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October 14, 2019 -




UNESCO names Tbilisi World Book Capital 2021

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Business Sector urges Government to take Timely and Efficient Steps

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#RyanairinGeorgia Soon!

Vintage, Gastronomy and the Gurjaani Wine Festival

Grant Program launched for developing New Enterprises along the Occupation Line



The 2020 State Budget is a Pre-election Promise

‘’Entrepreneurship is an Infectious Disease; You have it and it grows and grows’’

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Poti Sea Port has handled 6 403 000 Tons of Cargo

Consulate of Georgia to open in San Francisco

In September, APM Terminals Poti has handled the highest ever number of containers in Poti Sea Port, which amounts to 51,272 TEUs.

A consulate of Georgia will open in Italian city of Bari and in American city of San Francisco, said Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Ninua.

Georgian International Arbitration Centre (GIAC), EU and UNDP hold Sixth Annual Tbilisi Arbitration Days Over one hundred judges, arbitration practitioners, public officials and business representatives from the European Union, Central Asia and Georgia gathered in Tbilisi

The Washington Times: Georgia is Key for Latest Geopolitical Strategies Realignment From Europe to Asia, geopolitical strategies are realigning, and all of the moving pieces converge in the Caucasus region, which includes three post-Soviet countries: Georgia, Armenia.

Energy-Efficient Kindergarten opened in Tianeti powered by Solar Energy

Ajaristskali Georgia: Shuakhevi HPP will launch Power Generation in 2020

A modern newly built kindergarten in Simoniantkhevi village (Tianeti municipality, Mtskheta-Mtianeti region) opened its doors on September 18, 2019, to the children from 6 small nearby villages.

Shuakhevi HPP plans to launch test generation, Ajaristskali Georgia representatives noted. Tbilisi Mayor: We will have One of the Advanced Transport Systems in Europe

Cableway Construction to be completed in Chiatura The Municipal Development Fund (MDF) of the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia (MRDI) is to complete the construction of the cableways in Chiatura at the end of the current year.

Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze has talked about the transport policy details. As part of presentation of ISUZU buses, Tbilisi Mayor noted that the so-called yellow buses are in heavy condition and they will be replaced in the near future.

UNESCO names Tbilisi World Book Capital 2021 The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, named Tbilisi (Georgia) World Book Capital for the year 2021.

OPIC invested $50 mln in New Pace Terminal in Poti Port The US Government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) invested $ 50 million in New Pace Terminal in Poti Port.

The Editorial Board Follows Press Freedom Principles Publisher: LLC Caucasian Business Week - CBW Director: Levan Beglarishvili WWW.CBW.GE Address: Aleksidze Street 1 Sales: Mob: +995 591 01 39 36 Email: Editor: Nutsa Galumashvili. Mobile phone: 595 380382 Copy Editor: Ellie Rambo Reporters: Nina Gomarteli; Mariam Kopaliani; Merab Janiashvili, Economic columnist: Andria Gvidiani; Technical Assistant: Giorgi Kheladze;

#RyanairinGeorgia Soon! a week, while it will offer flights from November 6 Tbilisi to Milan (Bergamo) four times a week. Starting April 2020, flights from Tbilisi Airport Irish lowcoster operated from will be carried out Ryanair will begin both Kutaisi and to Cologne three operations in Tbilisi International times a week. Georgia starting Airports. The airline will in November 6, In November 7 eventually carry United Airports of and 9, Ryanair will out flights to 12 Georgia announces. fly from Kutaisi destinations. Direct flights to to Marseille and Ryanair’s Chief Europe will be Bologna, two times Commercial Officer

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David O'Brien and the Director General of the United Airports of Georgia Giorgi Chogovadze signed the agreement on August 21. Ryanair an Irish budget airline is established in 1984, in Dublin. Today, the airway operates in 39 countries and in 225 destinations.

