- Thursday, 25 May 2023
- Written by Super User
Radio holding Maestro is striving to be more visible online, sharing content at its website http://radiomaestro.ge, on social networks and its YouTube channel in order to reach its listeners not only in Georgia but abroad.
Tamar Ghlonti, acting director of Radio Maestro, spoke with Golden Brand about how the holding is dealing with the current challenges and why it is important for the company to strengthen its presence online.
Q. What are recent developments at Radio holding 94.7 FM?
A. The last period has been very active for Radio Maestro due to our format. In light of the biggest events taking place in the world, the Russia-Ukraine war for example, the amount of news coverage on our airwaves has increased. The number of recorded interviews with foreign and Georgian politicians and experts has also increased. Among them the most significant is the monthly summary interview with Mykhailo Podoliak, the adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, with whom Levan Chitanava, a journalist of Radio Maestro, is in close contact. In the interviews, Levan discusses not only the course of the Russia-Ukraine war, but also issues of world importance and challenges related to Georgia. This indicates why Radio Maestro is a reliable and esteemed media outlet even outside the country.
Q. How diverse are the programs at Radio Maestro?
A. Radio Maestro is news radio, although its broadcasting network is really diverse — listeners not only receive complete and reliable information not only on current news, but also educational programs that will interest all ages, as well as business and medical programs, technology news, historical events, etc.
Legal questions are also very relevant among listeners, so we added a program about that. This is an open air where listeners are actively involved. Also, listeners have the opportunity to express their opinion on the important events of the day live on the program "People's opinion". The calls are not filtered, which shows that Radio Maestro is open, independent and impartial.
Q. How developed is the radio sector in Georgia and what is Radio Maestro’s contribution?
A. The radio sector is definitely developed in Georgia, although it would probably be even more developed under conditions of a healthy and suitable environment. Radio Maestro has been going for twelve years, and throughout this period we have never stood still and have always introduced innovative approaches in the sector, which we will definitely continue.
The relevance of the radio sector became even more tangible during the pandemic, when it was once again proven that the radio is an important instrument for the spread of information and an important actor in the media sector.
Q. What are the challenges the sector is facing currently?
A. At this stage, the biggest challenge for the radio sector are abnormally high government taxes.
In order for this sector to develop, it needs a decent income from advertising, which unfortunately does not meet the requirements that exist in the sector. All kinds of research, including research commissioned by our competing media outlets, prove that Radio Maestro is one of the most rated media outlets. It is the only radio with news format that broadcasts 24/7 all over Georgia, interest in us is also obvious from the business sector.
But radio has a limitation on the timing of advertising blocks. Businesses in Georgia do not have the opportunity to invest large financial resources in advertising, and the funds that flow into independent media are not enough to deal with taxes. Therefore a balanced policy from the state is needed in the long term.
Q. Last year, the total commercial advertising revenue of television and radio broadcasters decreased by 7.6% compared to the previous year — 79.9 million GEL. Is it related to banning gambling ads, or what reasons would you give?
A. Yes, these restrictions certainly have a huge impact on radio advertising revenue. A balanced and adequate approach from the state is needed. Taxes are increasing, while income is decreasing.
Q. How does the decrease in income complicate the activities of radio broadcasters, including Maestro?
A. Of course, it has made it difficult, but we managed and started working with a different system. I would say that global technological development has helped us, which is why it is important for the country to become a member of European structures, which will give us the opportunity to further develop and not lag behind the world.
Q. Please tell us why Radio Maestro supports the Golden Brand awards.
A. Golden Brand is an incentive for businesses and important for the country. It will lead to the economic development and growth of the country in the future. So Radio Maestro will always support such events and initiatives with the necessary information campaign
Gudauri Inn, a hotel operated by one of Georgia’s leading hospitality companies, Inn Group, is expanding with a new building next to the existing hotel, which will offer 32 high-class rooms with perfect views, a spa center, and a swimming pool.
CEO of Inn Group, Erekle Kokaia, said construction is due to be completed by next winter.
Located in the heart of Georgia’s popular ski resort of Gudauri, 4-star Gudauri Inn hotel features 92 stylish rooms with balconies and magnificent views of the surrounding mountains. The hotel is a perfect getaway for ski lovers and those who wish to relax surrounded by the majestic Caucasus mountains.
Q. Let’s start our interview by talking about the Golden Brand award. Gudauri Inn has become a favorite ski hotel of Georgian customers and experts. What does this recognition mean for you?
