Gas distribution company Tbilisi Energy is working to create an online platform where about half a million subscribers will be able to receive services that they until now have received by visiting Tbilisi Energy offices.

Director of Tbilisi Energy Mamuka Kobakhidze says the platform will be fully operational by the end of 2021.

“Subscribers will be able to create their own virtual space on the official website of Tbilisi Energy, register with their subscriber number, enter their phone number and receive all the services they otherwise received by visiting Tbilisi Energy’s office.

“The biggest problem we had was when our inspectors went to check how well equipment is installed, or how properly the gas network has been laid, no subscriber remembers these details, or where this documentation could be stored. Therefore, we decided to digitalize the old archives.

“Also, the number of subscribers calling the hotline is increasing. On the electronic platform, they will be informed about when gas will be turned off and when supply will be restored”, he said.

Ideas to supply the capital of Georgia with natural gas was floated at the end of the 19th century. However, the intention did not materialize. This idea was voiced again in 1937, but was actually implemented only 20 years later, in 1957. This is how Tbilgazi was created.

Then, a 433-kilometer-long gas pipeline was built to supply the city with gas. In 1959, the population of Tbilisi received natural gas for the first time, which was originally intended for 527,000 citizens. JSC Tbilgazi operated until 2006.

In May 2006, the Georgian government conducted an auction for the sale of Tbilgazi and the latter was acquired by a Kazakh company. By that time, the gas supply of Tbilisi was already provided by KazTransGas-Tbilisi Ltd. Tbilisi Energy has been serving the capital of Georgia from May 3, 2019.

“Tbilisi Energy is a new and completely Georgian company”, said Kobakhidze.

Today, the company serves 1,500,000 people and has 18,000 commercial subscribers. This number is growing daily.

Tbilisi Energy supplies Tbilisi with natural gas through medium and low pressure underground and surface gas pipelines with a network length of 8,500 km. Annual gas consumption is about 750 million cubic meters. From this figure, 550 million cubic meters are consumed by household customers, and 200 million cubic meters - by non-household, commercial customers.

Tbilisi Energy has recently become the winner of the most influential business award ceremony, the Golden Brand award, in the category of ‘Customer-oriented Company’.

What were the main challenges when Tbilisi Energy started operations on the Georgian market?

The main challenge for us was the outdated equipment, outdated technologies and outdated procedures, I mean the rights and responsibilities of employees and subscribers. Therefore, the procedures were rewritten and updated; the technological process was improved and we brought in the latest equipment related to gas distribute. We invited professionals and trained our staff in global, modern technologies. Finally, we ensured a safe gas supply. We increased the number of rescue crews from eight to 25 to minimize the response time against the backdrop of life in a busy city. These crews are in different parts of the city and not in one place, so it is more efficient to arrive at an address in a timely manner.

We have updated our equipment as well. For example, one novelty we have acquired is infrared technology, which can detect gas leaks within a radius of 50 meters. When the house is locked but there is a gas leak, we can light it up from the yard or from the opposite house and see if there is any damage to the infrastructure.

A total of 13.5 million GEL was spent on these works of which about 70% was spent on upgrading the gas supply network, pipelines and the rest was spent on technological improvement.

We are supposed to make investments of 20 million GEL annually.

You mentioned the gas supply network, which has gone untouched for decades. Please tell us how far has Tbilisi Energy gone and updated old pipelines?

The main priority of our company is the safe and continuous gas supply of the capital. The company has already started to restore the dilapidated and damaged network of Tbilisi’s gas supply, which includes a complete overhaul of gas pipelines in the most important sections of Tbilisi’s gas supply.

Today, 80% of the right bank of the pipeline has been changed and renewed. We anticipate that by the end of 2021 the right and left banks of the river Mtkvari will be completely upgraded, and by the end of 2022 the gas pipeline circle, which surrounds Tbilisi, will be completely renovated.

We have carried out renovation works on about 40 streets of Tbilisi in 2019 and about 44 streets are planned for 2020 as well.

For example, on Chavchavadze Avenue, a pipeline was first laid in 1965, and since then it has been working with an iron pipe. Then the service life was given 40-45 years, but the pipeline kept working even after the expiration date. The new gas pipelines have the same service life, the only difference is that we are building plastic gas pipelines now, medium pressure gas pipelines, and if no one damages them, there is no oxidation process and this pipeline can work for 100 to 130 years

Tbilisi Energy launched a large-scale campaign, aiming to make the consumption of gas safer for producers and consumers. How has the campaign gone?

The company has a high degree of social responsibility, which is related to the safe consumption of gas and thus started a large-scale campaign in September.

Out of 470,000 about 70,000 subscribers had incorrectly installed gas installments, such as gas cookers and home heaters. Therefore, it is very important to meet with the population and to explain to them what danger these devices and setups can pose not only to them, but to the whole neighborhood.

