Personal Profile

arguden-properDr. Argüden improves quality to life. The breadth and depth of his experience in a multitude of roles are noteworthy. He might have been the strategist who helped define the direction of your company or the investment banker who brought you a M&A deal or the governance expert setting the organizational systems for your institution. You may know him for his commitment to the pursuit of management quality, or perhaps you know him based upon his work at a significant NGO.  Maybe you were one of his students, or perhaps you have attended one of his seminars or followed his ideas from his articles or his books.

All of these roles are actually unified under Dr. Argüden’s continuing quest for knowledge and a consistent set of values. Underlying the synthesis of these roles is a visionary perspective and a strong self-discipline incorporating both an eagerness to learn and a dedication to sharing.

There is a characteristic of Dr. Argüden that stands out: his infallible commitment to sharing his vast experience and accumulated knowledge with the public and private sectors, as well as in civil life through education and writing.

With his relentless efforts to improve the quality of life and world class successes, Dr. Argüden examplifies Turkiye’s contribution to defining and creating a global citizen.

Let’s take a closer look at Dr. Argüden’s contributions to professional and civil life, and examine more closely the forces that have thrust him into a league of his own.

Ipek Cem Taha
“Global Leaders”
Producer / NTV

truva1. Strategist

“Science is the soundest of guides.” Atatürk

Thought is the basis of action.

Two central themes in Dr. Argüden’s work are his focus in identifying a value creating strategy for the stakeholders of each instituiton he works for and his commitment to performing each task in a flawless fashion to ensure successful implementation. Thus, it is accurate to say that his primary identity is that of a strategist. His strategic outlook is not limited to his work or the private sector, he also lends strategy to civil life, international relations, and invests in the future of Turkiye as a global player. Argüden always makes it a priority to share his strategic outlook with the public and his colleagues by his commentaries.

a. At ARGE Consulting, Dr. Argüden helped many organizations devise, reinvent, and implement new strategies, as well as streamline the underlying infrastructure with the strategy. ARGE is committed to continuous learning and each ARGE consultant is required to develop his/her skills by undertake one month of education annually. ARGE consultants are certified management consultants and qualified EFQM (European Foundation for Management Quality) assessors. Also ARGE is committed to corporate social responsibility and each employee is encouraged to utilize one day per week actively participating in a community project. As a result, ARGE is a leading Turkish management consulting company, and is internationally recognized for its commitment to corporate social responsibility. ARGE was selected as the Governance & Sustainability Partner for B20.  ARGE was selected as one of the top three companies “Shaping the Future” by its corporate social responsibility projects and recieved the award at The European Parliament. ARGE’s work on CSR has been a case study available from the European Case Clearing House for the use of management education programs in leading universities.

b. While heading Turkiye’s Privatization Program, Dr. Argüden was a leading communicative force to help the public understand that privatization promotes healthier competition. For example although at the time there was no competition law in Turkiye, he ensured that the basic thrust of the competition law be a part of the sales contract of the privatization of cement companies. According to a recent study undertaken by Bilkent University, the cement sector in Turkiye today has indeed became more competitive after the privatization. Also, the share ownership culture in Turkiye was braodened by public offering of state owned enterprises which also helped the Istanbul Stock Exchange to flourish. Also he was instrumental in establishing the policy of requesting all foreign investment banks that participated in privatization contracts to work in conjunction with local Turkish partners which in turn has improved local capability in investment banking and management consulting in Turkiye. Also some of the local privatization success stories were also initiatied during his term, case in point is the birth of MADO, a well known ice cream brand in Turkiye from a defunct government asset.

c. With his eye for strategy as well as fhis sensitivity for confidentiality of information, Dr. Argüden has been a trusted advisor to many groups as diverse as Koç Holding, Borusan Holding and Anadolu Industry Holding companies, at the same time. He had an influencial role in Turkish companies forming joint ventures with global companies; in increasing international investments of Turkish companies; and in helping Turkish companies win National and European Quality Awards. Turkiye has achieved a status of being one of the top two countries to host the largest number of European Quality Awards, a significant number of them had been Dr. Argüden’s clients. As a Chief Economic Advisor to the Turkish Prime Minister, he gained invaluable experience in the public service sector.

d. During his time at the RAND Corporation in the USA, Dr. Argüden worked on projects related to management of mega projects of more than 500 million dollars; energy policies; taxation policies; and building human resources management systems for large organizations.

e. During his employment at the World Bank, he was responsible for the disbursements of over $600 million dollars of loans. He had participated in loan negotiations of over 100 projects for 20 different nations.

f. Dr. Argüden assisted in the preparation of TUSIAD’s country strategy report as well as chaired the Public Reform Working Group. He has chaired the “Development Strategies Council” to define Turkiye’s 2020 vision.

g. He is a founding board member of the independent think-tank TESEV (Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation). He is the lead director for TESEV’s “Good Governance” program.  He has founded the non-profit Argüden Governance Academy that operates under the aegis of Bogazici University Foundation, to promote good governance in the public, private, and NGO spheres.

2. Institutional Development and Governance Expert

“Together, we are stronger.” Turkish Proverb

Trust is the foundation for growth.

