7 July 2017

The question ‘which profession does what’ made these engineers ‘HR professionals’!

By Birsen Çevik Akgünlü

The pleasant conversation I had with Eril Ezerel (26) and Sargın Erdoğan (26) reminded me once again the importance of fast, exciting and solution-oriented start-up spirit in success. I wanted to share this pleasant conversation with you.

How was Anlatsin.com born?

Eril: When I was studying Industrial Engineering at Bilkent University, the most common question I faced was: “What does an Industrial Engineer do?”. When I got bored of explaining what I knew over and over again to every questioner, I started a blog and wrote what I knew about the department I studied. I also left a link for those who wanted to tell about their own department. My friends and I had set up some websites before, but none of them had attracted as much attention as this blog! Our number of visitors increased much faster than we expected and my friend Tuğberk Kılıç and I decided to turn this blog into a website.

At this point, the idea of ‘professionals who are currently working should tell us about professional life’ was born! We both loved this idea, but we didn’t know how to reach those professionals. Our friend Sargın, who was the president of the engineering society at that time, came to mind. Sargın was more experienced than us in relations with companies, so we invited him to join us.

Sargın: At that time, I was in the second year of the Department of Electrical and Electronics at Bilkent University. My dream at that time was to get a job in a corporate company and become a CEO one day 🙂 When Eril shared his start-up idea with me, I decided to take this opportunity.

Could you tell us a little about the content of Anlatsin.com?

Eril: Anlatsin.com is a site where you can find all the information you need about professional business life and career. When students apply for internships or jobs, they usually have to make a ‘blind shot’. They do not know the companies they apply to. As Anlatsin.com, we cooperate with companies and ensure that young people have access to accurate information about companies and professions. Company employees explain their professions, the contribution of the department they studied to their professions, and the companies they work for through videos. In other words, we offer a platform for companies to introduce themselves in the background.

“There are over 20 million career-related searches on the internet every month in Turkey. We are the meeting point for students, professionals and companies, and we bring them together like an HR employee.”

Anlatsın.com is currently one of the most effective new generation career platforms in Turkey. Can you explain the point you have reached in this journey with figures?

  • We established our website in 2015. We are currently working with 70+ companies and there are over 4,000 videos on the site. 33 of these companies are multinational companies. In addition to corporate companies, there are also non-governmental organisations and universities that we work with.
  • More than 350,000 people visit Anlatsın.com every month and research different professions, companies and sectors.
  • During our visits to Silicon Valley, we saw opportunities to expand abroad and moved our site to the international platform under the name “Tellbout.com”. We are still in the preparation phase, we are trying to build a scalable system and we are currently experimenting with 10 companies.

How did you grow so fast?

Sargın: We are expanding very fast because we have created a platform that is need-orientated, easy to access, interactive in content and creates win-win opportunities. Eighty per cent of the traffic to our website comes from Google searches. In other words, people are looking for answers to their career-related questions online. We can say that we analysed the need well. We also saw an important opportunity in front of us, users now prefer interactive content such as videos instead of text to access information.

So what kind of difficulties did you face?

Eril: Setting up a start-up seems very ‘trendy’ but it is not easy. Motivation is very important. You need to be able to answer the question “Why are you in a start-up?” from the heart. Just ‘if others are doing it, I can do it too’ or ‘I will make more money’ are not enough answers. In order to continue on the road without giving up, you need to believe wholeheartedly in the path you have set out on and be emotionally resilient. Because there are days when we despair and hit the bottom. Being able to continue without giving up is the key to success.

Sargın: In a start-up environment, you are responsible for everything of that company. You have to take responsibility and make decisions in areas you have no knowledge of. You need to be curious to learn new things. For example, when we started our business, we had no money to pay a lawyer or a tax consultant. We prepared our labour contracts by searching for examples of employment contracts on Google, and we learned about our tax responsibilities in a similar way.

What if you faced a serious problem due to the inadequacy of your contracts? You took a serious risk!

Sargın: We had no other choice! Either we were going to take that risk or not… If we wait for everything to be perfect, we cannot do our job. When we come across a new topic, we research, read a lot and when we feel ready, we start to implement it.

How do you go about determining your business strategies?

Eril: Frankly speaking, we do not hold structural ‘Strategy Planning’ meetings like corporate companies to define the future of our business. These issues are already on our minds at any moment. We have a common goal that brings us together and keeps us together despite every difficulty: ‘how can we grow our business more and how can we do better things?

Sargın: The way we follow to share and structure new ideas that come to our minds is to ‘stay in constant contact.’ We use technology very effectively. We instantly write each other every idea that comes to our minds and discuss them virtually. Sometimes we produce new projects without ever meeting face to face.


While listening to these young people, I thought ‘the secret of success is common’, whether it is a world giant corporate company or a start-up:

  • Not giving up in the face of difficulties and believing that you can overcome everything
  • Excitement, curiosity to learn, generating new ideas by questioning
  • Not being late in taking action and acting fast while trying to achieve perfection
  • To be in constant communication and to believe in the power of being a team

It is always possible to achieve new successes as long as we set out with excitement, patiently remove and put aside the stones stuck in our feet, and focus on our goal without losing our curiosity and passion!

Birsen Çevik Akgünlü

07 July 2017