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Working Lives Turkey: CEO

Perihan Cocelli is the CEO and founder of a multi-million dollar textiles business who believes in seizing the moment.

For her, the moment to make a life-changing decision was just after the birth of her second child, six years ago. She threw in her steady job as a chemical engineer and put her life's savings on the line to start a textile factory specialising in synthetic leather.

"I just knew, I make it now or I make it never," she felt. Many of her family and friends thought it should be the latter.

It took her and her family deeply into debt to get the factory set up even with second-hand machinery. The orders came in and then her machines broke down.

"It was the hardest year of my life," she admits.

She turned it around and worked relentlessly to build the business, which is flourishing even through the global downturn as the demand for high quality but low-cost leather substitutes has boomed.

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