The FINANCIAL -- Improving living conditions and offering novelties have been the main goals of our company from the very beginning, said Irakli Burdiladze, CEO of the leading developing company m².
“Offering fully-renovated flats, with kitchens and in-built appliances was part of our strategy. We increased the level of comfort of house buyers. This created a trend in the Georgian construction business. As of today, the demand for fully-renovated residences is increasing day by day and I am very happy that other, different companies are offering renovated flats to clients as well.”
“Our standards are close to Western European and US living conditions in regard to safety. We have a fire alarm system in accordance with international standards; fire detectors on each floor; and fire resistant doors in the hallways. The service in the complexes also include 24/7 security. We have a special, adapted environment for disabled people. We offer high energy efficiency systems in our flats, which save families’ budget on communal taxes. By maintaining such a high level of services, m² is creating new standards of quality and comfortable living in Georgia.”
Q. What do you think the expectations of your clients are?
A. During the last 6 years, since we started building residential complexes we have gained an image among our customers of always being one step ahead of others. They demand creative approaches, new ideas and innovations. Our company meets their expectations and I hope that with the help of our team we will continue to stay innovative.
Q. What is the influence of your company on the local community and environment?
A. Nowadays, negative information about new residential projects is often being spread among the population. Tbilisi is full of transport and new buildings. At m² we create projects which fit with the urban infrastructure and nature.
Q. How is CSR measured at your company?
A. An exact measurement of CSR is impossible to carry out. Implementing the policy of CSR is so effective, not only for our company, but for society and the country as a whole. It has a spillover effect on our business and other businesses as well. In the long-term perspective this influences the development of the country’s economy, which ultimately affects our wellbeing too.
Our company has 4 main directions of CSR. One of these directions includes caring for the environment and actively taking part in creating and caring for a green area. Our complex offers its residents different services and one of them is maintenance and care of the green area. This distinguishes m² from other companies.
One of our other main directions in CSR is education. We do think that this branch is very important for the future development of our company and business. Having professional employees is among our main goals. We support education by financing educational projects.
The third direction is creating an adapted environment for disabled people. We create equal conditions for them at our residential buildings. All of our complexes have ramps and elevators that are disabled-friendly.
Caring for women’s rights is another direction at m². Creating better conditions for women is one of our priorities.
We support innovative start-ups, especially those oriented at environment protection. Last year we signed an agreement with E-space, the company responsible for arranging infrastructure for electric vehicles. The idea is to install about 100 charging stations for electric vehicles all over Georgia. Their idea supports the popularization of electric vehicles. These kinds of startup ideas create new working places in the country and this is one of the main directions in the fight against poverty.
In cooperation with UNICEF and the Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Affairs we are building a house for disabled children lacking parental care. The space was allocated by the Georgian Government. m² is financing the construction of this house. For us it is vitally important to create a family-like atmosphere for these children.
We are also actively financing projects which involve the planting of trees and greenery.
So these are the projects which we were working on last year.
Q. How do you maintain gender equality at the company?
A. More women than men are working at our company. We have two women in top management who lead two very serious directions, and hope that their number will increase soon.
Q. What can encourage companies to do responsible business?
A. I think that encouraging one to be socially responsible is really hard. Companies should realise by themselves that if they spend their time and money on social responsibility it will have a positive effect on them. If they create conditions for a better environment, an improved environment will then support their success in turn. This is the biggest stimulation that companies should take into account when financing the direction of CSR.
Q. How do you measure the satisfaction of your customers and employees?
A. We periodically arrange surveys among our employees and clients. We use such methods as hiring outsourced survey companies, as well as conducting anonymous internal surveys. Both of these types of surveys show that the level of satisfaction among our employees and clients is very high.
Q. When choosing partners do you consider social criteria?
A. Our partners are obliged to be socially responsible. Our contracts include charters on environment care and safety. We pay much attention to environment and safety protection. We also measure air pollution volume during construction and try to minimize harm to the environment.
Q. What are your plans and challenges for the future?
A. We have very big and ambitious plans. We are following the development of the country. m² will continue to increase the amount of residential complexes and put more of an emphasis on a greener environment. This is highly demanded by our clients and we will be working on this direction.
We have started the construction of hotels and entered this sector as well. Tourism is one of the main sectors for the country and is very interesting for us. We are also interested in developing the commercial real estate sector including office and street retail. This year we are planning to offer a special platform for those who have land. Through the m² brand and franchise we can develop their land and build flats there.
Written by Tako Khelaia