Born in Ankara in 1901, he studied at the Ankara High School. He began his business life in 1917.
In 1926, he took over his father's firm and registered it as "Koçzade Ahmet Vehbi" with the Ankara Chamber of Commerce. While dealing with commerce on one hand, he also became the representatives of foreign companies such as Ford and Standard Oil in Turkey and expanded his business. Later, he entered in contractual businesses.
In 1938 he took the first step towards institutionalization and founded Koç Ticaret A.Ş. in Istanbul.
Convincing General Electric in 1948 to establish a bulb factory in Turkey, he entered into a joint venture and the factory commenced production in 1952.
Considering charity works as a social responsibility, Koç started his attempts in the social field by institutions such as Vehbi Koç Student Dormitory (1946), Vehbi Koç Eye Bank at Ankara University, Faculty of Medicine (1963); Cardiology Institute at Istanbul University, Faculty of Medicine (1964), Turkish Education Foundation (1967), and METU Vehbi Koç Student Dormitory (1968).
Koç took crucial steps in the industry during the 1950s and made investments in local industries that would substitute imported goods. He realized local manufacture of many goods such as automotive, white goods, radiators, electronic appliances, textile, matches, etc.
In 1955, he established Arçelik, Turkey's largest private industrial company, and Türk Demir Döküm was established in 1954. Otosan, the first establishment in the Turkish automotive industry, commenced production in 1959; in 1962, Aygaz was established. He set up many more businesses and industries afterwards.
As the number of industrial establishments increased gradually, believing that private enterprises could only survive through institutionalization, Vehbi Koç founded Koç Holding, the first holding in Turkey, in 1963 to direct these from one center and to make the best source allocation for them. After foundation of the holding, establishment of new companies followed one after the other. Anadol, the first domestic car of Turkey, was released into the market in 1966.
Aiming to make investments in the agriculture sector, Vehbi Koç surveyed the opportunities in this sector for a long time. In 1967 he established TAT Tomato Paste Factory, the pioneer company which directed the agricultural potential of Turkey to import through a contracted farm model.