In this issue of, The 10 Most Inspiring Business Leaders Making a Difference, we have shortlisted Sezer Ozmutlu, the CFO of Hitit Computer Services as one of the inspiring leaders of 2022. Established in 1994, Hitit is considered one of the largest airlines, and travel IT solutions providers, in the world. Hitit is a one stop shop for Software as a Service new generation airline IT solutions with modules geared towards every part of an airline’s business lifecycle. The firm currently serves more than 50 airline companies and travel partners across Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, North, and Latin America. With a strong team of consultants and an ever-changing progressive vision, Hitit is an industry leader in seamless integration, high-performance implementation, and customer support. With multiple sales and distribution channel support and unlimited ancillary capabilities, Hitit’s solutions and services provide airlines the ability to maximize profit and minimize costs. Having completed the public offering of 27.6% of its shares, Hitit has been publicly trading on Borsa Istanbul since March 3rd, 2022.
The Goal-Oriented Leader
Sezer holds a BA degree in economics and an MA in international relations from Istanbul University. After completing her education, Sezer began her career in 1992 at Pegasus Airlines as an Assistant Revenue Control Manager. In 2007, she was appointed as the Manager of Revenue Control and became the Director of Revenue Control in 2012. On 1st June 2015, Sezer was appointed as the CFO of Hitit Computer Systems. Sezer is a CPA and she also has the IATA diploma in the field of Revenue Accounting & Control.
“It is a great pleasure for me to be ranked in the category of leaders who make a difference. I have been working in the aviation industry for 30 years and we recently had a very challenging period for our industry due to the pandemic. Getting through these tough times successfully and being one of the leaders that helped the company grow during this period is very meaningful for my professional life. It makes me very proud to be rewarded for this situation.”– says Sezer.
Sezer’s professional life has been spent in the aviation industry and aviation has become a great passion for her. Before working at Hitit, Sezer worked for one of Turkey’s largest airline companies for 23 years. She worked in many different roles at Pegasus. Sezer has made a significant contribution to the transformation of a newly established airline into one of the most well-known airlines in the world. Finance is a very complex field, but Aviation finance is one of the most challenging sub-sectors of the business world. With over 30 years of experience in the airline business, Sezer is very much involved in preventing revenue losses through effective operational processes and innovative initiatives in close coordination with the commercial and operational divisions. As Sezer is a person who loves challenges, she could not leave aviation. After Pegasus, she switched to the field of aviation technologies with the title of CFO.
Providing Best Services
Hitit’s brand “Crane” offers a comprehensive suite that serves flag carriers, low-cost and hybrid airlines, as well as ground-handling agencies. The firm’s solutions and services provide its partners in the aviation industry with state-of the-art technology for passenger services, operations, accounting, merchandising, travel solutions, and cargo. Sezer and her team, provide all their partners, regardless of their size or business model, whether an ambitious low-cost start-up or an established full-service carrier looking to modernize, with the right tools to achieve their goals today and tomorrow.
Leadership and Teamwork
Sezer is managing a finance team of 8 people at Hitit. In addition to finance, her area of responsibility also covers accounting, budgeting, and the procurement processes.
For this reason, Sezer carries out critical operations of the company together with her team. Hitit is a very big company in terms of its work and is currently considered one of the largest aviation technology companies globally. The entire team of Hitit achieves great success with relatively small teams. Each member of Sezer’s team has the required education and experience to be part of the team such as being a CPA, having expertise in IFRS audit and reporting, etc. Without Sezer’s teams’ support, Hitit would not have been able to carry out the finance, accounting, and purchasing processes so successfully.
Most of Sezer’s professional life has been spent in a managerial position. She has managed different teams. After 30 years, she has understood that it is essential to give your team confidence and show that you believe in them. Apart from that, it is very important for teams to love each other, and spend time together outside of work. Sezer takes her team out and she even goes on vacation with them.
As a result of this management style, Sezer would like to point out that the turnover number in the departments she manages has always been low.
Hitit has experienced immense challenges at both the individual and corporate levels, but the company has learned that every challenge leaves both difficult and positive impressions. While feeling the importance of solidarity once again, Sezer and her team have witnessed how technology is an indispensable saviour. Sezer believes the aviation industry will continue to develop with the help of technology and as the pandemic lessens. The industry will soon see rapid growth towards normalization. Aviation technology companies like Hitit are of great importance. Now, digitization in aviation has reached an irreversible point, and with the increase in digitalization, the aviation industry will reach new heights.
Hitit’s IPO process started in the second half of 2021 and successfully concluded in March 2022. Finance departments have a massive burden during the public offering process. Together with Sezer’s entire team, they worked day and night for about six months. Sezer and her team went through processes where they were exhausted, had little spare time for their families, did not take a vacation, and worked even while they were sick, voluntarily. To do her best in such a difficult time, Sezer constantly had to motivate her team.