- Sunday, 28 May 2023
Pasta Reggia, an Italian pasta manufacturer on the market for a decade, has rolled out its new Nutri Bio and La Ruvida Italiana lines, intertwining Mediterranean tradition and conscious health decisions.
Reggia pasta is a dinnertime favorite for many around the world, including in Georgia. In a survey conducted by Golden Brand, over 2,000 customers and 100 experts named Pasta Reggia as their favorite.
Tamar Kaladze, Head of the Marketing Department at BMS - the Georgian company which imports and distributes Pasta Reggia in Georgia - shared her impressions of winning the Golden Brand.
Q. Pasta Reggia has been declared Georgian customers’ favorite pasta, winning its first Golden Brand award. How has the brand achieved this recognition in Georgia, in your opinion?
A. I think the success and recognition of the brand are determined by several factors — the first and main factor is high quality, which is always unchanged, high penetration of the brand in the market, which determines its availability, and continuous and stable supply.
We all probably remember the products that disappeared from the shelves during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support and help of the supplier, Pasta Reggia did not have this problem.
Pasta Reggia’s success lies in the high-quality durum wheat from which it is made, preventing it from sticking together during cooking.
Sales of Pasta Reggia are increasing every year. For us 2022 was more successful than 2021, and 2021 was more successful than 2020, and so on. Last year, for example, sales increased by 30% compared to 2021.
The brand is always developing and actively communicates with its customers, providing information about news and promotions both at retail outlets and through digital media. Of course, we continue to work on developing the brand and increasing awareness throughout Georgia.
Q. Please summarize how Pasta Reggia has grown since its first appearance on the Georgian market?
A. Pasta Reggia has been produced in Italy in the small town of Capodrice near Naples since 1949. The company belongs to the fourth generation of the Pallante family. The factory is not large, and the company has a total of five production lines. The family’s motto is not to sacrifice quality for volume. So the quality of Pasta Reggia is always guaranteed.
Pasta Reggia has been in Georgia for more than ten years. The pasta market is quite diverse here, but Reggia is an outstanding brand among many.
Q. How many products are found in Reggia’s portfolio in Georgia?
A. Pasta Reggia has about 54 products here — pasta, ready-made sauces, and canned tomatoes. The best seller is, of course, pasta, in particular spaghetti and fusilli.
Q. How saturated is the Georgian market with pasta and what is Pasta Reggia’s advantage?
A. There are about sixty brands from various countries in Georgia, so the competition is quite stiff, increasing the challenge for us to supply high-quality pasta.
Pasta Reggia has many advantages — we provide geographical and financial availability. We all remember that during and after the pandemic the price of cereals increased quite a bit, and so did the price of pasta. We have tried our best to raise prices minimally and maintain existing prices for as long as possible. Of course, the supplier helped us with this.
Due to rapid development and busy lifestyles, consumers often prepare dishes requiring little time and skill. Pasta is a particularly suitable product. The advantage of Pasta Reggia lies in its high quality and manufacturing technology. As I mentioned before, the pasta is produced with pure durum wheat semolina, water, and without any preservatives, because it is the drying of the product that allows it to be kept naturally.
The grains used in production are carefully selected, always wheat varieties of Italian and European origin. And modern production technologies ensure product safety. That is why Pasta Reggia is a company committed to tradition and quality.
- Sunday, 28 May 2023
Georgian online media outlet Publika is working to expand its audience with new projects to be launched in the near future.
Director General of Publica, Zura Vardiashvili, looked back at recent developments at Publika and talked about the role of media in today’s society in an interview with Golden Brand.
Publika has been supporting the country’s most prestigious and influential business award ceremony, the Golden Brand, for three years running.
Founded in 2019, and having already won two EU prizes for journalism, the online agency Publika is a non-entrepreneurial, non-commercial legal entity, whose governing body is a general assembly of members.
Q. Recently you were detained during a public protest against the infamous “foreign agents” law for “minor misconduct and police disobedience”, before being released in about two hours. What is the responsibility you feel, as a citizen of the country and at the same time as director of a local media outlet, for the country during such important moments, and what impact did these events have on Publika?
A. Let's start with the fact that I did not call Vazha Siradze, the director of the police department, a traitor, as I was accused of doing. I didn't even notice him until he grabbed my hand and called the police with him to arrest me.
