In the modern world for human resource specialists and CEOs’ one of the biggest deals is to create an appropriate environment for staff to keep them creative and productive. When they work in offices or do some physical work, they need to be fed fine to keep productivity during their working hours. In Georgia most of the companies don’t take this responsibility and the government doesn’t have any promotion on this issue. Even more, companies that give meals to their employees, have to pay the VAT, which is one more reason to avoid feeding their employees.
Despite that it’s not very popular in Georgia to provide meals for the employees there are some companies which offer this kind of service. Food Management Group is among them operating in Georgia since 2012. For now the company unites more than 100 employees and takes one of the leading positions in the field. Food management group provides several services, like Cafeteria management, Lunchbox system and buffet.
According to the quantity of employees they offer delivery service of prepared food or cooking on the place. As the top manager of the company mentioned in the interview with BUSINESS GEORGIA that the recipe of their success is high quality of products and services, which they are keeping for years. “We always have fresh commodity and try our best to meet the highest standards in our field. “
How did you get the idea of doing this business?
About ten years ago the company where my wife used to work was rejected in the last minute to be served by one of the catering companies. She was stressed, couldn’t find another company so fast. It was first time I provided the lunch for one of the leading insurance company in Georgia, of course without any refund. After that I started thinking about this gap. This made me inspired and I started providing lunches for other companies. First time I used to make food at home and offer it to small companies. But from time to time the demand has increased. Then I started offering this service to bigger companies and established the enterprise in 2012. For now our business unites about 100 employees and we provide service for some leading companies.
What motivates you to do this work for years?
The main motivation for me is that we created an opportunity for people to eat healthy and balanced food during working hours. The practice of our country is to eat fast food during the day because healthy food costs too much if you don’t cook by yourself. We are proud that we took this gap many years ago. Another thing that motivates us is that we try our best to set up the practice that companies should pay for the food of their employees.
What kind of challenges do you see in your field for now?
The biggest challenge is the preservation of prices and quality. That means to offer balanced food (balanced meals include one food from each food group – Dairy; Vegetables; Fruits; Grains and Protein.) with affordable price.
On June 4th the 3rd Tourism and Hospitality Conference within Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards was held at the Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi.
The Conference was opened by Co-Founder/Managing Partner of the Project, Maryna Chayka. She welcomed guests and promised very interesting competition year for Nominees of the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards 2018. The first Vice Prime Minister/Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia Dimitry Kumsishvili, CEO of Partnership Fund Davit Saganelidze, head of Georgian National Tourism Administration George Chogovadze also addressed the guests with the welcome speeches. They spoke about the importance of tourism for the development of our country, in general, as well as for Tbilisi, as one of the major tourist destination in the country, and emphasized the role of each company in contributing to this field.
During panel discussions, the representatives of government and private sector discussed the challenges and opportunities in tourism and hospitality industry, top market suppliers and field experts made presentations on international standards and safety for hospitality industry, and on the importance of digital marketing in tourism. Even more, the organizers of the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards introduced to the guests new Jury Board, new categories and a lot of other interesting news about the Project. The participants of the Conference had an opportunity to arrange B2B meetings with each other to communicate and to establish useful business connections
More than 350 representatives of respective industry, government officials, international and local experts and media were attending the 3rd Tourism and Hospitality Conference.
The Tourism and Hospitality Conference within Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards Project is an annual business event held in Georgia since 2016 and is unique business platform, where different companies and organizations have an opportunity to exchange information, communicate and catch up with the latest trends and challenges in the spheres of tourism and hospitality, and in Georgian business industry in general.
Project supported by: the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Tbilisi City Hall and Partnership Fund, Co-organizers: Georgian National Tourism Administration and Bank of Georgia. Project’s Independent Auditor – “BDO in Georgia”, General Sponsor – Alliance Group. BUSINESS GEORGIA is a media partner since the establishment of the project.
