Case Study

Turkcell (B): From a telecom network operator to a customer experience provider

15 pages
November 2018
Reference: IMD-7-2025

Kaan Terzioglu, Turkcell’s CEO, and his top team had spent Capital Markets Day with global investment analysts celebrating the firm’s achievements. Over the last three years, the company had transformed itself from a network operator selling undifferentiated data and voice services in Turkey into an experience provider that offered messaging, music, TV, search and other services to its customers. This had culminated in the launch of its Lifecell digital brand in Turkey in September 2017. This had turbocharged its revenue growth, which reached 23% in 2017. While there was room for Turkcell to grow its core consumer business in Turkey, it would also rely on opportunities in digital services, the corporate market and in new business areas including energy, finance, healthcare and automotive to sustain future growth. Turkcell had rationalized its international portfolio, taken steps to make its subsidiaries in Ukraine, Belarus and Northern Cyprus financially stable and was moving forward with the same digital operator strategy as in Turkey. The company planned to grow internationally by franchising the digital operator model it had pioneered in Turkey to telecom operators worldwide. Kaan Terzioglu felt this would increase the company’s valuation given the valuation of global over-the-top (OTT) companies. Turkcell’s growth plan raised questions. Did the firm have the management bandwidth to move into so many new business areas in Turkey? Would it be able to grow internationally using the franchise model? The answers were not clear.

Learning Objective
  • How corporate executives can determine what the digital future of their business is
  • How companies can embark on a digital business transformation to achieve the digital future of their business
Telecommunication, Emerging Market, Multinational Corporation, International Growth, Digitalization, Digital Transformation, Digital Disruption, Future, Over-the-top Services
Middle East, Turkey
Turkcell, Services, Telecommunications
2015 to 2018
Field Research
© 2018
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note
Case clearing houses
IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]


Research Information & Knowledge Hub for additional information on IMD publications

Discover our latest research
IMD's faculty and research teams publish articles, case studies, books and reports on a wide range of topics