- Thursday, 19 May 2022
Georgian brand RERA, producing frozen foods and smoked fish, plans to export its products this year.
“This is a big challenge for us and requires us to expand production, increase productivity, rearrange work processes, and adapt logistics to a new model,” Commercial Director of the company Nick Lomidze said.
G&A GROUP, established in 2012, is a key importer of frozen meat and fish in Georgia. Having 7,000 ton-capacity A+ warehouses, it holds a significant share in the premium storage market. Co-funded by the Enterprise Georgia state program, RERA launched operations in 2016 as a subsidiary of G&A Group.
“Georgian Agricultural Support program ARDA financed an increase of frozen food production capacity to 400 tons per month in 2020. Our distribution team covers all of Georgia, reaching 4000 grocery shops daily.
“The company's mission is to save time for home cooking. Of greatest importance is the quality of food and delicious meals. The company hopes to have a place in the fridge of every family in Georgia,” Lomidze said.
The RERA trademark holds ISO 22000: 2005 HACCP, ISO 9001 quality compliance certificates.
Q. Congratulations on winning the Golden Brand award. This is RERA’s first Golden Brand. What does this recognition mean to you?
A. Winning the Golden Brand award is the most important achievement of this year, as it is the highest award and recognition which probably any company receives with great appreciation.
RERA won the Golden Brand thanks to its professional team and their efforts. Also, RERA products are distinguished by their quality. We regularly monitor the quality of RERA products to ensure they meet standards.
In addition, G&A is a stable company in terms of supplying its network with products.
The company pays special attention to industrial hygiene, product quality, commercial security and cyber security.
Under the brand name RERA we produce about nineteen types of frozen foods. The highest demand on the market is pelmeni, number one in sales.
RERA products are available in almost every supermarket chain in Georgia.
Q. Are RERA products imported or locally produced?
A. RERA products are produced in Georgia. The production uses both imported and local supplies of raw materials. The company is distinguished in the Georgian market by its latest equipment and machinery, in full compliance with ISO and HACCP standards.
Q. RERA was going to open a new factory which would produce about 400 tons of semi-finished product. How has the company fulfilled this plan?
A. In 2019 the company invested one million euros to expand its business and increase production capacity to 400 tons. We have reached this milestone and plan to expand in the coming months.
Q. The Georgian market is saturated with frozen food products, be they local or imported. What distinguishes RRERA products from the rest, what is the competitive advantage of RERA?
A. On the one hand I would point out RERA’s healthy and natural ingredients as an important advantage. In production we use all natural ingredients, NO substitutes. Beef, pork, chicken fillet, Imeruli and sulguni cheeses, fresh vegetables and herbs are all of the highest quality.
On the other hand, hygienic standards are strictly observed in production. Production standards are controlled according to the established recipe of the product. All manufactured products undergo laboratory and consumer taste control. The taste of the product is tailored to mass standard. That's why our products are not overly spicy or salty. We allow the customer to enjoy the meal according to their own taste.
RERA products are also as affordable as possible. The price is adjusted to the premium class price segment. In addition, we have discount promotions along the network and this makes our products even more affordable.
Q. How healthy is the competition in the frozen food product market in Georgia?
A. I can say there is healthy competition in the frozen food products market. There are some small producers who can’t comply with technology standards, but their share is not large. Competition strengthens and gives us incentive to be the best to invest more in technologies. The rest is determined by customer loyalty. We listen to our customers.
Q. What is RERA’s market share?
A. Compared to last year, RERA’s market share has increased. RERA currently holds about 20% of the market.
The main factors that determine RERA’s growth are product awareness, constant monitoring of compliance with standards, and customer confidence.
Q. How have sales of RERA products increased in 2021?
A. From 2019 to 2021 the company's sales increased by 70%.
Q. What are the challenges your company faces on the market and how would you like the business environment to be improved in Georgia?
A. The biggest challenge for the company at this stage is to maintain stability, because both the import market and the local market face risk factors such as raw material shortages, price changes, and supply difficulties. We wish for peace and stability both in the country and the world.