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Business Sector urges Government to take Timely and Efficient Steps The most relevant challenges in the business environment and their communication with the authorities, according to Levan Silagava, president of Georgian Producers’ Federation, and Iva Chkonia, the heads of Georgian Distributors Association have talked about these issues. As reported, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia has begun meetings with business sector representatives. Last week the Prime Minister urged a Minister from the government’s economic team to hold meetings with the representatives of various business associations. As instructed by the Prime Minister, the Georgian Economy Minister, Natia Turnava, will receive the business sector’s representatives this week. At his meeting with the Georgian Economic Minister, the president of the Georgian Producers Federation plans to discuss the predictability of the business environment and issues relating to the stability of the national currency. Without these two key factors, we cannot ensure rapid economic growth. We should ensure a predictable environment in this country. All companies and investors are waiting for a predictable environment, he noted. “When investors plan to put money in the country or business sector plans to implement some kind of project, they should know how their products will be developed in long-term perspectives. Consequently, we should ensure the stability of the GEL exchange rate. These two challenges refer to everybody. Consultations should also be held with the business sector when adopting laws”, Silagava said. The Producers Association’s president also urges us to

promote domestic business through state tenders, as happens in the developed countries of Europe. The state budget has allocated five billion GEL for state procurement, and this is a quite serious amount, he added. We expect the tourism sector to bring in 3 billion USD in income, while the state budget has allocated 5 billion GEL for state tenders, about one third of the total state budget’s total. and it is important for us that these funds be spent on domestic production in a competitive environment, on products that will compete with foreign analogues, Silagava pointed out. “When the Prime Minister was the Economy Minister, his idea for promoting domestic production was proposed, and this project was almost adopted. For some reasons, the project was suspended later. This practice was abandoned worldwide, and all countries try to develop domestic production through state tenders, and create new jobs from the proceeds, and increase payments to the and strengthen the national currency. In a similar environment, even importers may change their mind and launch production of the same products domestically”, Silagava said. Problems with communication between various branches of the executive create real challenges, he said. “There are communication problems with the government; in the decision-making process, various ministries from the economic team – the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Finances, the Ministry of Agriculture= consider some issues from different perspectives. In these cases, a single perspective does not work, and businessmen have to run to various Ministries to somehow get answer to their projects”, Levan Silagava noted. Iva Chkonia, the head of the Georgian Distributors Association explains that the GEL exchange rate stability is the number one objective for the Economy Ministry and the whole government. At his meeting with the

Economy Minister, he plans to discuss the issue of GEL stability, because GEL volatility is the key challenge in his sector. “It is very important for me, as the head of the Distributors Association, where there are a lot of companies that import who directly depend on the national currency’s stability, and to have information about how the authorities and the national bank understand the concept of GEL stability. If they mean that the GEL should be stabilized now, and the stable exchange rate should be maintained, then we should not cheat either the business sector or the population, because the 2020 state budget bill has fixed the exchange rate at 2.98, and what should we stabilize? In this case, they should say that the current exchange rate is stable, and it will be lowered by the New Year”, Iva Chkonia said. Because of the rapid devaluation of the GEL, it is impossible to determine longterm plans, while the GEL exchange rate is a key factor in the distribution business, because the exchange rate’s volatility provokes volatile prices and disorients the business sector. Therefore, government officials should, first of all, remove problems in currency volatility, he said. “Distribution is one of the key components of the economy, and the GEL, as a factor, is a key determinant in this respect. Therefore, a key recommendation for the Economy Minister and all the authorities, is that they must ensure the GEL exchange rate’s stability. If they could ensure the GEL exchange rate’s stability in previous years, but they did not take the necessary countermeasures, then this is a crime, and we should call them to account”, Iva Chkonia noted.