A. Each such recognition is a great honor and incentive for us, because it shows that we are on the right track.
It is the second year that the hotels located in the mountain resorts of Inn Group — Gudauri Inn and Bakuriani Inn — have won the Golden Brand, which is obviously a great incentive to continue to grow and develop, to expand our team, and to promote the development of tourism in our country.
Q. What special offers does Gudauri Inn have for its guests?
A. Gudauri Inn is a four-star hotel which is distinguished by impressive views from almost every floor, amazingly comfortable rooms, and delicious food. In the near future, we plan to add another building to the hotel, which will work for the premium segment and in which, in addition to the rooms, there will be a pool, sauna and jacuzzi.
Q. Since attention was mostly directed to Bakuriani, as it was hosting FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships this year, and the winter was not that snowy, how was occupancy at Gudauri Inn during the winter season?
A. January could have been better. Occupancy dropped to about 60%. Our expectation was about 80%. Fortunately we achieved this result in February, but as the season ended and the weather changed, occupancy dropped back to 60%.
It should be said that this winter was unusual. We don't remember when there was no snow during the whole season in Bakuriani and Gudauri. The only thing that saved the season was the New Year, when occupancy rate is always very high. As soon as the New Year ends, if there is no snow, the demand for ski resorts drops. As soon as the snow fell the situation improved, especially in Bakuriani.
Q. Inn Group is continuing its expansion across the country with a new hotel planned for Akhaltsikhe in the southwestern region of Samtskhe-Javakheti. Please share some details of this project.
A. Akhaltsikhe Inn will be a 115-room, five-star hotel, which will feature a restaurant, swimming pool, sauna, gym, entertainment spaces with billiards and board games, a courtyard and conference halls.
The hotel will be suitable for foreigners, locals, and corporate clients.
There are often so many holidaymakers and travelers in the summer in Akhaltsikhe that the city can’t accommodate them all. On the other hand, the number of travelers decreases drastically during the winter. That is exactly why we will try to make Akhaltsikhe Inn attractive to corporate clients and businesses with solid offers. That’s why the hotel will have medium and large conference halls, with places to rest and a lot of space for entertainment.
With our new hotel, we want to promote this region among both foreign and local vacationers.
Q. What are your impressions of the newly-opened Gori Inn hotel?
A. When we announced that we were building a hotel in Gori, everyone asked, why Gori?
We have several answers to this question; the first is that Inn Group always tries to promote different regions of the country as we see potential in all the regions of Georgia, including Gori, and the number of hotel reservations confirms this. Our goal is to make the Shida Kartli region and its city of Gori as interesting for Georgians as it is for tourists. The interest is already quite high, but we think that Gori Inn will have many more visitors from spring onwards.
In addition we have created a number of jobs in the area, as 99% of the hotel’s employees are locals.
Q. Let’s talk about the Kutaisi Inn hotel in Georgia’s Imereti region, which has been named the most successful new hotel of the year according to research conducted by the Swiss Ratings Association. How did you achieve this?
A. It was a great honor for us to win this just a few months after the hotel’s opening.
Kutaisi Inn is the first 5-star hotel in Kutaisi, where guests are greeted with wonderfully comfortable rooms, delicious cuisine and a yard hidden among evergreen trees. This success is due to the efforts of each employee at Kutaisi Inn, as well as each of our guests, the people who entrust their vacation experience to us.
Inn Group and all its member companies continue their journey of development on the Georgian market, striving to be a symbol of Georgian hospitality.Read more
Griphot has become Georgian consumers’ favorite remedy for cold, winning the most influential and prestigious local business award, the Golden Brand.
Introduced to the Georgian market by a leading Turkish pharmaceutical company Asfarma in 2004, Griphot has been named a favorite remedy for the cold by more than 100 experts and 2000 consumers surveyed by Golden Brand.
Griphot relieves symptoms of cold and flu such as fever, cough, headache, sore throat, and muscle or body aches. It reduces nasal congestion and sinus problems, making breathing easier.
General Director of Asfarma, Ramiz Rasulov, talked about what has led Griphot to the Golden Brand award this year.
“First I would like to point out that the recognition of Griphot as a favorite brand is a great honor and a great responsibility towards the country, the medical community, and every consumer. It’s also a sign that the company is responding appropriately to their needs and requirements.
“The main goal of Asfarma is to identify the needs of customers and offer them high-quality products. A good example of this approach is Griphot, recognized as the favorite brand of 2022, a medicine that has a strong reputation through the years among the medical community and consumers, built on meeting the expectations associated with the brand promises," he said.
Q. What is the competitive advantage of Griphot?
A. The competitive advantage of Griphot is in its unique composition, which simultaneously treats all symptoms of flu and cold in adults and children from six years of age. One of its components - Oxalamine citrate, effectively and safely defeats cough and distinguishes Griphot from other anti-cold products on the market.