We have also tried aggressive methods to solve this problem. Not only did we warn the population, but we also dismantled incorrectly installed gas installations. But about 40% re-installed these devices and we dismantled them again. As a result, the number of accidents has reduced by 80%. This year only three deaths were registered due to gas.

We offer subscribers to call us and request an inspection: the service is free.

It is necessary to entrust the inspection of the internal network of your gas pipeline to specialists. Remember that you are responsible for the safe consumption of the internal gas network in your home and in your neighborhood.

Georgian medical company PSP Group, which has cemented itself as the leading company in the pharmaceuticals market of Georgia, is continuing to implement innovative projects that will make it easier for customers to attend to health and beauty and make their relationship with PSP more comfortable, accessible and useful.

This year again, PSP won its 15th Golden Brand at the 15th Golden Brand awards ceremony for the utmost success the company achieved in 2019. This means that PSP has never ceded the award to any other company operating in the same field.

When recalling PSP’s activities in 2019, it is not surprising why Golden Brand experts named the company as their favorite this year as well.

PSP has increased its range of medicines as well as beauty and skincare products. Products of Mizon, Essens, Penaten, KayPro have been put on the shelves of PSP stores and received the appreciation from the Georgian customers.

“For the first time in Georgia, PSP offered the products of famous Korean brand Mizon to Georgian customers. Mizon’s snail repair cream became one of the most exciting discoveries for Georgian female customers in 2019. Essens products from Germany took the hearts of teenagers and younger customers. Generations of German children have been brought up with Penaten products and now it is available to parents as well. And finally our new brand of KayPro, which is a professional line of hair care products that is easy to use at home. We will introduce new brands to our customers this year as well”, said Vajha Okriashvili, Director of PSP Pharma.

In total 238 British-concept stores of PSP serve over 2.2 million customers monthly, offering about 25,000 medical, parapharmic, hygiene and cosmetic products for customers, including some European brands that are exclusively sold at PSP.

What kind of COVID-19 safety measures has PSP taken and how do you protect your staff as well as customers?

The company began ensuring the safety of employees and customers after the first case of infection was recorded in Georgia. In early March, protective glass was installed at all PSP pharmacies at pharmacists’ desks, and at the entrance there were disinfection carpets.

Every day we measure the temperature of our staff and monitor for initial signs of the virus.

Following the government decrees, all information posters were printed in one night, so that customers would receive the warning information the next day at the pharmacy, whether it pertained to the maximum allowable amount of people inside the stores or the requirement to wear facemasks.

PSP was one of the first store chains to install social distancing signals on the floors.

The company consistently sends employees masks, gloves, protective face shields, disposable hats and disinfectant solutions for hands necessary for employees. In addition, our contractor company Disinfection Service 2010 completely disinfects PSP pharmacies.

Years ago PSP was the first pharmacy to offer e-pharmacy services to its customers. As e-commerce has become more in demand due to pandemic restrictions on retail stores, how has PSP improved its online services?

The only right way to fight against the virus is to ‘Stay at Home’. The company responded to the state's call to ‘Stay at Home’ by expanding its online pharmacy services. The PSP online pharmacy provides 25,000 products online for consumers to help them stay at home and get the items they need at home. PSP was the first pharmacy that introduced e-pharmacy services in 2007 and since then the company has been working to improve its online services, which we updated in 2017.

PSP online pharmacy is the first online pharmacy in Georgia, so given the current situation, it was easier for us to more quickly mobilize our resources and provide home delivery not only in the capital city of Tbilisi but in the regions as well. Any customer can easily order any product via www.psp.ge without leaving home and get it the same day.

In order to create more comfort for our customers we have added a free phone service. They can call 0801 200 200 and get medicines or beauty products that are available at our pharmacies.

The delivery service is provided by a partner company whose couriers are equipped following the recommendations of the World Health Organization.

During the pandemic PSP pharmacies did not stop working for a single day, how difficult was this for staff?

PSP is a company with a strong sense of social responsibility and that we should be at the service of the people at exactly this time, so all our pharmacies continued to work, including 24/7 pharmacies. PSP is proud of its strong, professional, dedicated staff, whose work is an expression of professionalism and heroism in such high-risk conditions. All pharmacists, consultants, managers, and each employee of the pharmacy fully understand the necessity of their work to supply people with medicines and necessary products during the pandemic.

We all also understand how important social responsibility is nowadays, and strictly meet all safety norms, take care of our our colleagues’ and customers’ health and make sure society knows that #PSPiswithyourfamily.

Congratulations on winning the Golden Brand award. PSP has never ceded the award to any other company operating in the same field. How has the company managed to always be successful over the course of these many years?

Customer-oriented activities, more comfort, care for health and beauty, providing access to world-famous brands, agreeable prices and useful offers for baby nutrition and skincare, cosmetics and beauty products – this has always been the main task of PSP.