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Vintage, Gastronomy and the Gurjaani Wine Festival In his interview with BusinessPartner, the majority MP from Gurjaani, David Songhulashvili, discussed problems related to vintage and grape growing and winemaking. On October 12, Gurjaani hosted a major wine festival, where more than 200 winemaking companies were represented from various regions of Georgia, and the number of visitors exceeded 10,000 individuals. In the future, and Gurjaani will grow into a winemaking municipality. The wine festival was held for the third time in Gurjaani. The festival was launched in 2017 with the registration of 27 winemakers, and numerous visitors, Songhulashvili said. “About 1,000 visitors attended the festival. About 100 wine varieties were registered last year, and the number of visitors grew to 1,000 persons. This year, more than 200 winemakers were represented. This festival enables small winemakers to introduce their products to visitors. This is one of the best platforms in the winemaking sector. This year more than 10,000 guests visited the festival, and this is a very important event for winemakers and the whole region because winemakers are represented from the whole of the Kakheti Region and Georgia: Baghdati, Gori, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Adjara. In practice, this is a platform where winemakers are able to introduce their wines to both Georgian and foreign visitors. In 2018, several important agreements were signed at the Festival on entering major distribution networks or export markets. One of the winemakers sold his entire harvest at the Festival”, Songhulashvili explained. Gurjaani is expected to become a winemaking municipality, and this district is positioned as a winemaking municipality, thanks to several factors. First, the majority of wines were indications of the origin is registered in Gurjaani – 33% of all wine is from Georgia. Secondly, the majority of vineyards are registered in Gurjaani. The majority of wine cellars and wineries are registered in Gurjaani, Songhulashvili noted. “We Gurjaani residents have the ambition to become a winemaking municipality, and we have been providing work in this field”, Songhulashvili noted. The 2019 vintage will be finished soon. Winegrowers complain about the prices of grapes. The 2019 vintage’s problems are related to bad weather and the deterioration of relations with Russia, Songhulashvili noted. “The vintage will be finished soon. We have picked about 230,000 tons of grapes in Kakheti. Consequently, winegrowers were paid more than 240 million GEL. The majority of winegrowers are unhappy with grape prices. The problem is related to bad weather in autumn, when rainy periods started during the grape’s maturation process. As a result, the picking process was protracted, and

winegrowers could not pick grapes in a timely manner. As a result, sugar content in grapes declined. There are many factors that have influenced both the price and grape quality, and the quality was not favorable. Winegrowers had to sell products from a so-called self-defence position, and this factor is related to the summer’s developments, because grape exports declined, because our grape exports mostly depends on neighboring countries. Therefore, winegrowers moved to a posture of selfdefense, and this factor influenced grape prices, too. Demand and supply regulate the market, and this year we had huge harvest. On the whole, all these factors have affected grape prices”, David Songhulashvili said. We cannot compete with the world’s leading wine making countries in terms of the production of industrial wines. Our niche is Qvevri wine, and small wine cellars. Therefore, we have been actively discussing the wine cellar support state program with the Ministry of Agriculture. This program brought very positive results in 2018, and this program will run in 2020 as well, he noted. Georgia should reduce risks related to winegrowing/winemaking, and find its own niche in the global market through developing small wine cellars and cooperatives, Songhulashvili said. “There is a lot of experience in traditional winemaking countries such as France, Italy and Spain. I know their models very well, and the small wine cellar support program is one of the most interesting state programs. In the end, shaping the whole economic chain is of crucial importance, because the final price should be reflected in the wine, and winegrowers should be able to store their harvest in their own wine cellars, or establish cooperatives to coordinate the winemaking process. In this case, we will have convenient and favorable prices, as well. For example, in Kvareli, 20 winegrowers were united in one cooperative, and now they sell one bottle for 35 GEL. This process will ease the storage of the whole harvest, and prices will become adequate too”, Songhulashvili explained. At the same time, several fundamental factors should be resolved in order to enable Georgia’s winemaking field to work in a cooperative format, and develop small wine cellars, he noted. “There are several problems in this respect, that should be definitively resolved. First, the global market registers a growing demand for red wine rather than for white. Regretfully, in Georgia, we have more white grapes than red grapes. Consequently, we have to correct this. By the way, the same problem existed in Spain, where the government intervened, and provided subsidies on this. Based on global market trends, they implemented a special program for replacing

