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Universal Project Wins Discovery of The Year Category from Golden Brand Awards

After successfully rebranding in 2021, Universal Project, Georgia’s leading construction project management company, with fifty years of experience and history, has begun a new life with a new name and new goals. The company has already taken impressive steps towards taking the lead, and for its success in the previous year, Universal Project has received the Golden Brand award in the category ‘Discovery of The Year’.

The company is growing and planning a number of activities in the future to do with training, simplification of design, and quality maximization.

Director of Universal Project, Lasha Chelidze, said the company actively cooperates with European companies, sharing experience, knowledge and innovations.

“As an example of such cooperation, we signed a memorandum with the Swiss company GeoBrugg, a global leader in the supply of high-tensile steel wire safety nets and mesh. Among many other important issues, this cooperation with Geobrugg includes the process of training staff to adapt their work style to European standards,” he said.

Specializing in road, water systems, architecture, and topographic works, Universal Project offers a full range of services to customers.

“Partnerships with internationally recognized companies allow the team to solve a project task of any complexity optimally and creatively,” Chelidze said.

Q. Please introduce us to Universal Project. How has the company been developed over the years?
A. The company has been operating on the market for more than fifty years, but before rebranding last year, we went by another name - Roadmap Project and Expertise.

We offer a full package of services to our clients. We guarantee any type of complex project completion with our experienced team, innovative approach, and high competency. We serve the state, large investors and any stakeholders.

Today, we at Universal Project mainly specialize in road works, water systems, projecting, and topography works. With the help of our international partnerships, such as with GeoBrugg, our team can work with complexity and widen our influence on the market.

Over the past year, the company has completed a number of private and public infrastructure design projects and dramatically strengthened its market position.

Q. Please go into more detail and tell us how many projects the company undertook last year and which of them was the most distinguished?
A. Universal Project completed more than forty projects last year in the field of roads, architecture and water pipes. The total construction cost of the projects was more than 150 million GEL.

One of the more challenging projects for us was the Metro Station Gotsiridze project. We started preparations in November 2021. After completion, Metro Station Gotsiridze became the first inclusive metro in the Caucasus, fully adapted to the needs of people with disabilities and in maximum compliance with European standards.
Q. You mentioned a recently signed memorandum with GeoBrugg. How did this cooperation come about?
A. Due to the scope of our activities, we often have to deal with geographically difficult terrain, and we work on difficult technical jobs. By signing a memorandum with GeoBrugg, both companies aim to increase the area of their activities by combining knowledge, experience and resources, and to work together on a number of private or public infrastructure projects.

We are proud that Universal Project is the only representative of GeoBrugg in Transcaucasia.

In addition, last year we had a business meeting with the French industrial group, MND France, and discussed prospects of cooperation. MND France specializes in cable mobility, snowmaking systems, mountain safety and thrill-seeking leisure infrastructures.

Q. What are the challenges Universal Project faces on the market and how do you wish the business environment would improve?
A. We are proud that the Universal Project team is staffed with highly qualified people, which simplifies the work process and raises its quality. However, finding such people in the market is quite difficult. We also try to help young people get qualifications and improve their professional skills in order to have more qualified staff on the market. We actively cooperate with the Georgian Technical University, employ excellent students, and promote their professional development. We plan to support more students as the company grows.

Once in a quarter, the Union of Construction Appraisers issues the Construction Resources Book, and basically, the project's accounting documentation is compiled according to the information given therein. The problem is that the pricing policies set out in the book are inconsistent with market data, which further poses a problem for the construction company that undertakes the project.

In addition, the demand for bidding experience of companies participating in public procurement should be tightened, as a number of companies are winning projects at low prices, which leads to a decline in quality. As a result, it becomes necessary to prepare a new project or correct an existing one.

Q. Universal Project has received the Golden Brand award for Road Design and Architecture. What does this award mean to the company?
A. We think that a responsible approach, striving for innovation, and making the right design decisions have become the indicators of our success.

We are especially pleased with the fact that Universal Project was able to complete a number of complex projects in a very short period of time after the resumption of work.

For us, receiving this award is recognition and appreciation of the hard work and enthusiasm which our team shows on a daily basis in the performance of any task.
Winning the Discovery of the Year nomination motivates us and emphasizes that the company is moving in the right direction.

In addition, we are striving to introduce new standards, technologies and innovations that will help us implement projects of national importance, and giving those in need more convenient access to facilities.

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Shimge Water Pumps Georgia Wins Golden Brand For Second Year In a Row

Shimge Water Pumps Georgia has won the Golden Brand award, Georgia’s most influential and prestigious business award, often referred to as “the Oscars of the Business World”.

The company won the Golden Brand award for utmost success achieved in 2021.

