them the chance to inspire others. If Vision 2035 wants to transform Kuwait into a business and cultural hub, this must be done with Kuwaiti youth and Kuwaiti women. This is the reason why we have specifically concentrated on two projects – Engineer Girls of Kuwait and the Women’s Economic Empowerment Platform. We are confident in the country’s significant potential and honored to play a significant role in the development of this great country through projects that support its vision.

What advice would you give to other women in the region in terms of achieving professional goals?

In different sectors from finance and engineering, to business, social affairs, and the arts and sports, I have always believed in ‘role models.’ Kuwait certainly has inspirational women role models who can motivate other women in the country, region, and wider world. I always say that it is not enough to sit at the table. Their voices must be heard, and their perspectives shared. This can help shape policies and change the future. Women need to be role models for future generations. In terms of advice, I would stress diligence and hard work. Second, I would have to recommend resilience and agility of thought. In business, we inevitably encounter obstacles and challenges along the way that sometimes force us to take a new course of action. Resilience and an agility of thought prove critical in maintaining the right course. Third would be determination and enthusiasm. To achieve your dreams, you must be determined and enthusiastic about what you do. This determination is what will get you past the finish line.

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