grape varieties. Moreover, the field of vineyards, grape varieties were precisely determined. This is an experience that should not be completely repeated , but we should take into account many of its components, and adapt them to our reality. Another factor is that the higher quality of vineyards ensures the production of better wines. Therefore, the centuries-old wine cellars that many winegrowers keep closed at home should function not only as wine pressure and fermentation vessels, but we should also develop a wine route that historically existed in Georgia (and does not exist any more), because Georgia is a winemaking country. Our guests and visitors should be able to taste various family wines on this wine route”, Songhulashvili noted. Georgia should focus on developing Qvevri wines, boutique wines, and small wine cellars support state programs serve this objective, he said. “We cannot reach volumes where we could compete with industrial wine manufactures, starting with China and ending with Australia. Our niche is Qvevri wine, which adds a unique character to Georgian winemaking. Consequently, we should develop Georgian winemaking in this direction – Qvevri red and white wines, naturally, from Saperavi and other unique varieties, and small winemakers should engage in this process. They should be boutique-style manufacturers, and winegrowers should lay the groundwork for expanding in this direction. Winegrowers should press their own harvest in their own wine cellars, bottle wines and determine product prices themselves. Today, there are several problems in this respect. Major wine cellars started arranging vineyards, and shortly after that small winegrowers may face certain problems in terms of the sales of grapes. Therefore, together with the Ministry of Agriculture, we are actively discussing small wine cellar support programs that were prepared, jointly, in 2018. The program was approved, and brought very good results. The 2020 state budget may allocate serious funds for this program. The point is that this is an interesting mechanisms for improving the quality of Georgian wine and resolving this problem”, David Songhulashvili noted.

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Grant Program launched for developing New Enterprises along the Occupation Line

As part of a joint project by Startup Georgia and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), a special grant program was launched for promoting innovative business activities in villages along the line of occupation. Beneficiaries will receive a grant, financial support, and free consultations. Startup Georgia will provide free everyday consultations for those citizens who want to transform their business ideas into valuable business plans for their participation in these projects, Startup Georgia director Giorgi Lomidze told the BusinessPartner TV program. USAID will allocate a 500,000 USD grant component as part of a program to fund the Startup Georgia winner projects in 106 villages around the occupation line. Startup Georgia has already started accepting grant applications. As to who and what can participate in the project and what benefits the winners will receive. Giorgi Lomidze explained that it is very simple to engage in a joint project with USAID, and participants can get huge benefits with 10% financial coparticipation, while Startup Georgia will replenish this amount by 90%, and USAID will double their approved investment. “The new direction of our program replenishes our investment package with a USAID grant component. This means that residents of the villages neighboring the occupation line

(106 villages under the official list) are able to obtain a financial component as part of Startup Georgia’s innovative program that calls for opening new startup enterprises. USAID enables the winning beneficiaries to double the size of the grant, and this is an excellent start to stimulating new business companies along the line of occupation”, Giorgi Lomidze said. If the idea is that the author obtains a 100,000 GEL financial aid component, USAID will increase this amount to 200,000 GEL, he said. “If the beneficiary has already launched a business within the last 6 months, or has only business idea and plans to launch activities in this direction and holds up 10% of the project’s total budget, for example 1000 GEL, Startup Georgia will allocate 9,000 GEL in addition; that is, 90% of the project’s total budget of 10,000GEL. The bottom margin of financial support is 15,000 GEL, the upper margin is 100,000 GEL. This means the beneficiary must have 10,000 GEL in the case of 100,000 GEL business plan. Finally, USAID will double the total amount to 200,000 GEL”, Giorgi Lomidze said. According to the Startup Georgia Director, the working process has moved to an active phase, and the agency has started accepting applications. The investment committee of eight persons will appraise the submitted ideas, and the winning projects will receive a financial component. As for the selection criteria; there are four of

them, but preference will be given to innovative projects, he said. “It is very simple to participate in the project. First, we are able to fund any business that is not limited by Georgian legislation. In this case, we will enable participants to count even their fundamentally improved business’ changes as innovative projects. Commercialization is another criteria, that is, the sales potential of the product, and the team’s quality and efficiency is the third criteria, whether the idea’s originators are ready to transform this idea into a successful business; the social aspect is the fourth component, that is, how the idea stimulates the economy and improves the social environment, like the employment rate. All these components are appraised by an investment committee staffed with 8 persons, including specialists in the field and experts”, Giorgi Lomidze said. All projects will pass the Startup Georgia selection process. Startup Georgia will also assist applicants in transforming business ideas into business plans, he noted. “We will provide consultations on a daily basis, so beneficiaries can save resources, and we can shape an investment project together”, Giorgi Lomidze said.