“I believe that Shimge is a leader in water pumps on the Georgian market. It is a successful company. We are always focused on introducing innovations. Also, the products we offer are competitive, of high quality and available. We also offer a good service,” head of the company, Raul Khidirov, cited as reasons for the company's success.

Shimge Water Pumps Georgia won its first Golden Brand last year.

The company has been present on the Georgian market since 1998 and initially worked in the plumbing field.

“Later we added water pumps. The products we offer are extremely popular,” Khidirov says.

Shimge is a Chinese brand and, as Khidirov says, “it has its advantages compared to other, similar European brands.”

“I can definitely say that it enjoys high popularity worldwide and is not inferior to European brands in terms of quality and performance.

“At the same time, the price is affordable. The combination of high quality and lower price makes Shimge water pumps attractive for consumers,” Khidirov says.

The company offers all types of water pumps, both for domestic and industrial use, and “lways in large quantities”.

“We never stop adding innovative products,” Khidirov stated.

Shimge products are available in every region of the country; the company has branches in all large cities of Georgia.

“We easily communicate with consumers. They find us without issue and we offer them the products they need at an affordable price,” Khidirov said.

The products offered by Shimge Water Pumps Georgia include well, bore-hole, drainage, sewer, irrigation water, circulatory, fire, freshwater pumps and others.

Khidirov said that the products they offer “are increasingly popular in Georgia” and are “very competitive due to lower price and high quality.”

He stated that reliability, flexible service, affordable price and wide presence around the country has helped the company work successfully during the pandemic.

Agricultural companies and HPPs, including Enguri HPP, are among Shimge's larger clients.

Q. Which pumps are most in demand?
A. I believe that well and pressure pumps are more popular compared to other pumps due to water provision problems on the outskirts of cities.

Q. How has the pandemic affected the company?
A. The pandemic has not affected us much. We have managed to overcome the complications of the pandemic easily and have sold our products successfully.

Demand for our products did not decline during the pandemic and we ensured proper service and delivery.

Q. What is the share of online sales?
A. It is not a large share. The share of offline sales is much higher. Of course, we are present on social media and consumers have the possibility to contact us there.

However, the scale of our offline sales allows us not to be extremely active on social media or provide an online shop.

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Future of Milka in Georgian Market: Gift Boxes, Healthier Snacking And More Careful Work

2021 was a year of recovery from the consequences of the pandemic for Mondelez, and the company aimed to increase its marketing and carry on bringing innovations to consumers.

Milka, one of nine global chocolate brands in the Mondelez International family, strengthened its positions in the new segment of pralines and won its third Golden Brand award in a row. But the market situation offers no time to relax, according to company experts.

“We must constantly and attentively monitor the situation and be ready for rapid changes. We have already experienced the reorganizing of business processes and taking advantage of new working conditions due to the pandemic, so we stepped into the year 2022 with more self-confidence. Now we will focus on keeping rates of growth high and strengthening our positions in new segments,” Sofia Tkebuchava, CP&A manager Confectionery, Caucasus & Central Asia, said.

Q. Please tell us about the future plans of Milka for the Georgian market? Do you plan to introduce new products to Georgia and which would those be?
A. Georgian consumers are some of the most snack-friendly consumers. We see that they are eager to try new products and flavors, especially those in accordance with a healthy, but tasty lifestyle. That’s why we are encouraged to introduce more innovations and broaden our product range.

We are researching updating consumers' needs and habits, and one of the vectors is to create products suitable to a proper diet, with reduced amounts of sugar and formats convenient for controlling calories intake. But precise flavors and designs are still a secret!

Q. Milka first appeared on the Georgian market in 2016. What was the first product Milka introduced to Georgia and over the years how diverse has the line of Milka products become?
A. In 2016 Milka entered the Georgian market with a rather small assortment, starting with no more than five products. Since that time we have been actively offering various product forms and flavors to the customers, so step by step our product portfolio has been enriched and now includes twenty products.

Q. Milka offers gift boxes. In your experience, how popular are these?
A. In the beginning of 2020 we introduced gift products — “Say It With Milka” boxed chocolates. Since then, we have been winning the hearts of customers in this area with attractive new flavors and flavor mixes and maintaining the quality of our chocolate. In 2021 we launched the third flavor in the line, so we can conclude that customers appreciate Milka gift boxes and want to see new products of that type.

Q. How important is the Georgian market to Mondelez today? What prospects for growth do you see in the country?
A. We consider the Georgian market very promising for our business. Years of work here have shown that local consumers meet our innovations with enthusiasm. Milka products have become an essential part of their way of snacking. Now we put all our efforts into maintain perception of our products and achieving leadership on the market. We are highly motivated, we love our product, and that pushes us forward every day.

Q. In general, could you please summarize 2021 – what were the biggest challenges, biggest achievements?
A. We spent 2021 creating innovations and increasing our consumer base. Purchasing power was low, but steadily recovered after the COVID-19 pandemic, so it was important for us to meet the new needs and habits of our customers in order to maintain their interest. Our team showed great cohesion and desire to successfully overcome this period, so now we see the results of delicate, but persistent work with our consumers — growth has reached double-digits.

