Keep Informed Where are you now? > 2010-2019Ozden Gozluklu Saka

Where Are You Now?

Özden Gözlüklü Saka

MBA Supply Chain Management 2014

Position and company: Co-founder Defnelia Olive Ixir 

Özden, originally from Turkey, wanted to further her studies and decided to come to the University of Sunderland in London to complete her MBA in Supply Management. 
She explained: “I wanted to improve my English and broaden my horizons. London was the best choice for me. After that, I fell in love with London and my university. I had good friends and teachers with whom I still communicate.”
Özden is co-founder of Defnelia Oliver Ixir. She founded the business in February 2021 after working as a marketing manager at her family company HAUS in Turkey. HAUS is a global company that leads machinery in the environment, energy industry, and food sectors, especially olive oil.

She said: “My story started when my father and uncle produced the first olive oil machine in our country in 1989. For more than 30 years since then, we have been earning our bread from the machines we produce to gently process the unique fruit of the olive tree. Our debt to the immortal tree is so great that we cannot even describe it...

“Whenever it was time to collect olives, I would go to our olive tree garden and help my family. It was so boring back then that I felt sorry for not playing with my friends in the neighbourhood.

“As the years progressed, the duties I took at HAUS and the knowledge I gained completely changed my perspective on the olive oil industry.”

With her company Defnelia, Özden hopes to bring a brand-new perspective to the quality of the olive oil in Turkey and raise awareness about the properties of olive oil for our health. The company was awarded in 2021 the Premium Award in the 14th National Extra Virgin Olive Oil Quality Competition organised by Zeytindostu Association and was awarded the Bronze Medal in the Health Claim and Packaging Design category at the London International Olive Oil Quality Competition.

Özden’s ambition is to make her brand well known at international level and to become an international olive oil taster.

Asked about her experience at the University of Sunderland in London, Özden replied: “I think the London campus is great for students because is very safe but at the same time very cosmopolitan. They organise lots of events and the lecturers are very friendly. I remember attending a diversity day and dancing with our traditional folk music. I really miss my uni days.”

Özden’s advice to graduates entering the job market is to work with a career coach to help them set their career goals and try to work towards them.

She concluded: “My plans are to keep searching how to improve our products and their healthy properties. I would also like to expand our business abroad. In addition, I will be an international olive oil taster within two years.” 

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