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s i t e g d u e B s i e t a m t o S r P 0 2 n 0 o 2 i t e c h e l T e-e r P a Parliament of Georgia will finish discussions on the 2020 state budget bill on October 18. “The 2020 economic growth has been planned at 5%. This is a very ambitious plan. In 2020, we will have an unprecedented amount of the state budget - 16 billion GEL. Current expenditures will constitute 11 billion GEL, infrastructural expenses will make up 3.7 billion GEL. The main things are related to the indicators, correlation of current expenditures and capital costs over the past years. The current expenditures will be 23% and capital expenses will be about 7%8%. On the one hand, this budget is oriented on social responsibility aspects, but at the same time, it ensures economic growth without hampering development. These parameters have been agreed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The budget deficit is also a healthy indicator that will be 2.7% in 2020 and this figure was agreed with IMF in 2018”, Minister of Finance Ivane Machavariani said. The parliament’s agrarian committee did not put the 2020 budget bill to vote. The committee chairman Otar Danelia noted he has remarks regarding the bill, because allocations for some directions are lower compared to the demand and he cannot put the bill to vote. He urged Deputy Finance Minister Grigol Kakauridze to hold consultations with the Government and submit the revised bill to the committee with new figures. “Naturally, we welcome any growth in any sector, but we represent the agrarian committee and consequently we make focus on this field. In general, the bill cuts the village development program by 4

million GEL. Moreover, Food Safety and Plant Protection allocations also declined. I understand that the country may not need the same budget allocations for fighting marmorated stink bug as in 2019 and 2018, but, at this stage, we have no clear figures yet and I believe similar contractions are untimely without final reports. Moreover, state control and monitoring on veterinary medicines also weakens. This is a very difficult issue. The demand as part of the joint agro project was 265 million GEL and the parties agree on only 129 million GEL. I am also interested why the Plant the Future program is ignored. The most important thing is that we had the co-funding program for harvesting machines and the demand was 35 million GEL and only 5 million GEL has been allocated. In this case, what happens with the remaining 17 million GEL that the Government has promised to about 500 beneficiaries? Thus, there are a lot of issues that cannot be put to vote and therefore, I ask you to revise these figures, hold consultations with the government and submit the revised bill to the committee”, Danelia pointed out. The Caucasus Business Week (CBW) has inquired how the field specialists appraise the 2020 state budget bill. “For some reasons pensions or salaries grow only in the preelection period for certain categories of our citizens. These promises could be openly called as a generous or irresponsible decision. The 2020 state budget is the preelection promise”, economic expert Zviad Khorguashvili noted when appraising the Prime Minister’s statement on plans for increasing pensions by 20-30 GEL starting 2020. “We can say that the 2020 state budget calls for growing pensions by 20 GEL to all categories of

pensioners and underage persons with disabilities of the first and second categories. Moreover, starting July 1, 2020, pensioners over 70 years old will receive 30 GEL in addition and this signifies that pensions for this category will finally increase by 50 GEL ”, Giorgi Gakharia said. Over the past years, government officials openly say that budget deficit does not enable to grow pensions, but in the 2020 preelection period important promises were voiced at the Government’s meeting. How will the mentioned promises be reflected in the state budget? Is it possible to correct the expenditures part? And are the mentioned promises related to the 2020 elections? Zviad Khorguashvili says that taking into account the state budget deficit the current Authorities have impressive experience of efficient employment of expenditures. “Government can attract financial resource any time, but the source of these finances matters. On the one hand, we know that Georgia suffers from budget deficit and only variant is to grow state debts and fund the liabilities in this way. Another mechanism is to reduce expenditures. The budget analysis shows that a lot of money is spent erroneously and inefficiently. Therefore, we can save considerable funds in this way, but it is questionable whether the current Authorities are able to take similar steps, because all previous efforts have failed. We remember that all statements on cutting costs have brought no results. On the contrary, expenditures have grown anyway, including expenditures of bureaucratic character. On the one hand, promises regarding salaries and pensions are realistic, on the other hand, the main question is whether the Government has real resources. We are accustomed to unrealistic promises that are not fulfilled. For example, the Authorities promised to write off debts of 600 000 citizens before the runoff presidential elections”,

