“I believe those individuals who possess higher degrees have better opportunities for getting to the top of a company. Especially in a depressed economy, those with higher degrees have a better chance to advance. However CEOs and the top management must have a combination of skills and practical experience, there must be a healthy dose of practical experience to go with those degrees,” says R. Michael Cowgill, President of the Georgian American University.
Pkhakadze completed his MBA at Moscow State University and Master’s in Public Policy and Management (MPP) at Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government.
He worked as Chief Dealer and Deputy Head of Foreign Exchange Department of the National Bank of Georgia from the years 1993-2000.
“In most Western countries, PhDs are earned by those wishing to teach and are very specialized. However, Master’s degrees have become the norm or standard for the management track. Depending on the sector, an MBA curriculum contains courses essential for effective management of an organization,” declared Cowgill.
Cowgill says that the most necessary qualities for being CEO are Communications and “people” skills. “In addition, a CEO needs to be able to have both logic and analytical skills. Furthermore, “leadership” skills and an abundance of patience are essential,” he added.
CEOs of Bank of Georgia, Tbilisi Marriott, Magticom, Radisson BLU and Procredit Bank have graduated in foreign countries both holding their Bachelor and Master’s degrees from foreign universities. Moreover, it should be noted that the CEOs of Magticom, Radisson BLU and Procredit Bank are citizens of foreign countries.
Irakli Gilauri, CEO of Bank of Georgia, received his undergraduate degree in Business Studies, Economics and Finance from the University of Limerick, Ireland. He was later awarded the Chevening Scholarship, granted by the British Council, to study at the Cass Business School of City University, where he obtained his Master of Science degree in Banking and International Finance.
Irakli Gilauri was appointed to the Supervisory Board in June 2009 and has served as the CEO of Bank of Georgia since May 2006, having previously served as Chief Financial Officer since September 2004.
George Togonidze, Director of Tbilisi Marriott, graduated from Radford University, USA, with a degree in Bachelor of Science in the field of political science/international relations, minor economics. He obtained his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the same university in the field of Management and Marketing Specialization in 1999.
George Togonidze has an extensive professional background in the sales and marketing field in Hospitality, Real Estate and FMCG sectors. Before appointed to this position he was working at GMT Group. He has now been working at the Marriott for 6 years.
David Lee, General Director of Magticom and AmCham is a chartered accountant, holding an MBA from Warwick University. Before being appointed as General Director of Magticom Lee was working as first Deputy General Director at Comstar fixed line operator based in Moscow.
Atakan Turhan, who has been General Manager of Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel since the year 2008, was working at Radisson Blu Hotel, Ankara, at the position of General Manager before arriving in Georgia.
Turhan graduated from Bosphorus University in the field of Tourism and Hotel Management, and from Anadolu University in the field of Business Administration.
Philipp Pott, General Director of Procredit Bank Georgia has two degrees, in Eastern European History and in Finance. He was appointed to this position in June 2006. Prior to joining ProCredit Bank Georgia he was a member of the Management Board in ProCredit Bank Ukraine.
CEOs of Aldagi BCI, VTB Bank, UGT, Elit-Electronics and Silknet LLC obtained their Bachelor’s degrees in Georgia while obtaining their Masters’ from universities abroad.
Nika Gamkrelidze, CEO of Aldagi BCI, graduated from Georgian State Medical University and from London Royal College, possessing a Master’s degree in Health Management.
Before being appointed General Director of Aldagi BCI in 2007, he was working as General Director of Aldagi BCI’s clinic chain.
Giorgi Chirakadze, President and founder of UGT Group, graduated from Tbilisi State University and Oxford University with a Master’s degree in the field of Strategic Management, Finance, Marketing and Management of Complex Projects.
Amiran Sherozia, CEO of Elit-Electronics, graduated from Tbilisi State University, has a Bachelor’s degree in Science in Computer Sciences, and a Master’s degree in Science in Applied Mathematics. Sherozia graduated from Insead with an MBA degree.
Before being appointed CEO of Elit-Electronics he worked as Senior Management Consultant at Bank Republic, as Head of Retail Banking at HSBC and Chief Information Officer at Bank of Georgia.
Giorgi Gugunishvili, Director of Silknet LLC, graduated from Tbilisi State University, Department of Economics. He was enrolled at Queens College, City University of New York, Theil College, the Institute of Practical Banking and Business, University of Rochester B.A in Political Science, George C. Marshall European Centre for Security Studies – College of Strategic Studies and Defence Economics.
Before being employed at Silknet he worked at Silk Road Group and was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.
Archil Concelidze graduated from Tbilisi Technical University, the faculty of Mechanical Engineering. In 1993 he completed courses in the economics of Great Britain at Oxford University. In 1994 he graduated from St. Bonaventure University, with a Master of Corporate Finances.
Before being appointed General Director of VTB Bank, he was Corporate Director at VTB Bank and before that, Financial Manager of Energo Pro Georgia.
The General Directors of ArtX, ACT Research and Axis obtained their degrees in Georgia.
Rusudan Chergoleishvili, founder and director of LTD ARTX Bureau for interior design, architecture and renovation, has been in charge of her position since the year 2006.
Chergoleishvili graduated from Tbilisi State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and later from Caucasus University with an MBA. Moreover she was involved in different training courses in tax law, finance and tax accounting.
Tinatin Rukhadze, CEO of ACT Research, graduated from Tbilisi State University with Bachelor and Master’s degrees in General Psychology. Moreover she obtained certificates and attended workshops in Sweden, Paris and Berlin.
Giorgi Kapanadze, CEO of Axis Ltd., Real Estate Development Company, has been in charge of his position since 2005. Before being appointed to this position he was heading the Sales and Marketing Department at Axis.
Kapanadze obtained his Bachelor and Master’s degrees from Georgian Technical University in the fields of Production of Building Materials and Civil Engineering Management.
Lasha Papashvili, businessman, Chairman of Bank Republic’s Supervisory Council and CEO of Redix, Real Estate Development Company, got a Bachelor’s Degree in History in 1989 and in 1993 a Bachelor’s Degree in Law from Tbilisi State University. After getting his degree Lasha Papashvili got involved in private business pursuits in Georgia and later in Russia.
Paata Gigauri, Managing Partner of Ici-Paris, Prestige LTD, graduated from Tbilisi Medical University with a degree in Surgery and from Tbilisi State University, Legal Faculty. Before being co-founder of Prestige LTD he was first Deputy Head of Staff at the Parliament of Georgia.
The previous survey carried out by The FINANCIAL a month ago, about the cabinet of ministers, was changed, stating that out of the 19 ministers, including the PM, a Master’s Degree is possessed by only 13 ministers out of 19, having graduated from foreign universities in the USA, followed by Germany, the Netherlands and Russia.
Moreover, four of the ministers were involved in their Master’s studies in Georgia, in Tbilisi State University and the Technical University.
Nikoloz Rurua, the Minister of Culture, Monuments Protection and Sports of Georgia turned out to be the only Minister with a Doctor’s Degree out of the Cabinet of Georgian Ministers.
“For a minister it is necessary to hold a Master’s Degree as they will have more knowledge, will be more educated and can contribute more, considering the present trends,” declared Kakha Shengelia, President of Caucasus University.
Shengelia believes that it is not necessary to complete one’s Master’s Degree in a foreign country, as any willing individual can attend Master’s programmes and get a higher education in Georgia as well.