For more detailed information about the Project, please visit website www.awards-tourism.com
STYX a tech company from Georgia won Seedstars startup competition on May 29. Ten best startups from Tbilisi were invited to pitch in front of an investment panel and compete to be crowned the most promising seed-stage startup of Seedstars Tbilisi 2018 in Tech Park.
STYX is a tech-enabled logistic company that instantly connects shippers with carriers via mobile app and SAAS platform. “We found the way that help carriers grow their businesses on their own terms. Shippers do not get inflated prices and can track their freight 24/7”. Using STYX website and app is free for everyone, company only charges carriers when they earn money.
STYX does not participate in pricing. The startup will join the global Seedstars Family and take part in the regional and global Seedstars Summits that include our tried and tested bootcamp and investor forum. It’s a catalytic platform for high growth emerging market startups.
Mydoc.chat and gamasin.ge took third and second places respectively.
BUSINESS GEORGIA is a media partner of Seedstars startup competition.
BUSINESS GEORGIA as a media partner of the Seedstars 2018, is ready to support all startups in Georgia by spreading information for developing local business activities.
Alliance Group Holding Extends 3-year Contract with Seedstars and on May 29 the 10 best startups from Tbilisi will be invited to pitch in front of an investment panel and compete to be crowned the most promising seed-stage startup of Seedstars Tbilisi 2018 in Tech Park.
The winning startup will join the global Seedstars Family and take part in the regional and global Seedstars Summits that include our tried and tested bootcamp and investor forum. It’s a catalytic platform for high growth emerging market startups.
In addition to seeing the top startups pitch, you can look forward to an event filled with disruptive tech, inspirational discussions, networking sessions and one flight ticket for the winner to come to Switzerland to compete for over $1mn in investment.
“Today’s innovative ideas lead to revolutionary development of different sectors of the companies. The countries that have such innovative companies created and the adequate environment of development, are significantly more competitive. This is the main advantage of developed countries. Georgia should be actively involved in these processes, to draw and quickly adopt other countries well-tested and approved practice.” – Says Aieti Kukava, Executive Director of “Alliance Group Holding”.
To apply for the competition the startups need to be fluent in English and meet the following criteria:
- Be less than 2 years old
- Have raised less than USD 500 000 of funding to date
- Have an MVP and have regional & global scalability potential
If you are relevant startup, join us and register:
To apply: https://seedsta.rs/tbilisi18_apply
Invitation code: ssw-tbilisi-2018-af
Registration deadline: May 24 at 00:00.
Last Year Participants
For more information please visit: https://www.facebook.com/Seedstarstbilisi/?hc_ref=ARRM7aPWQBNCKYfJxY7RyUnjxwKTwLYnwGRnjeaT75ao5BbzTd2Kd-kxQXgQDKnWgRw&fref=nf
Agricultural traditions are the main part of Georgian cultural heritage and mentality, as long as favorable climate with fertile soil make it one of the most productive economic sectors for the country and support production of a variety of high-value agricultural products including wine, nuts, citrus fruits, peaches, apricots, etc.
After signing a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the European Union in 2014, Georgia can produce agricultural products meeting the required safety and security standards and that makes it even more favorable for new investors of European markets, as longs as they can benefit from rising consumption on the local market, which is complemented by the Duty-free access to 900 million foreign markets under this agreement.
Georgia has emphasis on labor-intensive crops such as tea and grapes. In 2017, after the three-year study conducted by experts from seven countries, Georgia officially acknowledged as the cradle of wine and was invited to be a host of solo exhibition illustrating its oldest traditional viticulture and wine-making in Bordeaux, Paris.
Nowadays, wine export growth gives positive prospects to the sector, for instance after the data published in National Wine Agency of Georgia in January-February (2018) 10,8 mil. bottles of wine have been exported to 38 countries worldwide, that is 23% higher than the similar data of the last year.