Khorguashvili said. Doctor of economics Rati Abuladze explains that the state budget allocations made p 14 211.9 million GEL. I welcome that the 2020 state budget is more oriented on social responsibility direction, compared to previous years. We have impressive budget forecasts, parameters and planned projects, Rati Abuladze said. It should be noted that the budget reflects the existing reality, it is to stabilize the country, fulfill public objectives, respond the expected challenges and ensure viability of long-term perspectives. We should also take into account that in the pre-election period the budgetfunded social programs and determined forecasts represent a political instrument for ensuring public trust and sympathy. Research works prove that the budget reflect plans for strengthening political power, maintaining peace in the political life, fulfilling election promises, prolonging political lifespan and growing public trust. “Actual factors prove that socialpolitical institutions and political systems ensure an efficient growth in budget resources and its expenditures. .The country with constant social and economic problems considers the budget in the political context. And the key problem of the country is related to a lack of professional personnel and staff (not only a lack of money). It should be stressed that despite an impressive composition of budget policy, the document reflects high life costs, social risks, inequality, inefficiency of management, instable balance and vulnerability to global challenges. Finally, I would like to note that the 2020 state budget should be oriented on social and global challenges (the Defense expenditures should grow)”, Rati Abuladze said. Parliament of Georgia keeps discussing the 2020 state budget bill. The parliament committee for environment protection and natural resource has already approved the document.

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Salome Gelashvili: "Marketing Department must be able to combine Creativity and Analytics" Interview with Marketing Manager of JSC International Insurance Company Kamara , Salome Gelashvili. Tell us about how you got into the field of marketing, and what factors played an important role in choosing this profession? I graduated from a faculty that had many paths, such as psychology, sociology, journalism, and so on. My final choice was journalism, but I was thoroughly familiar with related fields. Since I started becoming interested in things that made me well versed in marketing, I started working on various projects starting from my time as a student. One of these was digital broadcasting reform in Georgia, which was a major project for our country. Today, I lead the marketing team at an insurance company, "Kamara," and as I work on each project, I feel that I can grow along customer requirements, which does not allow me to stay in one place in my field. What challenges do you face as a leader in marketing during a time of technological change? Technological development enables those working in this field to get closer to our customers. In the past decade, this process has made it easier to directly reach out to potential or existing customers. On the one hand, it is important that there are simplified tools that help us identify and align with our customers' desires, and on the other hand, relying on new technologies, we can easily initiate projects and engage audiences. Technological changes have made each offer different. At the same time, it allows you to cover a predetermined audience, and specifically target what will be of interest to the user. Today, the marketing department must be able to combine creativity, the ability to keep pace with technology innovation, and analytics. What has changed in the field in the last 5 years, and what changes are expected? In recent years, a digital transformation has changed a lot. The channels for the dissemination of information have changed, often replacing traditional media with new media. Nowadays, there are many ways for consumers to get to know a specific topic, which makes it a challenge for marketers to complete each project with maximum accuracy. What do you think are the most important traits a marketing manager should have, and what is his or her role in the organization in general? Marketing is one of the most important

roles in an organization. This field is the face of the company, expressing its idiosyncrasies . Marketing has the tools to help the company find the right positioning. Every detail that connects a customer to a company, gives them insights into the company and helps them make a decision, is an important feature of marketing. And a manager needs to be well-versed in modern technology, and have the desire to innovate. It is important to understand the voice of a user, and be able to make the right calculations at the start of the campaign.

before; to seek and find a niche that interest and desire will turn it into a business. One of the main goals is to develop and offer customer-oriented insurance products. It is also very important to us that those topics are relevant to society; for example, one of our recent projects on gender equality, outlining the approach of the community and highlighting issues.

What are you doing to help the organization keep up with new trends and use innovative approaches in the field of marketing?

The most useful advice you’ve ever received in your life?

First of all, it is important to identify specific approaches that will benefit the organization. Technological innovation offers a lot of opportunities, and we must tailor it to the project we are working on. It is noteworthy that staff were periodically informed about current trends. What’s your organization’s business model, in terms of marketing? Our company is always trying to offer customers something that has not been done

One word that describes your job. Novelty.