Throughout his life as a student, a volunteer, and a professional, Dr. Argüden has consistently pursued the institutionalization of ideas and projects. The value of institutional development can only be consolidated with good governance. Dr. Argüden has therefore always placed the concepts of institutionalization and good governance at the center of his action plans. Dr. Argüden was the Chairman of Erdemir and has served on the Board of Directors for Anadolu Endüstri, Borusan, and Koç Holding companies, as well as those of Inmet Mining, Vestel, Petkim and Sümerbank. While serving as the Chairman of BÜMED and KalDer, he established exemplary management systems. Many companies benefited greatly by realizing their fundamental goals under Argüden’s guidance and consultancy. He is the Board member, responsible for TESEV’s “Good Governance” program and chairs TÜSIAD’s Public Reformation Work Group, as well as being a member of the Turkish Corporate Governance Association. Bogazici (Bosphorus) University International Sports Fest, initiated during his presidency of the Sports Club, remains one of the university’s most popular festivities. ARGE Consulting has been selected as the Goveranance & Sustainability Knowledge Partner for the B20. Dr. Argüden shares his expertise on institutional development and good governance through his articles and “Boardroom secrets: Corporate Governance for Quality of Life”, “ARGE Corporate Governance Model”, and “Keys to Governance: Strategic Leadership for Quality of Life” books and numerous articles.

3. Leader of Change

“Appear as, what you are. Be, what you appear to be.” Mevlana

Leadership demands the vision and boldness to change the rules of the game and an exemplary discipline and consistency… 

Dr. Argüden strongly believes that progress cannot be achieved without having audacious golas and a desire for continuous improvement. He embraces change, constant learning, renewal, and competition. Due to his work in furthering quality of life through management quality, he was chosen as one of the “100 Global Leaders of Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum in 1999. He initiated the National Quality Movement, which contributed greatly to improving the general quality of management in Turkiye. He was among the leadership team of the Koc 2000 Project which had important ramifications for the Koç Group. As the Chairman of BÜMED, he contributed to the development of “Civil Society supported University” model. At TESEV he led the “Good Governance” program and helped develop processes and tools for improving the quality of public administration. He has been elected as the Global Chair of the UN Global Compact Local Networks Advisory Group and served on the board of the UN Global Compact.  At ARGE Consulting, which he founded, he assisted in numerous corporate restructurings, and ARGE was chosen as one of the top three companies in Europe for contribution to the society and effecting widespread change.

2676 - Yunus4. Social Entrepreneur

“Regard the other, as you regard yourself. This is the meaning of Four Holy Books, if there is any.” Yunus Emre

Meaning in life is making meaningful contributions to others

Among Dr. Argüden’s defining characteristics is his zeal for social innovation, which he began to practice back in his school years to “improve” and “institutionalize improvements” in his environment. His initiation of Bogazici University International Sports Fest, which later developed into an annual activity, and his leadership of the quality movement in Turkiye exemplify his commitment to social innovation. He contributed to the founding of TESEV (Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation) and TEGV (Turkish Education Volunteers Foundation) and CVC (Corporate Volunteer Council). Dr. Argüden has assumed the positions of the Chairman of the Turkish-US Busines Council and Turkish – Canadian Business Council. His company, ARGE Consulting, was the only Turkish company listed in the European Community’s “Responsible Entrepreneuship” publication. ARGE Consulting is the first Turkish signatory of the UN Global Compact and was instrumental in devising Sectoral Deployment and Leveraging Natural Incentives/Allies strategies.  Dr. Argüden was selected as the Global Chair of the UN Global Compact Local Networks and served as a UN Global Compact board member. ARGE Consulting was also selected by the delegates of Generation Europe from 28 European countries as one of the top three companies Shaping the Future with its corporate social responsibility initiatives.

5. Educator

“Read, read, read.” Q’uran

The most important thing to learn is to learn how to learn.

Dr. Argüden’s basic principle in life demands him to constantly learn to develop himself and contribute to the development of others. Dr. Argüden owes the numerous honors and recognition he has won for his academic achievements as a student to his devotion to learning, and he still employs this passion for education in his own life as well as in managing and consulting for institutions, making it a top priority to help others “to learn how to learn”.

As an Adjunct Professor of strategy at Bogazici University’s ongoing education program for Financial Officers and at Koc University’s MBA program, he introduces methodological innovations into the curriculum so as to increase the effectiveness of his classes and help simulate professional life for his students’ future success.

Dr. Argüden has received scholarships from Fulbright, TÜBİTAK, NATO and the Eisenhower Foundation and has won numerous awards for leadership during his school years. He was the driving force behind the process of defining vision, mission and values at the SEV Foundation and BÜMED.  He has founded the non-profit Argüden Governance Academy to help improve quality of governance in public, private, and non-governmental organizations.

6. Thought Leader and Columnist

“Those who had the insight to sail the boats on land, had the fortune to capture Istanbul.” for Fatih Sultan Mehmet

The only two things which increase by sharing are love and knowledge. 

Individuals who continually develop their abilities and expand their realm of knowledge and whom others consult when they need advice, inevitably feel the need to share this knowledge. Dr. Argüden shares his experiences and vision with the public by authoring books, newspaper articles and various publications. He is also a sought-after speaker at conferences both at home and abroad.

7. Team Player

“Nothing in the universe is more precious than health.” Kanuni Sultan Süleyman

Time is our most valuable resource.

Dr. Argüden applies a methodological approach to sports as he does to his other areas of interest. As a high school and university student, he played basketball on teams that won Turkish national championships. During his university years, he also gained valuable experience as a sports director which led to his being elected President of the Sports Club at Bogazici University and director of Sports activities. He organized the first Bogazici University International Sports Fest, which became an annual event afterwards. He is a founding member of the Basketball Players Association and among the founding members of the Bogazici University Sports Club. He has served as a board member of the Anadolu Efes Basketball club. Dr. Argüden also enjoys playing tennis, golf, sailing, and playing bridge.


“Dr. Argüden is a very hard-working, fast-thinking, trustworthy individual who is always true to his word.”
Dündar Aytar, “The Story Behind Privatization” 1995