- Thursday, 19 May 2022
An investigative team working on corruption, human rights, transparency, budget spending, procurement and other issues will be added to the editorial staff of Georgian online media outlet Publika.
Director General of Publika, Zura Vardiashvili, said the aforementioned topics have been covered by Publika for a long time already, “but in the near future this section will have a corresponding group which will work only on the issues mentioned and will be more concentrated, organized and effective.”
In addition, Vardiashvili said that it is planned to get more partner organizations interested in supporting Publika as an “independent and standard-oriented media”.
Founded in 2019 and having already won two EU prizes for journalism, the online agency Publika is a non-entrepreneurial, non-commercial legal entity, and its highest governing body is the general assembly of members.
“I am the director general of the media organization but I am elected by Publika members, i.e. by the journalists working for the organization and I am accountable to them,” Vardiashvili said.
Publika is a supporter of the most prestigious and influential business award ceremony, the Golden Brand. In this interview, along with many other interesting topics, Vardiashvili talked about why Publika supports the Golden Brand.
Q. Publika is a newly created media outlet. The market is saturated with different online media outlets offering various content. Why have you decided to establish Publika?
A. It is true, the market is saturated with various online media outlets, but completely lacks the type of content that Publika creates. I mean credible, verified, quality information.
The greater rarity is in-depth material, multimedia products, analytics, and so on. Consequently, we are geared toward a niche audience looking for similar content.
Q. In your opinion what position does Publika take on the market and how would you like to develop that?
A. It will be difficult for me to give you specific data, as online media market research is not conducted in Georgia; however, at least according to empirical observation, Publika plays an important role in today's media market, with the reputation of a reliable and qualified publication.
Our plan is to get as many people as possible interested in this kind of content.
Q. Last year you told us that you were going to expand offerings and make them more diverse. How did you fulfill your plans?
A. Yes, I announced last year that Publika was planning to add literature, sports, business and youth sections to make its offerings more diverse and interesting to readers.
Publika has been working on those topics and strives to make the readers more interested in therein, in addition to the news section. For example, the literature section already has a financial supporter, an electronic book house Saba. Saba is helping us make this new section more diverse. We plan to establish similar partnerships in other areas as well.
Q. Please give us statistics on how many visitors www.publika.ge receives?
A. The website has up to 30,000 daily visitors, and this figure has almost doubled compared to the previous years. Most visitors are interested in political news. At the moment, the most read-about topic is ongoing Russian aggression in Europe, the war in Ukraine.
Q. Publika is a supporter of the Golden Brand awards. Why did you decide to cooperate with this award ceremony?
A. A competitive environment is important for any business, and the distinction in this environment shapes its aspirations, which is a great motivation. This was one of the reasons Publika decided to collaborate with Golden Brand.
Q. How much do you agree with the results of the survey and the winners?
A. As usual, the winning companies almost never disappoint me.
- Thursday, 19 May 2022
2022 has started with the process of obtaining good distribution practices (GDP Certificate) for PSP Pharmacy. GDP Guarantees the standards that any distribution company must meet to ensure the quality and integrity of pharmaceutical products is maintained throughout the supply chain.
Modern software solutions & warehouse equipment are represented in a 15,000 square meter warehouse in Tbilisi.
“Obtaining GDP certification means that a PSP distribution warehouse is in full compliance with international standards. The transition to an international distribution standard is an initiative of the government of Georgia and it is a challenge for 2022, one of the most important internationally recognized mechanisms for the protection of medicine quality in the country,” CEO of PSP Pharmacy Vazha Okriashvili said.
PSP was founded in 1994 and its first activity on the Georgian pharmaceutical market was in distribution. The distribution company PSP Center of Introduction became the first official distributor of European medicines in Georgia.
Step by step the company expanded its product offerings into medicines, cosmetic products, baby food and general wellness.
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 is the company's motto.
This year, PSP won its seventeenth Golden Brand at the 17th Golden Brand awards ceremony for the success the company had in 2021. This means that PSP has never lost the award to any other company operating in the same field.