I, my colleagues and other demonstrators chanted slogans that we used before in parliament during discussion of the bill — "No to Russian law", "You can’t make Belarus out of this country", "This is treason to your homeland", "Traitors"... It seems that Mr. Vazha Shesha Siradze — yes, he is known by this nickname, because in the winter he used to take firewood [shesha] from the protestors, which they needed for heating — took the slogans addressed to the deputies supporting the Russian law to heart. Or maybe he himself is a supporter of the Russian law and therefore the Russian cause, and took it upon himself.
This was no ordinary protest, nor were my colleagues and I there as activists. We opposed the Russian law precisely as journalists, since it was directed against the media, speech and expression, freedom in general, and we considered it our duty not only to cover these events, but also take a stand.
I think no harm can come from standing on the right side of history, and this was proved by the struggle of hundreds of thousands of citizens who forced the authorities to withdraw their proposed law.
Q. What is the role of the media today in the conditions of information war and how difficult is it to maintain standards of journalism and ethics while fighting propaganda? What is it like to be the director of a media outlet in Georgia today?
A. Yes, the rules of the game are changing. Propaganda refines its own methods, uses new technology. It becomes more difficult to distinguish propaganda from reality. In these conditions independent, qualified and reliable media outlets are assigned a decisive role.
Managing a media outlet in Georgia today means living under high risk, restrictions, arrests, health and even life threats. If you are going to do this, you need to be sure that it is your heartfelt choice.
Q. Please share recent developments and future plans.
A. Publika has always been oriented to innovations. Even now, we are working on various projects to increase the reach and engagement of our media in order to reach as large an audience as possible.
Q. How diverse are the topics or news categories that you offer readers today?
A. We are a public-political publication with topics such as education, healthcare, minorities, the rights of the disabled and socially vulnerable, and others of importance to us.
I think we are meeting the needs and interests of our readers, but it's not good to stay satisfied for long. We are working on new directions, which we will introduce to our audience very soon.
Q. How developed is online media in Georgia and what is Publika’s contribution to this process?
A. Nowadays, if any media in Georgia are fully developed, it’s online.
Obviously there are huge problems as well, for example financial sustainability. Although online marketing in general is growing, businesses avoid cooperation with critical and professional publications in order not to incur the wrath of the authorities, although even in these conditions, online media, including Publika, play a crucial role in protecting freedom of speech and democracy.
Q. Last year, the total commercial advertising revenue of television and radio broadcasters decreased by 7.6% compared to the previous year. What was the data for your sector in this regard?
A. The exact data of the online advertising market is not considered. This is also one of the problems in this market. However, as a general observation, more and more money is being invested online, although this money is still mainly garnered by the international giants, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Tik-Tok.
Q. Publika is a supporter of the Golden Brand awards. Why is this cooperation of interest to Publika?
A. Publika wants to support all activities imbued with responsibility towards such general human values as freedom, equality, protected rights, prosperity. I think that the Golden Brand is based on such values too.
- Sunday, 28 May 2023
Georgia’s leading pharmaceutical company PSP is planning to expand its presence by opening 30 new branches in large villages of the country, while updating the space at its larger stores to offer a more comfortable and pleasant shopping experience to its customers.
Vazha Okriashvili, Director of PSP Pharma, told Golden Brand that “small changes” will be made to the health, beauty and family care areas of stores.
Q. Please tell us how you are going to change your storefront to appeal to customers.
A. Customers always want new things. After a certain period of time, you should engage your customer with even a small change, you should surprise and fascinate them with a new offer, which will make communication with customers even more comfortable and pleasant.
Customers ask us to evolve our brand. In the near future we plan to update our larger stores, where we will allow customers to spend more time and introduce more entertaining elements to the beauty section. We want to make the buying process more pleasant for the customer. The customer will have the opportunity to test how this or that product will fit, even to try different makeup products on.
As for childcare products, based on our experience we have come to the conclusion that baby strollers, playpens and similar products will be moved to e-commerce for purchase on the PSP app. There has been more interest from customers in the direction of gift sets, children's accessories, and we are planning to expand the assortment in this direction from the end of the year.
Regarding the pharmaceutical section, we always want the communication between the customer and the pharmacist to be confidential. With a small minimum barrier, we will allocate a zone to create intimacy and avoid other people’s observance in the communication between the pharmacist and the customer.
We will introduce this concept to our pharmacies this fall and expect to completely update the interior space in our larger pharmacies by 2024.
Q. This year PSP won its eighteenth Golden Brand at the Golden Brand awards ceremony, meaning that PSP has never lost to any other company operating in the same field. What are the main factors that determine the unchanged position of PSP as Georgian customers’ favorite pharmacy chain?