We have always been innovators on the market. Besides online services that we have already talked about, PSP was also the first company that became the official distributor of European medicines in Georgia. It was one of the first companies in Georgia to appear on the market with its own logo. PSP introduced in Georgia real 50% discounts on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday.

Since our appearance on the Georgian market in 1994, PSP has always been the number one company in terms of the range and quality of its activities. This is why we never let the Golden Brand award go to any other company.

***

PSP started its activities in 1994 and its first appearance on the Georgian pharmaceutical market was in distribution. Initially, the distribution company PSP Implementation Centre was created, which became the first official distributor of European medicines in Georgia.

Step by step the company expanded its product offerings into medical cosmetics, hygiene care, children’s nutrition and skincare products.

To note, the name of the company – PSP – is an abbreviation of the Latin expression ‘Paulatim Summa Petuntur’, which in English means ‘step-by-step to the peak’. And the company strives constantly to justify the essence of the expression behind its name.

One of Georgia’s largest construction companies, Ecohouse, has transformed itself into a holding company, and acquired ownership of Ecohouse Factory and Ecohouse FIZ. 

General Director of Ecohouse Davit Morchiladze and Commercial Director Giorgi Perishvili told us that the company plans to introduce new products and services soon.

How has production capacity increased since the opening of Ecohouse Factory?

Davit Morchiladze: We opened the new factory and established a new organization, Ecohouse Factory, in 2019. Since the opening of the factory, production capacity has increased 50% and communication with customers has become more flexible.

The company has acquired a production line for cold storage doors. So far, the production process is in test mode and technicians are working to further improve the quality of the line.

We plan to start selling this product in fall 2020 on local as well as export markets.

Industrial construction is the main activity of Ecohouse. What about residential buildings, has the demand for your services in this industry increased?

Giorgi Perishvili: Construction of residential buildings is a new product for us however we have experience in this direction as well. We think we can add this service as a new profile.

How many new projects did Ecohouse implement last year?

Giorgi Perishvili: The company built 22 different types of industrial buildings in 2019, which is an 80% increase compared to 2018.

The company experienced a 20% increase in container production, producing 612 containers in 2019.

The company also experienced a 15% increase in sales of sandwich panels.

As of today Ecohouse is working on several large projects in different regions of Georgia, from which I would point out the vehicle parts manufacturing plant in Poti Industrial Zone and a wine factory in Kvareli. The total square footage of these two projects alone exceeds 6,000 sq.m.

In addition to these two projects, the company is engaged in the construction of several industrial facilities.

Most of Ecohouse’s clients are from the agricultural sector, however, in 2019 we attracted foreign investors from various business industries and implemented projects of different types and sizes.

What are the challenges the company currently faces?

Davit Morchiladze: Probably the biggest challenge not only for our company, but for the whole world, are the circumstances caused by the coronavirus.

We are proud to have fully maintained our team and overcome the crisis as a result of the company’s internal, well-guided management decisions.

As for positive developments, we assume the economy will move closer to the benchmark set before the crisis probably in September 2020.

What is the market share of Ecohouse currently and how have sales statistics changed recently?

Giorgi Perishvili: We hold more than a 40% share of the Georgian market in terms of the construction of industrial facilities.

As for sales, they have increased by 65% compared to the previous year.

Congratulations on winning the Golden Brand award. What led Ecohouse to this success in your opinion?

Davit Morchiladze: The consistent growth and development of the company, well-guided management, our team, the quality and services we offer our customers… I think it is these factors that led Ecohouse to its Golden Brand award and it is these factors that distinguish us from other companies.

***

Ecohouse was established in 2015 and soon became a leader of the construction sector in Georgia.

The company creates architectural structures per modern standards and also offers services in the design and construction of industrial and non-industrial facilities. Ecohouse builds with ecological and effective thermal insulation materials. The company also offers optimal and modern methods for project management and financial planning.

Ecohouse offers various products such as containers; PVC curtains; PPGI coils; isothermal doors; sandwich panels and associated accessories.

 

Measuring outdoor impressions, digitalizing advertising infrastructure, fully modernizing and developing advertising spaces in metro stations and building new bus stops in the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi is what Georgia’s leading company in the outdoor advertising market, Alma, plans for 2020.

“Outdoor advertising has always had a problem with measuring impressions [i.e., how many people see an advertisement], and in the near future we will be able to provide this information to our customers on all advertising panels”, said Alma Chief Executive Officer Giorgi Trapaidze.

Trapaidze said that the number of digital displays will significantly be increased in the metro stations of Tbilisi.

“This will make our stations much more beautiful and will make it more effective, flexible and quick to place advertisements in metro stations. We have also improved visuals of advertisements on buses by replacing advertising panels. You may have already noted the new bus stops on Chavchavadze Avenue in Tbilisi and on several streets in Batumi. We continue to significantly improve the infrastructure of bus stops in cities”, Trapaidze said.