Q. Please tell us how Asfarma has been developing in the Georgian market.
A. The company has been engaged in the marketing and sales of medicines and food supplements, which are produced by solidly established pharmaceutical companies in Turkey, as well as other countries of the world.
Asfarma operates in more than ten countries of the world, including European countries and Georgia, with 120 brands. The company’s headquarters is located in Istanbul, Turkey.
Asfarma established its office in Tbilisi in 1999. It was one of the first companies that started operating in the pharmaceutical market of Georgia and had a unique work style. Despite the small number of employees, the company quickly mastered the pharmaceutical market and established business relations with other pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy chains.
During our operation, the company’s strategy has always corresponded to the requirements of the pharmaceutical market, society and Georgian legislation.
Q. Can you remember what the first medicine that Asfarma introduced to the Georgian market was?
A. The company started operations with four products on the Georgian market, among them was the non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug Teksamen in two forms - tablet and injection. Teksamen quickly gained the trust and love of the medical community and is still recognized as a reliable product.
Q. Which pharmacy chains do you cooperate with in Georgia?
A. We cooperate with all pharmacy chains in Georgia — PSP, Aversi, GEPHA, and Impex.
Q. What is Asfarma’s contribution to the development of the Georgian pharmaceutical market?
A. I would like to proudly note that Asfarma's contribution to the development of the Georgian pharmaceutical market is significant. With more than 20 years of wide-ranging experience, the company has been offering Georgian consumers and the medical community high-quality, efficient, and reliable products satisfying their needs.
Q. How many medicines does Asfarma’s current portfolio consist of?
A. The company's portfolio in Georgia currently includes up to 50 brands in such therapeutic areas as gynecology, cardiology, endocrinology, urology, neurology, pediatrics, rheumatology dermatology, gastroenterology, respiratory system – allergology, and others.
Q. Could you please also share some future plans?
A. We plan to expand our portfolio by focusing on high-quality products manufactured by our partners according to the Good Manufacturing Practice Standards and continue contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of our population.
Franco Fontana, a well-known and dynamic fine jewelry brand from Italy, continues to carve out a reputation as one of Georgia’s most innovative purveyors of fine jewelry.
The brand has been on the Georgian market for nineteen years, now with six stores, which follow new trends and bring everyday luxury into the Georgian customers’ life.
Quality, excellence and customer satisfaction are the most important values at every stage for Franco Fontana. These values helped the brand win the hearts of Georgian customers, who have named Franco Fontana as their favorite jewelry brand for the third year running.
Company Director Maka Razmadze said that, since the day of its establishment, Franco Fontana’s stores have been offering the most “trendy, fashionable and famous” brands to the Georgian consumer.
“The Franco Fontana jewelry store chain offers a diverse collection of the finest Italian gold, diamond and silver. This is a brand that very often updates its collection for its loyal customers,” Razmadze said.
Q. What does Franco Fontana offer Georgian customers? What can customers find in your stores?
A. Gold jewelry is an irreplaceable accessory that is relevant at any time. Franco Fontana’s gold jewelry is ideal for both women and men, so we offer them the most sophisticated, modern style.
Q. What are the top-selling pieces at Franco Fontana stores?
A. From the trendy jewelry of 2023 Franco Fontana selects the following top selling pieces: extraordinary diamond jewelry; Gold Art collection, distinguished by the latest laser processing tech; Italian brand Maxioro's men's line, exclusively presented in Franco Fontana; the CAORO line, which stands out even more for its authentic representation of the style and traditions of Italian goldsmithing; Pomi - a brand that brings colors to jewelry and characterized by a special feminine and romantic collection;
and finally the silver collection, distinguished by high quality and fantastic pieces of jewelry.
I also want to mention that Franco Fontana's silver products are coated in a thin layer of rhodium for extra strength and luster.
Q. How has Franco Fontana been developing on the Georgian market?
A. We began with one store and increased our presence on the market to six stores. We have managed to achieve this thanks to the loyalty of our customers and the efforts of our experienced staff, several of whom have been with us from the opening day of our first store.
We were able to turn from one store into a network of leading jewelry stores in Georgia.
Our company is a leader which introduced the Italian gold standard to Georgia. Our contribution to the development of the market is large. We introduced Italian, laser-cut gold jewelry. It is the achievement of Franco Fontana that precious stones, including diamonds, now come with certificates. Franco Fontana managed to raise the standards on the market and regulate them.
