Bülent Çelebi is a worldly guy, having lived in Turkey, Hong Kong, and the U.S. before returning to Istanbul to establish AirTies--which has a supply chain as global as its founder. Here's how Çelebi assembles his product, a wireless router.
Born in the U.S.A.
An AirTies router begins as a chip made by Texas Instruments in Dallas or by Atheros in Santa Clara, California.
Modified in Asia
At factories in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Taipei, contractors add electrical parts to the chips, then encase them in plastic and ship them to Istanbul (via Hong Kong, in the case of the Shenzhen factory).
Customized in Istanbul
An AirTies contractor in Istanbul customizes the router for the four countries in which it will be sold. The contractor adds local language setup CDs, instruction manuals, and display boxes, and plugs the router into a computer to format the language and telecom configuration files. Today, AirTies ships 140,000 units a month to Greece, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkey (the solid red lines). By the end of this year, it will also sell to Bulgaria, Egypt, Romania, and Ukraine.