At what stage of development are Alma’s projects currently?

We have almost completed work in the Tbilisi metro, about 90%. We have entirely new advertising spaces. All of them are illuminated and have additional anti-vandal protection. We have already installed three advertising monitors.

In addition, we have completed certain projects for counting impressions and are able to provide our customers with a full analysis, where we can tell them exactly how many people have seen the advertisements and what effect it has had on them.

How has Alma’s advertising portfolio increased last year compared to 2018 and how many new advertising locations do you have?

Our advertising portfolio increased after winning a tender announced by Tbilisi City Hall in 2019 and gaining the right to advertise on Tbilisi municipal transport (metro and buses) and also on white taxes of the city and the Rike-Narikala ropeway.

We have significantly increased the number of bus stops in Tbilisi by about 80 bus stops and introduced new types of ‘mega premium’ bus stops. In the regions the number of bus stops increased by 50 units.

Now Alma has the right to advertise on bus stops in the towns of Marneuli and Ozurgeti as well.

We have added five new advertising monitors in Tbilisi, three in Kutaisi, three in Batumi and one in Borjomi.

How many billboards installed by Alma are located in Tbilisi and other cities as of today?

In total Alma has about 1,200 advertising spaces throughout Georgia, meaning that there is about 36,000 square meters of advertising space throughout the country.

Also, there are about 1,000 bus stops constructed by Alma in the country.

How has the outdoor advertising market been growing in Georgia?

I would say that the industry is growing. Our company is growing in terms of setting up advertising infrastructure for transport.

Digital advertising has significantly improved in Georgia and we can see examples of this in the streets of Tbilisi.

The market has improved in creating advertising videos for outdoor advertisements and as an example I can point out the video advertisements of financial institutions, online gambling and fast food facilities.

Technological development for counting impressions is also very important. It has become possible to count cars and people and see how many people saw banners or advertising videos.

You mentioned that the industry is growing. How does Alma compete with other companies?

In general there is quite a competitive environment in the advertising industry. Alma competes not only with other players in outdoor advertising, but also with alternative approaches to advertising – TV advertising, internet advertising, including social media platforms.

Our main competitor is TV but the worldwide trend is that TV advertising has been declining while outdoor advertising has become more in demand.

Actually, I cannot say that internet advertising is our direct competitor. This field is growing very rapidly, following technological developments. Using outdoor and internet advertising at the same time significantly increases the effectiveness of advertising.

What is the advantage of outdoor advertising and specifically projects implemented by Alma?

We have introduced the global trend of outdoor advertising in Georgia and brought in all these new technologies that are in widespread use in the developed world.

One success story is when several years ago we started the digitalization process in Tbilisi. At first it was complicated for us to effectively install monitors in the city, however today we see that this has become one of the most in demand and effective tools for outdoor advertising for organizations operating in Georgia.

Congratulations on winning the Golden Brand award. In your opinion, why did experts name Alma their favorite company?

I think the reason is our company’s growth in developing advertising infrastructure, which has positioned us as more interesting business partners for our customers.

 

***

Alma has been operating in Georgia’s outdoor advertising market since 1995. The company offers full services for OOH advertising: indoor and outdoor advertising technical services, printing and design.

Alma can provide a complete solution for any outdoor advertising campaign, starting with research on various outdoor advertising products in the area of the customer’s interest, including a detailed analysis of location, visibility, exposure levels and cost.

Alma has the exclusive right to advertise in Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi International Airports. Advertising in airports is available in many forms and captures the attention of passengers at every step of their travel experience.

The company is equipped with high-tech equipment, which is operated by qualified and experienced staff.

The printing machines of Alma’s print house allow for high-quality printing on banners, mesh banners, polyposters, tape, photo paper, any flat, hard surface, paper, canvas, wallpaper, mesh stickers, stickers, floor stickers, and other surfaces or areas.

 

Global Idea is getting ready to celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the Golden Brand award – the most influential and prestigious business awards ceremony in Georgia and is often referred to as “the Oscars of the Business World”.

This year the ceremony will award 45 companies that were particularly successful in their business activities throughout 2019. Of this number of winning companies, 20 of them are newcomers.

For the first time this year, the Golden Brand awards will be held at the Underwheel Club, which is located at the highest point of Tbilisi, on Mtatsminda Mount.

Director of Global Idea Natia Jincharadze promised an unforgettable night for guests on July 17:

“We are getting ready for this big event and promising lots of surprises and interesting activities at the jubilee event. We plan to make it a memorable and festive event. It is a big day for us. We started the Golden Brand awards in 2006 just only with 15 nominations and over the years we grew to cover all fields of business. Our project has gained popularity even at the international level. Major international brands use our trademark in several foreign countries as the number one Golden Brand in Georgia”, said Jincharadze.