Q. How has the year 2022 begun for your company, and what are your expectations?
A. In 2022 the market is very fast and demanding. We must constantly and attentively monitor the situation and be ready for rapid changes. We already have the experience of reorganizing business processes and taking advantage of new working conditions due to the pandemic, so we stepped into the year 2022 with more self-confidence. Now we will focus on keeping rates of growth high and strengthening our positions in new areas.

Q. Georgian customers have named Milka their favorite brand again this year. What brought Milka this recognition in your opinion?
A. Due to long, careful study of the market we learned to sense consumer needs and give them exactly what they are looking for. Meanwhile, we strictly monitor product quality and meet obligatory requirements, such as creamy texture and balanced flavor, in order to preserve the features of our product. So the main key to Milka’s success is, in our opinion, a combination of high quality, diverse and balanced assortment, and strong brand communication.

Q. Overall, what impact will the Russia-Ukraine war have on the operations of Mondelez International?
A. This war will affect businesses, consumers and communities across the world in many ways. For us at Mondelez, our primary focus is supporting our colleagues in Ukraine and stepping up our humanitarian efforts while ensuring the continuity of our business in Eastern Europe. It’s too early to assess the impact on business as there are many factors that play into it. But we hope we will be able to maintain our position in Georgia and the Eurasian area overall.

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Bebe+ Kids Clothing Retailer Adds New Line For Men and Women, Launches Online Sales

Bebe+ kids clothing retailer, on the Georgian market since 2000, is planning to overhaul its concept once the store completes rebranding in 2022.

“The existing concept will be completely changed at our branches, which are located in Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi. We will launch a new line for men and women. In addition, we are thinking about expansion across the country and opening new stores in Rustavi, Zugdidi and Poti,” Bebe+ Director Nana Chitava told Golden Brand.

Chitava added that clothes for men and women are currently available only in the Bebe + Gallery located on Aghmashenebeli Avenue in Tbilisi.

Bebe + is also developing a platform for online sales at www.bebe.ge.

“The website will be launched in the near future and will enable the customers from all over the world to buy clothes from our stores,” Chitava said.

The development of Bebe +, which today is recognized as the number one brand in its segment by the Golden Brand awards, began twenty years ago when sisters Nana and Inga Chitava launched the business with a seven square meter store in Bazroba, a large open air market in Tbilisi.

Into that little space they crammed everything – a trading table, colored laminate walls, bubbles, a
logo. The space was decorated to catch the eye of children.

“Even today when Bebe + is represented by several stores, I am still involved in every small
detail, be it shop window displays or the music that is played at
our stores,” Chitava said.

Success in the childrenswear market means understanding the industry and your place in it, Chitava believes. She says hard work and an honest approach to “the most sincere customers”
(children) are necessary. In her words, it is exactly this that has allowed her company to win the Golden Brand.

“The main advantage of Bebe + is that we are a customer-oriented brand. We try to tailor all of
our offers, products and campaigns to customers. Bebe + is a network of stores that
represents numerous children’s clothing brands. Thanks to our sincere policy and particularity, we have gained a lot of love from our customers,” Chitava said.

While talking about the success of her brand, Chitava does not forget to mention her hardworking team at Bebe +.

“They are very loyal,” Chitava said. “They love the brand, their work, children, and everything
they do. I appreciate their attitude towards my business, which has become our business,” she said.

All the leading brands that produce children’s clothes can be found under the roof of a single
store, Bebe +, which has cemented itself as the leading children’s clothing store in Georgia. The clothes are imported from Europe and Asia, and are all originals.

To attract more customers, Bebe + offers seasonal discounts and additional
promotions for different holidays.

Q. Let’s talk about the challenges your business faces currently and how you would like the market to be developed.
A. The main challenges in the Georgian market are banking regulations, currency volatility, and emigration.

However, there are some positive dynamics as well. After the pandemic weakened the economy, the market has become relatively stable, the consumer has become more active and we are trying to conquer the market with a new attitude.

Q. Why has Bebe + been winning the Golden Brand award for years? What are the reasons for this recognition, in your opinion?
A. Despite the difficult situation in the country in recent years, our company was able to maintain its already established place in the market. We managed to keep our prices competitive and not increase them. Most importantly, Bebe + is a network that represents many brands of children’s clothing, and now clothing for adults.

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About Us

The brand popularity is revealed by the preliminary survey making key focus on creative branding-related solutions. Entrees are judged by about 100 experts. Nominee brands are selected by awareness, popularity as well as by their creative advertising campaigns.

The winners will be granted with diplomas and Golden Brand Statue. The event will be broadcasted via television, radio, printed and online media.


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