The FINANCIAL — JSC Healthy Water (Tskali Margebeli), leading Georgian water producer in Georgia, says that 2009 was another successful year for the company. In 2009 the company produced 48 million litres of Nabeghlavi which was 5% more than in the previous year. 20% of total product was exported. For 2010 the company plans to sell minimum 50 million litres of Nabeghlavi.
Avtandil Svimonishvili, General Director of Healthy Water, says that Georgian mineral water, which has always been very popular in post Soviet countries, received a Euro certificate, which sharply simplifies export to EU member countries.
“The chance of Nabeghlavi entering western markets is supported by the specific taste and stably high quality of our products. The main difficulty is related to brand awareness in western markets, as there is already very tight competition between other water producing companies. Still this goal can soon be reached with the right PR campaigns,” Svimonishvili told The FINANCIAL.
Svimonishvili says that at present Russians really miss Georgian mineral waters, as the gap left by Georgian waters has not been successfully filled by the products of other countries. “But still, in the case of re-entering the Russian market our company would not be in a hurry as the situation remains difficult and the trust factor is too low,” Svimonishvili said.
At the end of 2009 JSC Healthy Water, was restructured. Company management formed a holding Margebeli that incorporates Healthy Water, Marneuli Food Factory, Marneuli Agro and distribution company Engadi.
Healthy water Nabeghlavi was named a favourite brand among Georgians recently, when the company became a winner of the Golden Brand Awards.
“Many things have changed since the establishment of the company. But the most important thing is that the company Healthy water has managed to turn in to a huge scale company from what was initially small production and that Nabeghlavi has become a leading national product,” Svimonishvili said.
Q. Which was the most important decision that the management of your company has made?
A. The most important decision of the management was made in 2004, when a huge amount of money was spent on factory modernization. It was a determining step that caused enlargement of production scales and also quality.
“We try to take decisions according to the challenges we are facing. In this case, we decided to become more active on the local market as well as on foreign ones.”
“The local market is already divided between its main players. Our company is occupying the leading position in it. As for export, we are working hard in order to develop our shares on foreign markets.
The global recession did not cause any serious changes at our company, but our priorities have partly changed. “We had to make a reduction of our expenses and concentrate at only strategically interesting markets. Despite this difficult background, nothing has changed seriously, because Nabeghlavi is always in demand from its loyal customers.
“The main issue on our agenda now is a fast end to the global recession and stability within our country; as well as this, a healthy competition environment and liberal tax payment policy.”
“In 2010 we are planning to increase shares of export and diversify products.”
Q. How has the dependence of Russians changed regarding Georgian mineral waters?
A. As far as we know they really miss Georgian mineral waters, as no other country’s products has managed to fill their niche. Anyway even if the Russian market were to become available to Georgian products again, our company would be in no hurry to enter it because of the unstable situation.
The largest importers of Nabeghlavi currently are Azerbaijan, Ukraine and the Baltic States.
“As well as Nabeghlavi we are also producing spring water Bakhmaro which occupies 10% of total sales. It is important that the demand for freshwater is increasing more and more. During 2008-2009 the sales of Bakhmaro increased by 50%”, Svimonishvili said.
During 2008-2009 the sales of Bakhmaro increased by 50%.
Q. Georgian mineral waters are very popular on Eastern markets; also the western market is replete with giant companies that are supported by influential politicians. What are the chances of Nabeghlavi entering Western markets? What are the problems that you face there?
A. In order to reach the markets of EU countries companies have to pass difficult regulative steps. But for us that is not a problem. After extensive checking and long term procedures, our company received a Euro certificate, which sharply simplifies export. The chances of Nabeglavi entering western markets are supported by the specific taste and stably high quality of our produce. The main difficulty is connected with implementing one’s name on western markets against the background of huge competition. Still, this can be achieved with time and correct PR campaigns.
“Nabeghlavi is occupying a successful position on the Azeri market and among the segment of imported waters Nabeghlavi maintains leadership.”
“The Turkish market is very specific. It is very difficult to enter it and our main priority for the nearest future is entering the Turkish market.”
“The development of our company is focused on long term goals, but counting on short term benefit we would use foreign investments in increasing export and popularization of our products.”
Healthy Water production capacity is 30,000 bottles per hour and the plant can operate in three shifts.
Production of Healthy Water is a rare combination of healthy and tasty, thus it can be used without any age or quantity limitations.
The main advantage of Nabeghlavi is that it is natural mineral water, from an ecologically healthy environment, which maintains its useful properties with the help of modern technologies.
Hydrocarbonate sodium table water Nabeghlavi, enriched with natural CO2 , has a subtle taste and unique curative properties. It is prominent for prevention and treatment of chronic stomach and liver diseases, contributes to elimination of harmful substances from human body and enriching it with all the necessary minerals.
“Nabeglavi satisfies all the standards of the EU which is proven by the according certificate,” Svimonishvili said.
Q. Innovation, protection of the environment, corporate steadiness are the modern values of European businesses. What is your attitude towards these values?
A. These values are not strange for us. For our company, producing hydrocarbon waters, environment protection is the main issue and we have great responsibility towards this. The exceptional qualities of our product are directly connected with the local ecosystem sustainability.
We are maximally taking care of the environment that brings Nabeghlavi and Bakhmaro waters to us. We are considering innovations with huge interest and maintain corporate stability. All these are reflected on the stable growth of our company.