Since the day of the establishment of award ceremony, the Golden Brand awards have been supported by the Ministry of Economy of Georgia, the Georgian Chamber of Commerce, the American Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Businessmen, the International Chamber of Commerce, Tbilisi City Hall, Georgia, Switzerland, the Business Council and the Women's Council of Industry in Georgia.

None of the business award ceremonies in Georgia have such a long history as Golden Brand. How have you managed to run an awards ceremony which has lasted for so many years and is always interesting and important for businesses as well as for the public?

We have been on the market for 15 years and popularity is constantly growing because it is based on our openness and transparency. This is the secret to our successful business. The trust of companies is the secret that has given us the possibility to remain in this business for so many years.

We try not to leave any questions unanswered and to be as open as possible when dealing with partners.

It is very prestigious for companies to receive our award. When our symbol or inscription ‘Golden Brand-No.1’ is labeled on a product, this means the product is reliable in terms of both quality and popularity.

Please describe the process by which winners are selected.

The first stage involves a complete study of the market, which includes studying companies’ advertising and PR activities, as well as the introduction of modern management systems, quality management and improvement of the company. We pay great attention to social responsibility and activities carried out in this direction.

Then we create a questionnaire, which is divided into two parts. The first part is distributed to customers where they choose their favorite brand in each nomination online, while the second part is given to economy experts. As these nominations are very specific, customers alone would not be able to select the best companies, hence the involvement of experts in this process is very important.

To note, in the process of selecting what companies receive the Golden Brand award, we cooperate with a group of people composed of professors, business administration specialists, independent experts, consulting groups, and state and non-governmental sector representatives.

What must a brand achieve to be successful?

A brand should be more than a logo and a trademark, in simple words it is an intangible asset for a business and a reputation for a customer. In many cases, the value of a brand and trademark far exceeds the material value of the company.

How quickly are the Golden Brand award ceremonies growing year after year? The awards are always notable for their high-ranking guests.

It is a great honor for us to have guests attending our event, and we keep it interesting by including a lot of show elements.

The number of guests grows every year. In the first years we had about 200 guests, in recent years the number of guests has reached 400-500 people. Nevertheless, unfortunately, we are not able to receive all the guests physically. However, we are trying to increase the list of guests for next year and satisfy all who want to attend the awards ceremony.

What is your impression of how the coronavirus pandemic has affected Georgian businesses and has it had an influence on the award ceremony?

The coronavirus has caused serious damage to the world economy and, of course, has had a negative impact on our country. As you know, we have a very close relationship with business and we know what problems have arisen, especially in tourism and related businesses. The hotel, restaurant, travel businesses have been hit hard, the malls and exporters are in a difficult situation, but everyone is ready to regain their positions with redoubled energy.

Moreover, the measures taken by the government have given us the opportunity to overcome the first stage of the epidemic with just small losses, and as a result we have created an image of a safe country in the world. So I expect tourism will return to normal soon and may even increase the number of visitors next year. This, on the other hand, will give the opportunity to the companies which were damaged this year to get back on track and regain what they lost.

As for us, I think the crisis management of our company has been carried out at a fairly high level, we have been able to solve the problems with minimal losses. If the country is able to cope with the so-called second wave, the country's economy will soon regain its previous position in all directions.

Finally, I would like to end my interview with a good note and once again congratulate the winning companies on their success. I am sure that the Georgian economy will be strengthened through such companies.

Magistri, one of the leading security companies in Georgia, continues to offer exceptional security solutions to customers in Georgia. This year the company is planning to further expand its service and offer helicopter flights throughout Georgia with personal security teams for VIP clients.

Director of Magistri Tornike Jojua said that negotiations with aviation organizations are already underway and soon the service will become available for Magistri customers.

“The world is developing every day and innovative technologies are being developed. We do our best to follow global trends and we are introducing all the innovations we see in the global security field to Georgia as well. We are constantly offering novelties, different campaigns and renewed services to our customers.

“Offering helicopter flights with personal security for our VIP clients is not the only surprise for our customers. We will introduce several new plans step by step during this year. But first of all, our major plan is to expand in Georgia, cover the whole country and provide security services to private as well as legal entities”, said Jojua.

Magistri has been operating in the Georgian market for 16 years already. It was one of the first companies in Georgia to receive a license for security services in 2009. Over this time, Magistri has gained rich experience and established cooperation with leading Georgian companies and citizens.

Magistri is proud of its high-quality service, modern high-tech security systems, professional staff, and its modern management principles. The successful activities that were introduced by Magistri last year were crowned by receiving one of the most prestigious and influential business awards this year – Golden Brand. This is the first Golden Brand award for the company.

The company also received awards in the ‘Leader of the Field’ category from the National Business Rating Union and Jojua was recognized as the ‘Manager of the Year’ for his remarkable efforts in developing Magistri.