Q. How has the PSP pharmacy network been developing on the local market?
A. In 2021, we opened 35 new PSP pharmacies, while 18 pharmacies were rebranded, and today 300 pharmacies serve customers throughout Georgia.
PSP began as a fully customer-oriented pharmacy in 1994. The first challenge was to create physical access to medicines for the population of post-war Georgia. From the very beginning, we selected international standard medicine companies as partners, which is why PSP has been guaranteeing quality for the population for 28 years.
The next challenge was to ensure widespread access, which is why today we continue to expand the pharmacy network so that each citizen can easily and comfortably access more than 30,000 names of guaranteed quality medicines, hygiene, self and patient care, baby food and care, decorative and medical cosmetics.
Every month, two million customers choose PSP as their ‘family pharmacy’.
Q. PSP customers can use the ‘My Family Card’, which is a rewards card. By how much is the number of card holders increasing every year?
A. ‘My Family Card’ is in almost every family living in Georgia. Of these, up to two million are active users; The number of active customers increases year by year. The card has an additional 9% discount in addition to the cumulative benefit.
Q. What is the current market share of PSP?
A. PSP is steadily holding 30% of the Georgian pharmaceutical market.
Q. What new products were added to the pharmacy network last year and what new products are planned to be added in the future?
A. Every year we are expanding the range of PSP products by following advances in modern medicine and medical cosmetics, offering the population of Georgia the products of world-famous brands.
This year we introduced the French SVR and Polish Pharmaceris, two of the largest brands of dermatological cosmetics, and the world-famous Italian hair care brand Echosline's products and various dyes.
In 2021, an amendment to resolution N188 by the government of Georgia allowed the import of Turkish-made medicines, which allowed us to offer Turkish-made medicines of European brands to the customers at a 77% cheaper price. The list of Turkish-made medicines includes more than 50 names of the most widely available drugs.
Q. PSP was one of the first Georgian companies to be involved in supporting Ukraine from the very first days of the war and mobilized a number of humanitarian cargoes. Please tell us how exactly the company has helped Ukraine?
A. As soon as the war started, on February 27, we were able to mobilize first aid and sent 200,000 GEL worth of medical supplies and medicines to Ukraine. Thereafter, the flag of Ukraine has taken an honorable place next to the Georgian flag in all our pharmacies.
Over the next week, we learned from the Ukrainian Embassy that baby food and care items had become especially important, and accordingly we sent 20,000 GEL worth of baby food, milk, porridge, and diapers to Ukraine. Based on close cooperation with the embassy of Ukraine, we were consistently informed of current needs, allowing us to organize the appropriate assistance.
Our strategic partner Mizon has allocated $50,000 to help Ukraine, which the company has almost doubled, and on March 12, $95,000 worth of medicines and baby food were given to the Ukrainian embassy.
At the same time, there was a very high interest from employees and consumers in being involved in humanitarian activities, and so we placed boxes for collecting humanitarian items in pharmacies with the colors of the Ukrainian flag. The staff have also actively transferred money to a specially-opened account with the embassy.
Q. Will the Russia-Ukraine war affect the supply of products at PSP pharmacies?
A. PSP suppliers are mainly companies operating in Europe and America, so it does not pose a global problem in terms of stock, although medicines made in Ukraine are also represented on the Georgian market and of course the war had a negative impact on the supply of these products.
Ukraine is a leading country in many respects, and its victory and return to the standard operating platform is very important for many markets.
Q. Congratulations on winning the Golden Brand this year once again. Could you please name the specific activities of 2021 that helped the company win?
A. The coronavirus pandemic created new challenges and demands. In spite of the pandemic, the PSP has not spent a single day without seeing to customer care.
Despite unfavorable circumstances, we continue to provide customers with interesting offers, new products and world-famous brands, strengthening the PSP online pharmacy and increasing access to world-famous brands, pharmaceuticals and baby products at the most affordable prices in our 300 locations across the country.
PSP remains a guarantor of product and service quality for its customers.Read more