The FINANCIAL — Dr. David Kiladze, Director of GPC, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Georgia, says the minimum that the company is going to achieve in 2009 is to keep stability in the company. “I can testify that there will be harder times to come in terms of the financial crisis. A tense political situation and the conflict with Russia were worsened by the world economic crisis. We should stay realistic and say that the situation will probably get worse before it gets better, but GPC is not going to reduce the number of its staff in the coming year.”
Dr. David Kiladze answered the questions of The FINANCIAL’s on his company’s strategies, future plans and the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
“Our major goal will be keeping our leading positions and providing high quality products,” says the Director of GPC.
GPC was founded in 1995. The main activity of the firm is the importation and distribution of medicines and products of medical use. Since 1996 GPC has been actively taking part in the process of establishment of renowned foreign companies in the Georgian market.
The first partner of GPC was the French laboratory VICHY. Currently GPC successfully cooperates with more than thirty leading pharmaceutical companies including: Pfizer; MSD; Aventis Pasteur; Solvay; Beaufour-Ipsen; Ratiopharm; Pliva; and others. The drugstore network of GPC includes 37 drugstores in Tbilisi. The company has 7 branch offices in different regions of Georgia. Along with its own drugstores GPC cooperates with more than 330 different pharmacies.
Aldagi BCI announced recently that it had made investments in the pharmaceutical business and acquired a 19.5% share in GPC. Dr. David Kiladze says it is a really positive and considerable perspective for the company.
“Our resources have grown significantly since this transaction. It’s strategically important for the pharmaceutical company to be in partnership with the insurance company. Insurance compensations of medicament expenditures will benefit and encourage our company’s stability.”
“The major challenge in 2008 was to maintain the market leader’s position on the local market”, says Kiladze. “We managed to overcome this difficulty though. GPC’s goal was to increase its cash flows and profits. We’ve also achieved this goal. I can say with surety that there was notable progress in the company’s development. The transaction that I’ve mentioned above has facilitated this process. Without a doubt 2008 was a tough year for Georgia as a whole. The reasons were: political turmoil, the August conflict and of course the current global financial crisis. The effects of this crisis can be seen in Georgia’s current situation too. I can testify that there will be harder times coming in terms of the financial crisis. The tense political situation and conflict with Russia were worsened by the world economic crisis. We should stay realistic and say that the situation will probably get worse before it gets better.”
Plans of GPC for 2009
“It could sound a bit banal, but the minimum that we are going to achieve is to keep the stability in the company. Our forthcoming strategies of executing business plans for 2009 will very much be dependant on the political and economic developments in Georgia. I would say that there will be hard times coming and for this reason whatever GPC does; the efforts will need to be much higher than in 2008. We are planning to raise trust among our stakeholders and stay among the leaders of the pharmaceutical market of Georgia,” Kiladze says.
“It’s not an easy task to be responsible for so many people, guaranteeing the consumers’ health with the drugs that have vital means. You should not only live up to the expectations of consumers but also guarantee their future wellbeing regarding health. Here we are talking about the more long-term relationships that we have in the pharmaceutical business.”
During the August war GPC was working to its normal schedule. “But of course the war conditions caused some changes,” Kiladze claims. “There were daily impediments regarding our suppliers from the West. Since then we’ve been receiving medicines by different roads, but anyway it meant that consumers weren’t able to get medicines of vital means in periods of necessity. The country was at war so it was clear that the situation would worsen in practically every sphere. All in all we did everything we could not to incur losses of our consumers in the most venturesome period.”
Pioneering novelties on the market
“We are still in the leading position in this regard. GPC is an innovator that introduces novelties to the market. These innovative ideas cover CSR issues. Implementing new ideas for improvements, introducing new technologies and investing in the future of your company by helping others is exactly what CSR entails.”
During the August war and with the background of a global economic crisis, socially unprotected groups have increased. Designated conditions have reflected negatively on the country’s economic situation, and also affected private companies. Although the GPC Director claims the company is not going to reduce the number of its staff
“This problem will soon show its effects everywhere. Our company isn’t planning to reduce the number of our staff. Under these complicated conditions we aren’t scheduling to lead any repressive measures.”
“We are going to continue trainings and the preparation of our staff as before. We are going to work in an alternative regime.”
Kiladze says that decreasing or increasing the wages of GPC’s staff is not part of the company’s plans.
“It will be dependant on the economic situation. In a sufficient social environment, corresponding measures will be undertaken.”
“We have a really precise point of view towards Human Resource Management. We are trying to create such an environment for the people where self actualization will be maximally enabled. The company is task oriented and is not trying to stretch its human resources to satisfy larger demand. We are trying to facilitate efficient use of resources. We’ve created an adequate environment for workers by encouraging team spirit. Our company is a family for our employees, not just a workplace.”
“The formulation of transparency is and should become the most important for the development of business in Georgia. From my point of view, business should be completely constructed on transparency; this is one of the key postulates for conducting successful business.”
GPC introduced the ZGARBI CREDIT card recently. The card collects scores, conventionally “apples”, for each product bought in any of GPC’s drugstore. Upon reaching a certain figure of scores you will be granted with special gifts.
The gifts will be chosen by the card-holders only and granted to them, but to collecting more scores on your card, members of your family and friends can assist you.
While buying any kind of product at GPC’s drugstores with “ZGARBI CREDIT” you can use credit without percent over a period of three months.
Written By Tako Khelaia