Do not hesitate to come up with a new topic and figure out ways to implement it. Another thing that is always important; be realistic, and always convey this idea in user feedback or figures. Think of a person who inspires you, professionally. There are many people who give me inspiration in different fields. Generally speaking, it is the person who can start a business from scratch and, despite the problems, find the path to a successful organization.

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Business News

Italian Clothing Brand BOGGI Milano enters Georgia

On October 11, Tbilisi hosted the first personal exhibition of well-known artist in Europe and USA, Vakhtang Bardavelidze. The exhibition “Space transferred in color” includes more than 50 paintings and sculptures which will be displayed in the exhibition hall of the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia and will be held until October 18th.

Extra class shopping mall of City Mall will open at Kavtaradze Street N1 in Tbilisi and the first official showroom of BOGGI Milano will be represented in the so-called luxury corner on the second floor.

Bocuse d’Or National Championship holds in Georgia

Silk Road Group to implement 65 million USD Project on Elbakidze Rise

Bocuse d’Or national contest holds in Georgia for the first time. Time for receiving applications has already run out, which means, that 8 participants must be chosen from 100 applicants.

Center Plaza, the company related to Silk Road Group, plans to build a multifunctional complex on Sanapiro Street and adjacent territory in Tbilisi.

Hilton Hotel to open in 2021 Construction of a 5-star hotel of Hilton has been finished in the former building of Agriculture Ministry in Tbilisi (Kostava Street N59) and the reconstruction-restoration works are underway.

New Jam Producer Company appears on Market Wine Ness - Saperavi that tells your Message Two 20-year old, International Relations and Political Science students David Migineishvili and ana Kurdadze founded Wine Ness. They let the wine speak our message. For example, labels on the bottle include: “Should Have Kissed You Longer”, “Drunk Enough To Say Love You”, “I Like You More Than I planned.

Influence Georgia granted with 1 300 000 GEL The company "Influence Georgia" is granted with 1 300 000 GEL. As they say, they will have an opportunity to create an international influencer marketing platform "Echolize" and develop itself across Georgian boundaries. Rooms in Abastumani – Adjara Group buys Building of Old Sanatorium Adjara Group has entered Abastumani under the brand of Rooms, Adjara Group executive director Valeri Chekheria noted at the presentation of the tourism sector research by TBC Capital.

"VerVelevi" is the name of the new company founded by Maka Metreveli. As she noted, the company will primarily produce 2,500 jars of jam. The product will be sold on Abashidze Street, at "Likas Sakonditro". Therefore, Maka plans to promote jam in tourist zones. The price will be between 7 and 15 GEL.

Masterpieces that cannot be photographed – Tbilisi hosts Vakho Bardavelidze’s very First Personal Exhibition

TBC Capital: Two or Three Companies will issue Bonds in Several Months In 2019, TBC Capital has placed bonds of more than 6 companies at Georgian Stock Exchange (GSE). TBC Bank deputy director general Goga Tkhelidze noted that in October a major trade company will issue bonds.

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11 October 14, 2019 #299

‘’Entrepreneurship is an Infectious Disease; You have it and it grows and grows’’ IE University gathered interested people for Entrepreneurship Day on October 8th in Tbilisi, and focused on topics like how to translate entrepreneurial activity into economic growth and how to grow companies. Prof. Mario Berta was the keynote speaker; a global professional with international experience in corporate strategy, innovation and scaling. He is a founder and CEO of, a tech startup that provides access to flexible office and retail space. He is also one of the creators of Easy Taxi, which became Asia's biggest taxi application, with operations in 9 countries. Professor Berta discussed popular mistakes, going global, and entrepreneurial education with CBW: You’ve developed companies all over the world that are different, one from the other. Is there any common technique or mindset that has helped you implement your ideas? I’ve transitioned from a corporate career to entrepreneurship, after which I founded these companies. I think the main thing that you have to analyze when you are willing to implement an idea, is to ask yourself a question: is this going to be lucrative, can your idea make money? I see a lot of young talented people who are very passionate about what they do, but they are not necessarily money-driven. It certainly is important to be passionate about what you do, but at the same time, make sure that it’s economically feasible to keep it going. I’m going to sound obvious on the second one, but it’s all about your team, regardless of the business, you need to have very different kinds of profiles in a company. You will need a numbers-driven guy, a good salesperson, the one who’s a tech wiz, and make sure to get all these profiles involved, doing their job on a top-level. One of your successful projects, Easy Taxi, became Asia’s biggest taxi application. However, there are often cultural and business misunderstandings when Westerners enter the Asian market. What’s the key to minimizing difficulties? Some of the problems and challenges can be foreseen while entering a different market. In each country, you need to do some cultural, as well as technological, adaptations. We do the same with FlySpaces; in the five countries where we operate today, we have five different languages spoken, three different religions, and different currencies. We go from Singapore, which is a super-advanced country both technologically and structure-wise, versus, let’s say Manilla, which is my home,which has a very different dynamic, as a city. Overall, all the major megacities like Jakarta, Ochimin, Manilla, Kuala Lumpur - they share the same opportunities and challenges, they have heavy traffic, some of them have better or worse infrastructure, but in the end, they are megacities