Q. How would you assess the development of the jewelry market in Georgia?
A. The jewelry market in Georgia is really diverse; as regards quality, the customers’ budget should be taken into account when evaluating this. To give an example of our brand, our items meet all international standards and have quality certificates; so when buying jewelry at Franco Fontana, quality is guaranteed, and the customer only has to worry about the look.
We also introduced the Italian gold standard to Georgia. These are the main reasons why Franco Fontana maintains the Golden Brand award.
Q. What is the competitive advantage of Franco Fontana?
A. As you know, every major brand on the world market has competitors. As for Franco Fontana, we offer our customers a collection of high quality gold, silver and diamonds, as well as exclusive exhibition items presented only in our chain of stores.
We offer the best customer service thanks to our attentive consultants, who are always ready to help customers choose their jewelry with a smile. We create a very pleasant and warm environment at Franco Fontana stores.
Also, compared to other jewelry stores in Georgia, we offer a wide variety of different brands of different price categories under one roof. These brands are Dorica, Maxioro, Caoro, Gold Art, Pomi and others. Customers can find affordable jewelry pieces at our store and this helps satisfy all customers.
Q. What are your plans for 2023?
A. Our goal is to be able to meet the expectations of customers this year as well.
To offer a diverse selection of quality and trendy jewelry and to satisfy the tastes and desires of all customers.
We also added lotteries in 2023. We already have winners — lots of happy customers, which gives us even more incentive to provide satisfaction to our customers now and into the future.Read more
Eurobrand, the largest network of outlet stores in Georgia, continues to expand in the country with a new store at Rustavi Mall in the southeastern city of Rustavi.
“We plan to add several stores in Tbilisi and in the regions of the country later this year,” Dudu Brodzeli, Managing Partner, told Golden Brand.
Last year Eurobrand opened two stores, bringing the total number of stores to ten. One store was opened in the eastern city of Telavi, while the other in the capital city. With the opening of these stores, Eurobrand invested one million GEL into the Georgian economy and employed 25 people.
Q. In the category favorite outlet hypermarket Georgian customers and experts named Eurobrand as their favorite in the Golden Brand survey. What led the company to this success, in your opinion?
A. We are very happy to win the Golden Brand award and would like to say thank you to the organizers and all the customers and experts who participated in the survey.
For each person employed at Eurobrand, this is a great incentive and motivation to do better at what we do.
This win is a result of the selfless work of the large family at Eurobrand. We offer the largest selection of clothes, footwear and accessories, at the lowest prices, along with good services at our branches.
Q. The Golden Brand is given to the companies for successful activities of the previous year. So, please summarize 2022.
A. 2022 was quite successful for Eurobrand, we expanded with two branches — one in Tbilisi on Beri Gabriel Salosi Street, and one in Telavi Mall in Telavi. In total, we invested 1,000,000 GEL and employed 25 people last year.
Q. How did Eurobrand take off in Georgia?
A. Eurobrand has been operating in Georgia since 2013. Our first branch was opened in the Tbilisi Sports Palace. This was the first large-format outlet hypermarket in Georgia, where well-known brands were offered at a discount of up to 70%.
Since its opening, Eurobrand has enjoyed great popularity among Georgian consumers, and for this reason the company's management has set the goal of expanding the Eurobrand network. Our goal was to cover Tbilisi as much as possible in the first stage, and in 2014-2015 we added three large-format branches in the shopping centers of Gldani Mall, Karvasla and at Shandor Petefi Street.
We wanted Eurobrand to be in all major cities of Georgia and started opening branches in the regions. In 2016 we opened the first branch in Batumi, after which a large store was also opened in Kutaisi.
In total, Eurobrand has ten branches covering Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Telavi and Rustavi, while the number of employees in the company is more than 200 people.
Q. What was the idea behind establishing Eurobrand?
A. The goal of Eurobrand since its establishment was to make the outlet collections of well-known brands available to Georgian consumers at a great discount, as it is in any European city.
We think we have successfully achieved this goal, and today everyone has the opportunity to save on big brands and update their wardrobe at little expense.
Q. What are the brands customers can find at Eurobrand stores?
A. The customers can find well-known and favorite brands of the middle segment such as Benetton, Jack&Jones, Vero Moda, Tom Tailor, Sisley, Zara, S. Oliver, Topshop, Only , Selected, Reserved, Vila, Pull&bear, Topman, Celio, Orsay, Cool Club, NA-KD Cropp, House, Bershka, Miss Selfridge, Parfois, Only&Sons, CKS , Mohito, Cortefiel , Springfield, Guess, Puma, Pepe jeans, Adidas, Diadora. Outlet collections are offered at a 70% discount at Eurobrand stores.