“Our company has successfully ensured the safety of more than 1,000 individuals and their property and is proud to have acquired many partners over the course of 16 years of professional experience. Our customers trust Magistri. Among them are our loyal customers who have been with us since the company was founded”, Jojua said.

Among the Magistri customers are Caucasus University, Aladashvili Clinic, Greenhouse Corporation, Georgian Cyber Security Bureau, Georgian Football Federation, Carrefour, Foodmart, Rompetrol, 2 Nabiji, Vestel and others.

Currently, more than 500 people are employed at Magistri. Jojua said that each of them are selected based on practical experience, physical characteristics and intellectual abilities.

“The main circles of our security service staff are represented by Georgian State Security officers and reserve officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs who have many years of practical and theoretical experience in the field of security”, Jojua said.

Currently, Magistri offers the following services: live force protection, alarm systems, alarm buttons, video monitoring systems, door phones, GPS satellite monitoring, GPS monitoring of children, pets and cars, smart modules and smoke detectors.

Magistri has been introducing global innovations to the Georgian market. Could you please tell us more about what innovative services the company has introduced?

Magistri offers more than 15 security services and among them are innovative services such as smart modules, helmet control mechanisms on construction sites, and others.

In addition, we offer customers a simplified payment system. They can pay on the internet or with mobile banking payment systems without leaving their home.

We try to make it easier for our customers to cooperate with us. In doing so, Magistri tries to be the stable leader of the security service field on the Georgian market.

In 2018 we were invited to Turkey to attend an exhibition of security systems. There we were introduced to world achievements in security systems and have already implemented some of them in our company.

In 2019 we rebranded Magistri, renewed our auto fleet and equipped it with special equipment. As a result, our emergency response crew can automatically receive information about problematic issues, both in text and photo/video form.

What are the most in-demand services that Magistri has to offer?

The highest demand is for the following services: video monitoring systems, protection of property by live force and alarm systems.

Besides the capital city of Tbilisi, where else are the services of Magistri available in Georgia?

Besides Tbilisi we are represented in Rustavi, Batumi and Zugdidi.

In the future, we plan to enter other cities as well and offer our security services there as well.

Congratulations on winning the Golden Brand award. In your opinion, why did experts name Magisti their favorite company?

First of all, I would like to thank the organizers on behalf of the whole team of Magistri for organizing this very important and necessary business award ceremony. We are delighted to be the recipients of this important award. For Magistri, this is a challenge and incentive to maintain the status of the number one Golden Brand company.

From the past year’s activities, I would like to point out the following: over the past year, we have acquired quite a few new partners, rebranded the company, renewed our auto fleet, added a number of innovative services, and implemented a variety of marketing activities.

 Construction materials hypermarket of the famous French brand Bricorama has won the most prestigious and influential business award of Georgia – the Golden Brand award, cementing its position as the No. 1 construction materials hypermarket in the country.

In her interview with Golden Brand, Head of Administration of Bricorama Georgia Keti Lobzhanidze named several activities in 2019 that earned the company the award and recognition.

“2019 was very fruitful for Bricorama. I would point out several campaigns that were the most successful: DIY, in other words, the ‘Do It Yourself’ masterclasses, through which we taught customers how to repair apartments with their own hands; ‘Compare Price and Quality’ campaign, through which customers could choose the right products. As part of the campaign, if consumers found the same product purchased from us cheaper elsewhere, we doubled the difference between the prices on their Bricorama loyalty card.

“I would also like to highlight our social responsibility project. Within the project Bricorama contributed to the construction of the Autism Center”, said Lobzhanidze.

She said that during Bricorama’s four years of existence, the company has earned the affection and loyalty of many customers, the number of which is constantly growing.

“One of the results of this trust is that this year we received the Golden Brand award in the category of favorite repair and construction hypermarkets. We are very proud to be the winners of this award. We think more and more consumers will discover everything they need at Bricorama to repair their own homes or yards”, she said.

Bricorama is the first ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) concept hypermarket in Georgia, offering high-quality products and helping customers with their home improvement projects through providing professional advice and expertise, combined with innovative services and strongly competitive prices.

DIY is a method of building, modifying, or repairing things without the direct aid of experts or professionals. DIY is explained as behaviors where “individuals engage raw and semi-raw materials and parts to produce, transform, or reconstruct material possessions, including those drawn from the natural environment”.

When it opened in 2016 in Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi, France’s largest retailer of home repair and personal design products Bricorama brought 42 years of experience to the Georgian market.

Bricorama specializes in sanitary ware and plumbing, garden care and outdoor furniture, flooring and wall coverings, decoration, painting, lighting and electric materials, tools, power tools, household goods and many other products.

After summarizing the year 2019 now please share your impressions of 2020. How has this year started for Bricorama?

We started the year 2020 with active campaigns, but the nationwide quarantine regulations that were announced to avoid the spread of the coronavirus in our country has changed our plans. We had to switch to online sales.