of at least 10 million people. A city with such a huge population faces the same problems, Mexico Cities and Manilla across the earth, share the same problems in terms of infrastructure and overpopulation. These are things that are very objective, those challenges just need to be analyzed. Entrepreneurs often focus on expanding companies internationally, rather than locally. Could you point out what are the best ways to avoid making mistakes throughout this process? In the first place, only go international when you’re ready. It’s very dangerous to expand into two or three, or even more different markets when you don’t have the right team or the proper technology, you might not have even found your market niche yet, then it can implode. Your attention will be divided into multiple countries, teams and people and just as great financial resources, you will need to start allocating funds to different companies. Besides, you need to be well-prepared regarding the relevant market in each country. For instance, in Indonesia, a very populous country, you have 280 million potential customers. You can sell anything to anybody. However, most companies in Georgia, which has a population of only 3.5 million, are international from day one. Given that its small-scale market, especially if a company is in the technology sector, one has a multiplayer effect. In fact, I discussed this topic with a Georgian startup entrepreneur. They immediately look at expanding to Georgia, Armenia, Turkey. That mindset is quite forward looking. In any case, my advice would be to start expanding whenever you believe you’re ready. You are a Professor at IE Business School. What is your approach to your students, to make sure the concepts learned throughout their education can be applied to their careers? It has to do with the curriculum of the school. I only teach in executive education, which by itself gets extremely practical. It’s notable that in one of our objective owner scaleup programs, we don’t give our students accounting or legal classes. We give them a subject which is more about becoming an entrepreneur than doing all the

jobs at the company. What we believe is that we don’t want to give students classes that, as an entrepreneur, they shouldn’t be focused on. You should hire an accountant to do her/his job, hire a lawyer to do legalwork. Hiring, product, technology, managing people, firing people when necessary; these are things that only entrepreneurs can do, and one hires a team that consists of different profiles. We teach a practical, pragmatic approach in executive education. While the MBA curriculum is much broader, we touch bigger data, as its duration is one year. Being an entrepreneur is not only creating a product or service but also bringing people into that vision. What are the most important features that one should have? Georgians think there are not enough entrepreneurs in the country; I completely disagree, I see entrepreneurs everywhere. I took a walk in the old town yesterday, where I could get an idea of the market. The humble lady selling carpets is actually an entrepreneur. We have a myth that entrepreneurship is only creating the next Uber. It’s not true; it’s everywhere, it’s an infectious disease that you have and it grows and grows. I see things in this manner when I’m walking down the streets of Jakarta, looking at buildings, and I always wonder what businesses are running inside these buildings, even in a small, crappy building. I think entrepreneurship is everywhere, at every level, and you don’t really need to have a company with 1000 people to be called one, you can be a husband and wife running a bar, if that's what you like and you’re passionate about. Why not? The more structural entrepreneurship, where you really put the company together and incorporate, raise money and so on, requires commitment, and you have to be ready for that with your mindset. You will be there for the long run. By Ninna Gomarteli

12 October 14, 2019 #299

Profile for Caucasian Business Week

Caucasus Business Week #299  

Caucasus Business Week #299