Goodwill President shares secret to success
Goodwill, one of the leading supermarkets on the Georgian retail market, was named as the best Georgian Investor Company of the Year at the Mercury 2012 Awards, Georgia’s national business competition. Georgia Today sat down with President of Goodwill, Nina Shevardnadze, to learn how the supermarket achieved this success.
Q: Your company was named as the best Georgian Investor Company. How hard was the selection process?
A: On May 11 Goodwill received recognition in the form of the much sought-after award at the largest and one of the most prestigious business awards ceremony of the year - Mercury 2012. About 250 companies competed for the 18 nominations of the Georgian National Business Awards. To guarantee maximum objectivity and transparency, representatives of the American magazine Forbes and the BCG Research Institute were involved in the evaluation process.
Q: Goodwill is an established player on the Georgian market. What does this award mean for you?
A: It is a great honor and responsibility for Goodwill to be awarded the status of Best Investor by such a large and prestigious contest as the Mercury Awards. The winning nominees were selected by leading Georgian and foreign specialists and their recognition provides us great incentive to pursue our strategy and offer our country even more large-scale and innovative projects.
Q: Why did you deserve this award, in your opinion? What distinguishes Goodwill from other businesses?
A: It’s the eighth year Goodwill has been on the Georgian market and we have invested more than 100 million Euros in this business. Each investment has been of strategic importance. Recently, we launched a new business on the food product and retail market which is one of the most difficult to manage. At the time the largest share of this market was made up by unorganized, open type markets- so-called “Bazrobas” and the majority of consumers therefore greatly depended on this type of shopping format.
We introduced an absolutely different service; a culture of modern shopping. Because of our hypermarket, Georgian consumers got used to the idea that they can get high-quality, controlled, wide-ranging products and services under one roof.
Q: Is it difficult to maintain the leading position in Georgia?
A: Our targeted investments through the years, as well as the healthy investment environment in the country, the liberal tax system and the hard work of each of our employees combined, contributed to Goodwill being the leader on the retail market. It is not easy to maintain a leading position for years, but we have managed this due to our commitment to development, new strategies and new investments. In this respect, 2011 was a very important year in the history of Goodwill.
Q: You have mentioned your new business on the food market which you started at the beginning of 2012. What are your expectations in this regard?
A: The company made a 30 million Euro investment in the innovative project Marshe, which is the largest multi-functional factory in the Caucasus region. The scale of Marshe is defined by a number of parameters: 1. Buildings and facilities built on three hectares of land accommodated new directions (a centralized production mill, a wholesale-trade centre, packaging department); 2. This huge complex produces more than 4,500 types of products, including a wide range of sausages, confectionary products, culinary products, bread, milk and fish products; 3. The production was equipped with the latest technology and machinery exported from Europe’s leading companies. The high technological functions and our compliance with modern international standards are backed-up by quality compliance certificates. We plan to export Marshe products in the future.
Q: What else should your customers expect from you this year?
A: For 2012, the company plans to make a 10 million EUR investment in new supermarkets. Every new project results in the creation of new jobs. Therefore we will employ up to 1,000 people by the end of the year and our huge team will consist of more than 3,000 employees. In the future, Goodwill plans to introduce new projects and offer a network of large-scale markets in the Georgia.
By Ia Natsvlishvili