There is fierce competition connected to the tea in Georgia, because strong local manufacturers are not allowing the international players to take over tea entirely but as Euromonitor International reveals, consumers of tea in Georgia stay quite conservative and most brands produce only black or green tea.
According to the Strategy for Agricultural Development in Georgia for 2015-2020, it is estimated that 25% of Georgia’s total land area is classified as permanent pastureland and about 70-80% of pasturing is self-regulated among local and nomadic pasture users, which gives good grounds for stockbreeding, but without having strong supporting policies small farmers which make 95% of all farmers, typically cultivating around one hectare of land with low output aren’t able to compete with imported products, which except dairy food and beverages mostly relies on meat products, as well as grains and egg. Generally, Georgia imports 80% of its packaged food products which has a significant negative impact on its trade balance.
The Georgian government identifies agriculture as a priority for development and has also set up the Agriculture Investment Fund to support the sector by providing credits for farmers. The projects of building new agricultural products processing plants can get grant from the government with a total value of up to 250 000 USD. In addition to this, investor can symbolically buy state owned immovable non-agricultural property only for 1 GEL.
Government of Georgia intends to create a favorable business environment because full use of Georgian agriculture potential is vitally important for country’s economy, for this purpose, in 2015, Parliament passed a bill allowing foreigners to own the land but with certain limitations as long as foreigners now may own agricultural land if they inherit it, co-own the land through marriage to a Georgian citizen or by being a member of a Georgian citizen household or hold a residence permit.
Georgia has 22 micro-climates varying from cool and dry to warm and humid. These diversified micro-climates allow for a longer than normal harvesting season and a range of growing conditions. Soils are of volcanic origin in the river valleys, which tend to be quite fertile and reasonably easy to cultivate.
Country has easy and cheap access to water as well and the prices of other utilities such as energy and gas is low too, but on the other hand, according to the 2017 budget, by GEL 83,000,210 reduced agricultural financing resulted in decreased funding for financing programs like the agricultural development program, food safety, epizootic goodwill and plant protection, viticulture, implementation of scientific research activities and so on.
During the last years, as a result of good international cooperation, the positive tendencies are being observed in regard to expanding the export market, increase of production and attracting the investment in the agricultural sector. But local production is still under strong necessity of boosting as long as even though having rich resources, trade balance between import and export is still unenviable in Georgia.
Author: Tamar Devdariani © BUSINESS GEORGIA
Photo: Tamuna Ubiria © BUSINESS GEORGIA
On March 30 and April 1, Nassim Taleb will run a 2-day Antifragility workshop for 100 top managers from the largest companies in Georgia and the CIS countries. The globally recognized author will talk about how to measure antifragility and cultivate it in yourself and your company. The event will be opened by the Minister of Finance of Georgia, Mr. Mamuka Bakhtadze.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb is the author of best-selling books Antifragile and The Black Swan. In addition, the participants will hear the excerpts from a new, yet to be published book Skin in the Game, the Logic of Risk Taking. For 10 years now, he’s been studying unexpected and predicted events in the global economy. Taleb started as a risk analyst at New York stock exchanges and ran his own hedge fund.
Antifragility is the ability to benefit from failures, become stronger when facing difficulties, and move forward even under high uncertainty. The term was coined by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his best-selling book The Black Swan.
We’ve selected the most inspiring quotes from Antifragile:
ON ADVICE – “Never ask anyone for their opinion, forecast, or recommendation. Just ask them what they have—or don’t have—in their portfolio.”
ON WEALTH – “The record shows that, for society, the richer we become, the harder it gets to live within our means. Abundance is harder for us to handle than scarcity.”
ON LOSERS – “Further, my characterization of a loser is someone who, after making a mistake, doesn’t introspect, doesn’t exploit it, feels embarrassed and defensive rather than enriched with a new piece of information, and tries to explain why he made the mistake rather than moving on. These types often consider themselves the “victims” of some large plot, a bad boss, or bad weather.”
