Originally from Istanbul, Turkey, Cenk Kahraman moved to Malta from Bahrain in 2005 upon being appointed CEO of National Bank of Greece (NBG) on the island. Six years ago, Cenk took on the role of CEO at Finance Incorporated Ltd, a company that delivers a full range of financial services and infrastructure solutions to corporate and individual clients.

“I love living in Malta and truly enjoy each part of it,” smiles Cenk, revealing his favourite things to do on the island. “I love lazy strolls along the Birgu waterfront, the golf club and the smell of freshly cut grass, clear sunsets in Dingli with a glass of wine, and walking aimlessly along the streets of Mdina and soaking in the almost mythical history. I also love visiting Gozo on weekdays, and the serenity it provides.”

Describing his experience at the helm of two businesses in Malta – first a bank and later a financial institution – Cenk begins in practical terms. “I can clearly state that the red tape for running a business in Malta is getting less and less every year, partly due to EU harmonisation, but mostly because of the digitalisation of the nation.”

Describing Malta’s main challenges and opportunities as a business destination, the CEO continues, “to attract new business, PR will always be our main challenge on the global stage, whereas for maintaining existing business, HR is our main challenge. When it comes to opportunities, beside Government-initiated incentives, Malta is a beautiful island where people want to live. We just have to make it attractive to the right crowd, so that they bring their business with them.”

Looking ahead, he adds, “Malta weathered COVID and the beginning of the inflationary era rather well. Obviously, inflation and its consequences have yet to be seen. Nevertheless, the measures taken were prompt and controlled.” Overall, the CEO considers Malta’s economy to be strong.

Offering a few words of advice to fellow expats who are exploring the possibility of investing in Malta, Cenk affirms that resource planning is a must. “We live on a tiny island nation that does not possess the variety of resources that continental countries have. Thus, regardless of the area being invested in, resources, especially Human Resources, must be well planned. If need be, discussions with peer companies and/or service providers must be held in this regard,” he maintains.

This interview was first carried in the 2023 edition of Business Now Magazine, the sister brand to BusinessNow.mt and produced by Content House Group

Featured Image:

Cenk Kahraman / Photo by Bernard Polidano

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