"Do Good and Then Throw It Into The Sea"; Interview with Robert Calgav

"Do Good and Then Throw It Into The Sea"; Interview with Robert Calgav

By Bessy ADUT

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

My name is Robert Calgav. I am currently the co-Founder of Bakkal Corporation, CFO of Dreamline Investment Group, and CEO of Payless Auto Sales, Inc. I have 30+ years of experience in sales, management, and finances. A native of Turkey, I began my career in 1990 in the automobile industry. In 1996, I moved to Los Angeles and started my own business. I have expanded my business and I am now providing exotic and luxury car rental and concierge services.

Where are you located?

California, USA.

What are your current projects?

I’m one of the co-founders of Bakkal Corporation. Bakkal is an application designed to allow ethnic grocery shopping from the comfort of your home. We aim to support small local businesses and introduce authentic foods to all individuals. Our most important focus is customer satisfaction.


Could you share with us how you started and how you got to where you are today?

In the 2020 pandemic year, while drinking coffee in the garden with my friend Ahmet Altug, we were thinking about how we focus on technology. Murat Karslioglu came to our minds, and we called him. He had a project, but he needed people to work with, in the field. Hereby, we founded Bakkal in 2020 and made our first promotion in December 2021.

Has it been a smooth road?

Never. We started with the support of our family and friends. I have continued with the support of my family since we first started.

Gathering financial investment support was the hardest part. Like rugged terrain... 

Tell me more about your life and career...

I came to Los Angeles in 1997. I have a great passion for cars. At first, I was working as a gallery owner, and in 2019 I switched to renting cars. While working in the rental industry, I developed a network with many Turkish communities. I especially tried to support the people who live here and the just-arrived people who have not adapted yet.

In 2020, I focused on Bakkal. Since then, it has become a business sector for Turks who live here or have just arrived.

What do you think goodness is?

As my father used to say a lot, "Do Good and Then Throw It Into The Sea". It is very important to help people, to touch them, and to do good without being ostentatious or making anyone feel bad.

Who are you outside of your professional life?

I try to be a person who is devoted to his family, helpful, and does good things. I try to act thoughtfully and carefully.

I am someone who adheres to traditions but also follows the times.

Also, I enjoy cars, water sports, music (Turkish classical and Latin music), and spending time with my dog.

Are you interested in environmental issues?

I am especially sensitive about recycling. I always pay attention to reducing the damage caused to nature through the products we use.

Do you think the world is not a good place right now?

Living conditions in the world are getting more difficult every day. We live in a time when people are homeless and have great financial difficulties. It is very sad to see that people's purchasing power is decreasing.

How do you make the world a better place?

We must be aware that we are living with others.

How can we all make the world better?

We must join hands in solidarity. We must create more respectful environments, where people do not have bad intentions, and where people come together for good.

How can science and spirituality coexist?

We should always blend the two. With the principle of "A healthy mind is found in a healthy body", we must work and produce more, benefit humanity, and leave a cleaner, more beautiful world to the new generations.

If you could go anywhere, where would you go (and why)?

A happy island; Aruba is a quiet island where there is no crime.

Do you have anything else you would like to share with us?

We should live each day by making the most of the day as there is no tomorrow.

Could you please provide us with shareable links (website, social media)?

Bakkal Website: https://getbakkal.com/turkish-market-los-angeles/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-calgav-038a9086/

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