The question that is on everyone’s lips – Who is this economist, Yusuf Kisa? Described as a “financial wizard” who has had an unrivaled impact on the TRNC’s economy, Kisa’s story is one of devotion, decision-making, desire and determination.
Yusuf Kisa was born in Cyprus in 1977, the youngest of three siblings. At the age of 6, he moved to the United Kingdom with his family, where he later finished school and graduated at university. During his university years, Yusuf Kisa took on a part-time job delivering bread for a bakery in North London. Yusuf Kisa made his first business decision when he bought the bakery he worked at.
Kisa expanded the business, and had contracts with institutions such as Heathrow Airport, supplying them with over 35,000 loafs on a daily basis. He eventually sold the bakery for a huge profit and entered into financial consultancy. Never could his family believe that he would someday become one of the most successful and wealthiest businessmen in Cyprus.
At the age of 27, Yusuf Kisa began his financial career in Moscow and France. After just 10 months, his office in Moscow alone had a turnover of 25 million euros. His businesses in total had a staggering turnover of 300 million euros. However, for Yusuf Kisa, this was not a point to stop or slow down. He was set on expanding and opened more offices, reaching out to Poland too.
Eventually, Kisa decided to return to his homeland, a country in need of economic development and recognition, Northern Cyprus. He situated his business in Pyla, a village in Larnaca located within the United Nations buffer zone. His new financial consultancy office employed over 200 staff and grew to gross a remarkable turnover of 2 billion euros. The business offered every type of financial advice and products on the market. Of course, the financial guru Yusuf Kisa had a strategic reasoning behind locating his business in Pyla. “The decision I took was based on the fact that Northern Cyprus is not recognised by any country apart from Turkey,” he said, “The Republic of Cyprus the south is recognised by the world, and Pyla is under the guidance of the UN, so I could trade freely with every part of the world.”
Yusuf Kisa expanded his brand, GIFA, which birthed businesses such as Yeni Bakis, GIFA Holding, GIFA Airways, GIFA Forex, GIFA Insurance, GIFA Rent-a-Car, GIFA Agriculture, GIFA Call Center, GIFA Nursing Home, GIFA Electronic and GIFA Real Estates.
When asked when he will slow down, Yusuf Kisa modestly replied, “Never I suppose.” As a result of his success to date, GIFA, Inc. is now the second Turkish company to enter the US Stock Exchange and is rapidly growing into a financial phenomenon.