In general, online sales are not well developed in Georgia and are not widespread as it is in other developed countries. Accordingly, we were not fully prepared for online sales. However, the current situation forced us to adapt as quickly as possible and meet the existing requirements.

We managed to switch to online sales structurally and technically in just three days. I am not talking about only online sales. We made it possible to buy the desired products remotely - via social media or the phone. In fact, each of our customers has a personal consultant who helps them choose the product they need in the desired price range.

We hope that the whole country will soon return to its usual rhythm and we will continue to actively receive our customers again, making various offers for them, which we have been doing with great success so far.

Bricorama has special offers and discount schemes for individuals as well as for professional artisans. Please tell us more about these offers.

Yes, we have loyalty cards for individuals and for professional artisans.

‘Bonus Cards’, which are for individuals, is a loyalty programme of Bricorama. This card returns 2.5% of the amount paid to the cardholder.

For professional artisans, we have the so-called ‘Craftsman's Card’, which we introduced this year. Every artisan who takes this card, benefits from a permanent 15% discount.

How do you make it easier for customers to choose and buy products at Bricorama?

The company’s priority is to create a comfortable and simplified environment. Therefore, Bricorama shelves are equipped with innovative electronic price tags.

Customers will see four categories of products at Bricorama hypermarket – for restoring, repair, gardening, and care and decoration. In each category, we are constantly offering customers novelties and innovative products. In addition, all our consultants are always ready to provide competent advice about our products and to help you plan your DIY project.

How many products are available at Bricorama and how many new products have you introduced recently?

Currently, Bricorama offers 55,000 different products. Compared to the previous year the number of Bricorama’s products has increased by about 10,000 items.

We can freely say that Bricorama offers the most reliable and safest choice to customers as 100% of our imported products are certified by the European Union and meet international safety standards. On the shelves of Bricorama Georgia stores, you can find the exact equivalent of products presented by the European network of Bricorama.

Each of the products sold at Bricorama stores has undergone all kinds of quality and safety certification, which is quite a rare fact for the Georgian market.

 

Kordzadze Law Office, a leading law firm in Georgia, intends to diversify its legal services for both private and legal entities and offer ‘specific packages’, which will be a novelty in the market.

“For now, I will refrain from specifying any details, but I would like to emphasize that the news will be innovative and interesting for the market”, said Zviad Kordzadze, managing partner and attorney of Kordzadze Law Office.

With the expansion of services, the firm has decided to take on new employees as well. Kordzadze said that the new additions will be one of the important aspects of the law firm’s activities this year.

Operating on the Georgian market since 2002, Kordzadze Law Office has gained the reputation of a reliable, ethical and highly professional law firm. And it is this very reputation that brought it its 12th Golden Brand victory this year from the leading business awards ceremony in Georgia.

Through Kordzadze Law Office’s long-term cooperation with its partners, the firm provides its clients with services such as notarial, translation, execution, auditorial and arbitration services.

A wide choice of qualified legal assistance is available to both local and foreign legal entities, organizations and individuals.

How has the coronavirus pandemic affected the activities of Kordzadze Law Office? What challenges has it created and how has the firm overcome them?

Crises can always create additional opportunities. On one hand, they have negative consequences, but once the crisis slows down, additional chances, as well as challenges, appear.

As you know, our services are in demand, so we have to always make sure to remain in good shape. As soon as the crisis subsided and once the worst period passed, it appeared that legal entities and individuals, who had stopped working and now want to emerge from the crisis and moreover, to develop, now need qualified legal services. This situation has led to our decisions to diversify legal services and do our best to help these people.

Kordzadze Law Office was offering free legal consultations to people in quarantine and isolation. You also announced that you would provide free legal aid to people who have been fined during the state of emergency. Please explain more specifically what kind of legal advice may be required for quarantined people?

This was our first offer when the crisis started and many things, including legal changes, were vague.

The rights and responsibilities of those who were in quarantine were not fully and clearly established. The state of emergency has not been yet announced and people had many questions, including about their employment and other issues.

Accordingly, we tried to help these people and some of them benefited from this service.

In addition, there was a demand for services related to fines. People asked us for assistance and asked about the possibility of appealing these fines, for which we provided legal services as well.

What types of legal violations are most common in the country in connection with the coronavirus?

The problems people faced during this time were various.

For example, there was a case when a woman was a citizen of Georgia and her husband was a stateless foreigner, therefore it became a problem for that person to enter Georgia.

Mostly we consulted on employment-related issues, as well as the peculiarities of the force majeure behavior of businesses and the impact of the pandemic and the state of emergency on contractual relationships, whether they could defer their obligations or, conversely, demand their fulfillment.

The signature of the email sent from the Kordzadze Law Office reads that 20 per cent of Georgia is occupied by Russia. There is also a map that shows those occupied territories. Why have you decided to include this message?