ON TRIAL AND ERROR – “Further, the random element in trial and error is not quite random, if it is carried out rationally, using error as a source of information. If every trial provides you with information about what does not work, you start zooming in on a solution—so every attempt becomes more valuable, more like an expense than an error. And of course you make discoveries along the way.”
Due to the interactive format of the workshop and limited number of participants, everyone will be able to comment or ask the speaker any questions about his talk.
The event will take place at the Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel, one of Georgia’s best hotels located in the heart of the sunny Tbilisi.
BUSINESS GEORGIA is supporting this event as a media partner.
The organizers are offering to our readers a special 7% off via code “businessgeorgia”
Georgia is considered to be one of the oldest homelands of metal processing in the world. From the Copper-Bronze Age, when man acquired metal, it became the origin of the jewelry, especially the noble metals (gold and silver).
Examples of works by early Georgian goldsmiths were discovered during archaeological excavations, dating back to the 8th-6th centuries BCE, found on the territory of the ancient kingdom of Colkheti, known as Colchis. Burial mounds of ancient nobles on the sites of Vani and Sairkhe explain why Colkheti was referred to as Golden Fleece land, along with Mikena, Sardi, and Babylon in Greco-Roman sources.
Nowadays, Georgia is still rich in gold and this fact is reflected in high volume of export. During the last 7 years, Georgia has exported gold of USD 639, 923 500 64 and in 2017 price of exported gold was USD 64,656 600. This product is the 10th in the top export list of Georgia.
There are the couple of ores in the country, where gold can be mined: Madneuili, small town Kazreti and Ieli village Svaneti. Rich Metals Group (RMG) is the one of the largest enterprises in Georgia and Caucasus region, engaged in mining activities in Bolnisi region, Georgia. JSC RMG Copper and LTD RMG Gold produce the copper concentrate and gold Dore alloys (half-fabricates) by mining and processing copper and gold containing ores. Currently, about 3000 employees work at the company, 90% of whom are local residents.
Chart illustrates rates of exported gold (unwrought, semi-manufactured, in powder form) from Georgia, between 2010 and 2017. Units are presented in thousand US dollars.
The rate of export fluctuated, where the highest rates are shown in 2010 (about 117,647). In this period, gold export rates fell dramatically, up to 39,334. In 2015, rates improved slightly and reached almost 81,083. Unfortunately, in 2017 gold export decreased up to 700,771.
Overall gold import rate reached the peak in 2012 at a level 2,285, which fell dramatically in 2013(2.6) and remained stable until 2017 (24.1).
According to the data released by the state statistics office of Georgia, in 2017 Import reached USD 7.9 billion, while exports of Georgia was USD 2.7 billion. It was largest figures for the last three years both for export and import. The lowest rate of export from Georgia was USD 2.1 billion in 2016.
The trade turnover with the EU-member states stood at USD 2.84 billion in 2017 and USD 2.78 billion in 2016, a 2% increase compared to 2016. For the last three year’s maximum rate of import was in 2016, USD 2.21 billion and export in 2017, USD 0.64 billion.
Horizontal bar chart shows statistics of export and import of Georgia, between 2012 and 2017. Values are shown in billions of US dollar.
Additionally, in 2017 Trade turnover with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was USD 3.54 billion, while in 2015 and 2016 was USD 2.8 billion and USD 2.71 billion. Georgian exports to CIS countries were up by 60% y/y to USD 1.18 billion and imports increased by 19.2% to USD 2.36 billion.