Q. We see that many new outlet stores are opening in the country, but during the pandemic some of them were closed. How does Eurobrand manage to maintain its position on the market?
A. Despite the number of new outlet stores in Georgia, Eurobrand, as the country’s first outlet store chain, maintains its positions with the variety of brands with the largest selection of collections, and what is most important, customers enjoy unbeatable low prices.
Q. How popular is Eurobrand among Georgian customers, what are the sales figures?
A. Eurobrand is very popular among customers. The number of our customers is increasing every year, which is reflected in the sales figures, of course.
We ended 2022 with a 30% increase in sales. We make a very positive forecast for 2023 and expect to see a 25%-30% increase.Read more
A global producer of natural ingredients, ingredient systems and integrated solutions for the food, beverage and nutrition industry, Doehler Georgia has developed more than a hundred innovative products for Georgian non-alcoholic beverage market over its twenty years of operations in the country.
Using the best of nature and innovative technology as the company’s starting point, Doehler’s portfolio ranges from natural flavours, natural colours, natural health ingredients, a vast range of plant-based ingredients to ingredient systems and end-to-end solutions.
“The demand for healthy products and the use of natural raw materials is increasing steadily. The goal of Doehler Georgia is to serve our customers with new product solutions to create successful products on the market, so our team will continue to offer technological innovations and the latest developments to the food industry, products that have additional functional value and contribute to physical and mental well-being,” Commercial Director of Doehler Georgia, Nani Tsulukidze, told Golden Brand.
Q. Doehler Georgia won the Golden Brand award in the category “food industry ingredient". What does this recognition mean to the company in Georgia and for the head office in Germany?
A. We are proud to win the Golden Brand award and it is very important to see that our partner manufacturers, experts and industry consultants are in line with our strategy. It’s great that people now understand more and more the importance of healthy, safe and natural ingredients, trust in Doehler as their partner. Both the local and head offices love to see our hard work appreciated.
Doehler Georgia, like many companies in the world and in our country, went through some hard times with the COVID-19 pandemic, but we never stopped working on new projects and products, and once the restrictions of the pandemic were lifted, we jumped back into operations.
It is especially gratifying that we could gain new companies as partners, which are also focused on creating healthy, natural products. Doehler closely monitors world market trends and strives to offer the right product launch idea and international experience to our corporate clients at the right time. Thanks to these cooperations, new products developed in the Doehler Georgia application lab appeared on the Georgian market at the beginning of 2022, for example non-alcoholic and energy drinks. The new products soon became popular both in Georgia and in export countries.
Q. Could you please tell us about some of the new products offered by Doehler Georgia?
A. Using the best of nature and innovative technology as the company’s starting point, the Doehler portfolio presents more than 5,000 natural food ingredients – natural flavors, fruit and herbal extracts, healthy functional ingredients, cereals, vegetable milk ingredients, nut pastes, fruit and vegetable preparations, natural food colors, natural sweeteners and vegetable concentrates, chocolates, malt, coffee and tea bases, a vast range of plant-based ingredients to ingredient systems and end-to-end solutions.
Our customers know that the company always surprises them with natural products and innovative ingredients. In addition, our customers are always aware of what is happening in the global markets, what are the trends, which fruit flavours are in demand, what types of drinks are preferred, what functional ingredients are popular among health-conscious customers and more. We have been striving to make drinks healthier, functional and nutritional, and many manufacturers reduce the amount of sugar, use natural ingredients and add vitamins.
Q. As we understand, ingredients suitable to the taste of Georgian consumers were developed in the German laboratory. Can you give some examples of those products?
A. For example, aromas of the saperavi grape variety, Georgian pear and tarragon.
When Doehler came to Georgia about twenty years ago, it was a challenge to create acceptable flavours for the Georgian market. A Georgian consumer is quite well aware of drinks, as we are a “cradle of wine” and a country of lemonade as well. So, it was very important that the flavour, taste and colour is authentic, and most importantly, natural.
Georgian flavours are in demand in other countries as well, but the main share of sales comes from Georgia, of course.
Q. What is the current market share of Doehler in Georgia?
A. Today, Doehler Georgia supplies most of non-alcoholic beverages producers in Georgia and has been maintaining its leading position for years.
Food and beverage market is growing in Georgia and success of new projects will certainly have a direct impact on the our growth as well. With natural raw materials and innovative technologies as our starting point, we always go one step further to create real added value for customers and consumers. This is how we bring ideas to life and pave the way for turning smart ideas into amazing products – for unique, multi-sensory experiences and Nutritional Excellence.