Strong Wash, a Georgian company involved in the production and distribution of auto chemicals, installation of car washes, and sale of high-pressure washing machines, will expand with two new branches in the cities of Kutaisi and Batumi.
The company also plans to launch a new factory to increase its production capacity.
“In order to expand we have started the construction of a new factory which will be equipped with modern technologies and equipment,” Director of the company Shota Metreveli said.
In this interview with Golden Brand, Metreveli reviews the company’s operations on the Georgian market and shares his impressions of winning the Golden Brand award for the first time this year.
Q. In the category “favorite washing machines and service” Strong Wash has become Georgian customers’ top pick. What led the company to this recognition, in your opinion?
A. Our company is focused on providing quality services. Strong Wash provides maximum comfort to its customers.
Each laundry machine we install is innovative and adapted to modern challenges. I think that's why we won the Gold Brand Award.
Q. Golden Brand is given to companies based on the successful activities of the previous year. Please summarize 2022.
A. 2022 was a year full of challenges and at the same time many successful developments for Strong Wash. Despite big competition, the company was able to maintain its status of leading company of the year, so we believe that 2022 was a productive and experience-building year for our team.
Q. You mentioned that Strong Wash maintained its position of market leader in 2022. The company was established in 2020. How have you managed to achieve the leading position in such a short period of time?
A. Strong Wash appeared in 2020. At first we were involved only in installing car wash equipment with local purchases, but after earning customers’ trust in a short period of time, local purchases were no longer enough and we decided to start importing goods.
And we started the production of auto chemicals. Our company is a manufacturer of auto chemicals, auto shampoo and other car care products. These products are made with raw materials and technology of Italian origin.
At this stage the company owns two stores, in Tbilisi and Gori, with a distribution network throughout Georgia.
As for your question, I would say that offering quality products and justifying the expectations of the customers helped our company to gain first the trust and then love of our customers, which helped us to beat the competition and take the lead.
Q. Please introduce us to the international brands with which Strong Wash cooperates.
A. In Georgia we are the official representatives of the largest Turkish company Taha Wash, the Italian brand Hawk, which is the world's top manufacturer of pump equipment.
We also cooperate with R+M and GS.
Being the largest manufacturers of auto chemicals and auto equipment enables us to make it easy to cooperate with international brands and gain their trust.
Q. Strong Wash has become the “leading company of the year” at the international awards of the Swiss Rating Association and the National Business Ratings Union. Can you tell us what the market share of the company is?
A. Our team earned the status of leading company of the year as a result of hard work.
Currently we enjoy about 50% of the market share.
Our advantage is that the team is composed of professionals and the company is focused on product quality.
We also have active communication with our individual customers, which means talking openly about solving any issue or problem at any time.
Q. You signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Solidarity Fund of Georgia to help children defeat cancer. Why did you choose this charity?
A. Incidence of cancer has increased significantly in the world, and our country is no exception.
These children and adolescents have treatment costs that cannot easily be met given our country’s economic situation.
Regarding the question of why we decided to cooperate with the Solidarity Fund, the answer is very simple — we want to contribute to the recovery of each child with cancer. The Solidarity Fund is one of the largest such charities.
Helping children live happy and healthy lives in turn makes us happy.Read more
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.
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.
Premium quality, three-layer toilet paper Nua, imported and distributed by one of Georgia’s leading distribution companies, BD Plus, has become the winner of the country’s most prestigious and influential business award, the Golden Brand.
Founded in 2016, BD Plus is famous in Georgia for importing high quality products from international brands such as Ultra Compact, Happy Fresh, Olivia, Sofia, Maylo, Berrak, BEA and Nua.
Of these brands, Nua is a newcomer to the Golden Brand award, winning in the category “toilet paper - dynamic developing brand”. Over 100 experts and 2,000 surveyed customers named Nua their favorite toilet paper.
Archil Kokashvili, General Manager of BD Plus, reviewed the company’s operations in Georgia and listed the factors that led Nua to the Golden Brand awards in an interview.
Q. “Dynamically developing brand” - this is how Nua is recognized today by the customers and experts. How did you achieve this recognition?
A. First of all we want to thank our loyal customers who have great confidence in, and awareness of, our brands, including Nua. This brand reached Georgia in 2021 , so it was astonishing to many that Nua managed to become one of the leaders on the market in such a short period of time. The correct strategy and functionality of the brand played a major role in the success of the product, and today Nua is considered the favorite hygienic paper in the country.
The price and quality of Nua toilet paper make it one of the best on the market. We also have a motivated and professional team which is working around the clock to develop the brand.
Another factor is a smooth distribution of Nua throughout the country, making the brand available in every corner of Georgia.
Finally, I want to say that it is a great honor for us to receive a Golden Brand award and at the same time it is a great responsibility and challenge to fully justify such trust and support. This award is recognition of the hard work that our team has put in. We are very proud of it.
Q. How was the brand’s performance in 2022?
A. Overall 2022 can be considered successful for BD Plus, as the increase in sales compared to the previous year 2021 was 39%, and in the case of the Nua alone, its average monthly sales almost tripled. We have generated 1,630,548.70 GEL in sales in 2021 and 8,911,749.91 GEL in 2022.
Ultra Compact and BEA are the top-selling brands in our portfolio.
BD Plus is also a dynamically developing company in Georgia and the chart below demonstrates its annual growth from 2016 to 2022.
Q. What would you say about the competition in your sector, and how fast is the Georgian market growing here?
A. There is quite a high level of competition in the Georgian market. As a company involved in the distribution business, the competition creates challenges for us of course, but the higher the competition level is, the higher our motivation is. And most importantly, customers reap the benefits from this process.
As for market growth, the share of our brands is growing on the market every year.
Q. What are the challenges BD Plus faces in Georgia and what are your recommendations for improving conditions?
A. The main goal of the company is to provide customers with high-quality products at the most economical price. Unfortunately, locals make up a lesser share of sales than tourists, which hampers potential growth.
Q. Generally, how do you attract consumers?
A. We attract customers primarily by product quality, price, stable delivery and partnership attitude.
Q. Please share some future plans with us.
A. We would like to enrich our portfolio with several new brands and at the same time to develop our own brand Be Fresh.
In the future we are going to grow our “Be Fresh” portfolio with interesting products for our customers.