A Token of Friendship

Dilhan Görgün is many things: a businessman, business consultant and accountant. For the past 14 years, he has also been successfully manufacturing bandages and orthotics with his company Orpedo

Orpedo Orthopedics Company KG

Dilhan Görgün‘s hands are folded in such a way that his fingers are interwoven in a crisscrossed manner. The 46-year-old begins to talk about stitches and knitting patterns, pointing to the mesh formed by his fingers. He speaks of circular and flat knitting, of how the mesh interconnects, of how silicone pads have to be incorporated and where the seams run. He speaks of knee pivot points and biomechanics and how flat knitting has the advantage by being able to conform to the shape of the body. Görgün knows all about mesh. Fourteen years ago, he founded a company known as Orpedo, which has been developing and selling bandages and orthotics ever since.

Görgün is used to having people look at him in astonishment and ask: How does a man who already operates an accounting company and a business consultancy become a manufacturer of bandages and orthotics? The history of Orpedo is the story of suffering; indeed, it began with the illness of a friend. To help his friend, Görgün set out to find suitable tools. His quest lasted half a year. And what he found was less than satisfying. The products were either too expensive or full of flaws, or they weren‘t covered by insurance. Görgün read up on the subject, went to training courses, worked intensively on the subject – and came up with an idea. Why not start a company?

At one point, he was on the verge of giving up. His products were fully developed, the bandages had undergone all necessary tests and procedures, and the new directory of medical aids was fresh off the press. Unfortunately, Orpedo wasn‘t listed in it. And if you‘re not on the list, you don‘t get an aid number, which means your products cannot be prescribed by a doctor and covered by health insurance. „It was a total disaster,“ says Görgün. He had to make a decision: Give up or keep going? He kept going. Anything else would not have suited him. He‘s what you call a mover and a shaker. Major challenges serve only to spurn him on.

Görgün, the father of three daughters, says he wanted to give something back. Maybe that‘s the source of his commitment – whether it‘s for a sick friend, at the street festival for people with and without disabilities or as part of his work for the association known as Ku´damm International. Görgün is eager to challenge Turkish stereotypes: „I‘m the only Turkish bandage manufacturer in Europe,“ he notes. Not with pride. Instead, that‘s just the way it is. Everything is possible.

That‘s the way it was seven years ago. Orpedo is now listed in the directory. Today, his products are the only ones of their kind on the market that have received all authorizations from the outset. „That‘s what sets us up apart from our competitors,“ explains Görgün. His products are, for example, completely free of toxic substances, which is not always guaranteed in the case of other manufacturers. „The problem is the so-called ‚grandfather rights.‘ Many manufacturers continue to sell their old stocks,“ explains the entrepreneur. And they often lack specific approvals that other products, which come to market later, have to prove.

In the end, an alleged disadvantage became an advantage. And the tale of woe from way back when came to an end. His friend is healthy again.

Stefanie Paul
Kluge Köpfe 2015