A. PSP has set a goal to be the best in the field, which means following proper, correct processes, and being honest with the people, God and the state. A very good team has been formed, which is able to keep up with global innovations and bring the pharmaceutical market of Georgia closer to international good medical practices.
Q. Speaking of that, which practices and standards have been introduced by PSP to the Georgian pharmaceutical market?
A. For example, the process of getting closer to the GDP standard, a code of standards ensuring that the quality of a medicine is maintained throughout the distribution network, so that authorized medicines are distributed to retail pharmacists and others selling medicines to the general public without any alteration of their properties. This is a continuous process, a way of life for our company.
PSP has always managed to work according to the GDP standard, and when it became mandatory for the market two years ago, our company was partially prepared to meet this. Both the state regulatory body and the German organization have given us recognition that we are indeed working according to the good distribution practices (GDP) standard.
Q. Now let’s continue talking about the key factors that have led PSP to success…
A. One of the key factor that determines PSP’s success is that we are a customer-centric pharmaceutical company. We ensure the supply of quality products to the customer throughout the entire production chain. Two million people visit our pharmacy chains every month and we are responsible for meeting their expectations and offering only the best. We listen carefully to our customers and build strategies on their wishes.
Q. What was the primary goal of PSP and have you achieved it during the 29 years of existence?
A. Physical availability, geographical availability and price availability - these were our primary goals. In my opinion, we have satisfied all three goals.
Since the establishment of the company, work has been going on to ensure physical availability of medicines in Georgia. Our goal was that all the medicines registered in the European Union, and those which our population has been accustomed to since the Soviet Union, should be available to us. We were able to do this around 2002.
I can say that we have achieved geographical availability in the market. With 306 pharmacies, we are able to bring our products to consumers as close to their homes as possible. Most importantly, the costs of transportation do not affect the costs of the products, and medicines cost the same in the country as the region.
As for prices, you know that the reference price system went into effect in 2022 in Georgia, meaning that pharmaceutical companies, importers, distributors and retailers of medical drugs are prohibited from selling medicines at prices exceeding the reference set by authorities. We welcome this initiative, but would question the methodology according to which the reference prices are calculated. In the end, this system is acceptable to us.
Q. How do you view these regulations for the market and for your company?
A. We see every regulation as an opportunity. For example, in 2009, when the concept of parallel import was introduced, it was an opportunity for us to import medicine from European countries in a parallel import system and make medicines cheaper for the population.
You are familiar with another initiative by the government, to import cheaper Turkish medicine. This initiative was also launched last year. This also gave us the opportunity to purchase medicines at the price that is set on the Turkish market, so the prices of many medicines have decreased. But the suppliers also lowered the prices, so getting medicines from Turkey is no longer necessary, and in this case it is more important for us to deal directly with the suppliers, because this way cooperation is more stable. Also, the quality control mechanism works better than under parallel import.
For customers, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday we offer discounts on all medicines. During this period, more vulnerable groups visit our pharmacies. In addition, all 60+ people have discounts on a full range of medicines with us every day.
Q. What are some new global trends in the pharmaceutical market and how does Georgia follow them?
A. Now there is a new trend in the direction of medicines - combined products are more in demand than mono products. While earlier there was only enalapril as an antihypertensive only, now there is enalapril with chlorothiazide. Of course, these innovations are also available in PSP.
Trends are changing in the world and people will slowly move toward prevention to avoid illness. All over the world manufacturers are switching to biologically active supplements because if you maintain the chemical balance in the body, you can better avoid disease.
Q. Now tell us about future goals of the company.
A. PSP is a fully Georgian company. We do Georgian work and serve the Georgian people. This empowers us to be a leader in the pharmaceutical market. We want to be an example to others, how you can start with one pharmacy and become a company that is included in the top 10 largest companies in Georgia and has 35% of the market in its field of operation.
We would like to export medicines manufactured at our factory GM Pharma, which is the only one in the Caucasus recognized by the most famous and influential European experts. Today we export medicines to about ten countries, but we want to achieve more, and if wine is the most famous export product of the country today, why can't it be medicine? In the end, it is very important for the economy of Georgia and its development that more companies export, and I wish each company to fulfill their dreams, and strengthen their country by exporting and bringing more income to our country.
PSP started its activities in 1994 and its first activity in Georgia
was in distribution. Initially, the distribution company PSP Center of Introduction 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.
The name of the company – PSP – is an abbreviation of a Latin phrase, "Paulatim
Summa Petuntur", which in English would mean ‘Step-by-step to the Peack’. And the company strives for just that.