Georgia’s largest trade partners in 2017:
- Turkey – USD 1.58 billion
- Russia – USD 1.18 billion
- China – USD 1.18 billion
- Azerbaijan – USD 1.18 billion
- Ukraine – USD 569 million
- Armenia – USD 489 million
- Germany – USD 478 million
- The United States – USD 389 million
- Bulgaria – USD 334 million
- Italy – USD 286 million
Georgia’s 2017 top trading partners by exports:
- Russia USD 394 million
- Azerbaijan USD 272 million
- Turkey USD 216 million
- Armenia USD 208 million
- China USD 207 million
- Ukraine USD 124 million
- The United States USD 121 million
- Iran USD 76 million
- Switzerland USD 71 million
- Uzbek USD 64 million
Georgia’s 2017 top trading partners by imports:
- Turkey – USD 2.37 billion
- Russia – USD 788 million
- China – USD 732 million
- Azerbaijan – USD 609 million
- Ukraine – USD 455 million
- Germany – USD 433 million
- Armenia – USD 281 million
- The United States – USD 267 million
- Italy – USD 217 million
- Romania – USD 191 million
Georgia’s 2017 top exported products:
- Copper ores and concentrates USD 419 million
- Ferroalloys – USD 306 million
- Re-export of motor cars – USD 234 million
- Wine – USD 170 million;
- Medicines – USD 140 million
- Non-denatured ethyl alcohol and spirits – USD 126 million
- Mineral waters – USD 95 million;
- Hazelnuts – USD 83 million
- Chemical fertilizers – USD 76 million
- Raw or semi-processed gold – USD 70 million
Georgia’s 2017 top imported products:
- Oil and oil products – USD 696 million
- Cars – USD 474 million
- Petroleum gases – USD 350 million
- Medicines – USD 346 million
- Copper ores and concentrates – USD 338 million
- Mobile and other wireless phones – USD 204 million
- Cigarettes – USD 102 million
- Wheat – USD 98 million
- Automatic data processing machines – USD 96 million
- Trucks – USD 72 million
Protein rich hazelnuts are sweet tree nuts that grow in temperate zones and its mainly cultivated in Turkey, which produces about 60% of the world’s total production. Hazelnuts are used in products like, hazelnut oil, chocolate bars, spreads and coffee.
Georgia is considered as one of the largest suppliers of hazelnuts in the European market. In 2009-2012 Georgia was fifth among the exporting countries with the exception of the hazelnut export to the EU. Although Georgia is considered one of the biggest suppliers of nuts in the European countries, it does not take part in determining the price of the market.
According to FAO’s 2016 report, Georgia is the fourth in the world’s hazelnuts production share.
- Turkey – 59.9 %
- Italy – 12.2 %
- USA – 4.4 %
- Georgia – 4.3 %
- Azerbaijan – 3.4 %
Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Guria and Imereti are the largest producers of nuts at the country level. These regions produce more than 80% of the hazelnuts in Georgia.
However, this statistic may soon change. Last year in Samegrelo, farmers weren’t able to harvest even half of what they got in 2016 and the prognoses are disappointing.
According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the income received from the hazelnut in three months amounted to $ 17 million, while last year it was $ 32 million. The price of hazelnut in Georgia is low and varies from 3 to 5 GEL. In the world market, its price is 6 dollars.
The National Food Agency issued a statement that the damage inflicted by the pesticide amounted to GEL 63 million. That’s why the government started a special program against Stink bug this year.
In June 2017 , hazelnut plantations were given a chemical treatment against the pests. In total, an area spanning 351 villages in the regions of Samegrelo, Guria and Adjara, 53,000 hectares of land was treated, including local plots of land of residents and corn fields. Local residents were given 230,000 liters of treatment and 21,000 traps for the insects.
“The first step is to improve the quality. The main reason for export reduction is the low quality and productivity.” Said Alexander Motserelia, Chairman of the “Nut Production and Exporters Association”.
Horizontal bar chart shows statistics of exported nuts from Georgia, between 2009 and 2017 (Jan-Nov). Export value is shown in millions of USD.
Overall, export rates have fluctuated during the time depicted on the graph. It peaked in 2014 and the lowest rates of exported nuts from Georgia were in 2009 and 2010.