I made this decision because I have a feeling that we have become overly accustomed to this fact that our country is occupied by Russia and that this topic has lost its actuality in everyday life. When I read sociological surveys, the occupation takes third and fourth place compared to other problems.

We communicate with foreign clients by e-mail. They should know that we will not forget and accept that 20 per cent of Georgia is occupied by Russia.

I especially enjoy sending emails to addresses where a Russian citizen may read them.

Congratulations on winning a Golden Brand award. This was the 12th Golden Brand win for Kordzadze Law Office. What is your impression – what led your office to this success?

It is important for us that over the years we have managed to keep this recognition and consistently receive the Golden Brand award.

This success once again underlines that we are leaders and occupy the leading position in the legal field. We would not become the recipients of Golden Brand awards if it were not for the high confidence shown in us by our clients. We have won this award thanks first of all to our clients.

I think that experts took into account that our office is always oriented at the interests of its clients; protecting and achieving clients’ interests by every means permitted by the law and by strictly following ethical norms.

 

 

 

 

The world’s largest food and beverage company Nestlé plans to expand its business and bring children’s nutrition productions to various, difficult-to-reach mountain regions in Georgia in 2020.

In addition, the brand plans to optimize its portfolio by replacing products less in demand with new flavors.

“For example, we will replace the 90-gram soft-packed fruit juices of Gerber with fruit jams of the Nestlé brand. Of course, we are not canceling the Gerber brand. We will keep Gerber’s products in glass jar packaging”, said Giorgi Kakauridze from Nestlé.

Kakauridze said that this year, Nestlé will introduce new porridges on the Georgian market under the brand of Shagayka, which are intended for children over one year of age.

In recognition of Nestlé’s leadership in nutrition, health and wellness, the brand has become a Golden Brand winner in Georgia, named by customers and over 200 experts as their favorite children’s nutrition brand in Georgia.

“Being named the leading brand in Georgia in the field of children’s nutrition is a big motivation for our team, which will encourage us to bring new products to Georgia and develop further in the country,” said Kakauridze.

“High quality, healthy and safe products, affordable prices and a team of professionals. This is what has made for Nestlé’s success”, he added.

Nestlé offers Georgian customers around 90 different products that are available at almost all major supermarkets, hypermarkets and pharmacy networks in the country.

Nestlé first appeared in Georgia at the end of the 19th century and this is proved by the 1889 publication, which was published in the newspaper Iveria. What was the first product Nestlé brought to Georgia?

Yes, this is true. Nestlé first appeared on the Georgian market in the 19th century and Iveria wrote about it.

The first product Nestlé brought to Georgia was milk flour and not milk powder as we call it today.

Last year, Nestlé introduced new flavors of the Gerber brand on the Georgian market. How have customers reacted to this new brand?

Last year we added Gerber’s meat flavors to Nestlé’s array of products, which gained popularity among Georgian customers and contributed to the increase of sales of Nestlé in Georgia.

In general, year-on-year demand for Nestlé products has been increasing in Georgia by about 25%. 

How does Georgia follow Nestlé development trends? I mean, are all new products of Nestlé available in our country?

Of course we bring many novelties to the Georgian market but not everything that is produced by Nestlé. The reason is that there is no need in Georgia to have all the products that Nestlé produces. For example, water. Nestlé produces water as well but there is no need to import Nestlé water in Georgia as local production of water is well-developed here.

From which countries are Nestlé products imported to Georgia?

Nestlé products that are imported to Georgia are produced in Switzerland, Germany and Poland. Then it is stored in Russia and then from there, it enters our country through the Larsi checkpoint.

Nestlé and social responsibility. Is the company involved in corporate social responsibility activities or charities in Georgia?

At Nestlé we believe that by developing better nutrition habits for future generations, we improve the quality of their life and support a healthier future.

This is how everything started more than 150 years ago when our founder Henri Nestlé brought infant formula (Nestlé's Milk Food) to the market that saved a child’s life. We have continued his work by launching a programme called ‘Nestlé Healthy Kids’ through which we support parents as they raise healthy children.

The goal of the programme is to create and raise awareness regarding good nutritional practices, cooking methods to enhance the nutritional content of foods and physical fitness among students in village schools.

Our ambition is to speak about healthy lifestyle choices to 50 million children by 2030.

The programme has been running in Georgia since 2011 and aims to raise the quality of nutrition, health and well-being of school-age children through educational activities, and inform teachers, children and parents about the basic principles of a healthy lifestyle, especially the importance of healthy nutrition and physical activity, which is extremely important for the health and development of a child.

The programme is implemented in the form of free, fun lessons, conversations, quizzes, exercises and various events in second and third grade of elementary school.

As of today the programme in Georgia covers 37 schools and 7,560 pupils.

The programme has been implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health of Georgia.