The FINANCIAL — The sales revenue of Wissol Petroleum Georgia, one of the largest commercial groups in Georgia, has increased by 30% compared to last year.
The company has invested a huge amount of money in the different lines of its business. According to Samson Pkhakadze, Chairman of the Wissol Board of Directors, the capacity of imported petrol, diesel and gas has increased this past year. As Pkhakadze says, Wissol stations serve up to 80,000 customers in total every day.
While summing up the results of 2011, Pkhakadze said that the most successful project this year has been the development of the Smart supermarket chain. Entering the Georgian supermarket business in the beginning of 2011 Smart is a daughter brand of Wissol Group.
Wissol Group is one of the leading players in the energy sector. Since 2007 the Group has been represented in the market by its sub-brands: Wissol Petroleum Georgia, Wissol Gas, Air Wissol, Wissol Bunkering and Wissol Gas Distribution Company. Wissol Group participated in the European Business Awards and was awarded as one of the top ten successful European brands.
“In the year 2011 we received two very important awards. One of the most important factors in winning was that the winning companies were chosen by society. So that was very rewarding for us. Frankly speaking, this year Georgia’s economy has increased on the whole unlike other countries experiencing economic crises. This year was overall much better than the last. Our country’s economy had about 6% growth. We do hope that every year’s results will continue to be much better than the last,” Pkhakadze said.
“One of the most notable outcomes of the year was that Wissol Group was joined by two strong daughter companies – Smart and Wissol Auto Express. Our group is paying a great deal of attention to the development of the Smart supermarkets. Smart has about 400 employees already. By the end of the year we will have five Smart trade centres in total,” Pkhakadze said.
“We are intensively working on developing our Wissol Auto Express service centres. We have already managed to open twelve such service centres. Opening new branches increases the number of employed people in the country and that is very important to us. Auto Express twelve units this year. Smart had just one supermarket at the beginning of the year but we have since managed to add more,” Pkhakadze said.
One of the most outstanding projects of Wissol Group was the launch of a multifunctional recreation and service complex on a section of the Gori highway. Wissol branded CNG and petrol stations, a Wissol Auto Express service centre offering French Total lubricants, a Smart supermarket with a wide range of products, fast food restaurant “Smart-cafe”, and a parking zone for trucks, buses and cars are all located at the complex.
“The architectural concept of the complex is exceptional. It is truly unique and you won’t be able to find an identical building anywhere else. Alongside its service centres and supermarket Wissol also decided to help traditional roadside sellers. We therefore created a corner for agricultural products giving local people the opportunity to sell their fruits and vegetables on the roadside yet in a comfortable environment. We have the desire to add more such complexes countrywide but that is a plan for the future,” Pkhakadze said.
“This year we added more gas stations to our network. We now have really well organized departments, all running smoothly thanks to the hard working managers and employees. We are all members of one big family and each company employee shares this idea. That’s one of the main determiners of our success,” Pkhakadze said.
“This year world famous AS 24 became our partner. We had successfully cooperated with French brand Total and they therefore decided to start a second project with us. We have already opened an AS 24 station in Gori. Georgia is a transit country and due to this fact many transit cars pass through it. Every driver who has an AS 24 plastic card will now have the opportunity to pump gas in Gori and do not care about currency exchange or loosing time,” Pkhakadze said.
Wissol Group has a gas distribution company in Telavi region. The company finished the gasification of about seventeen villages this year. Wissol already has up to 12,000 gas subscribers and according to Pkhakadze the company plans to have 18-20,000 subscribers in the nearest future.
“One of the most important projects for Wissol Group is the development of Torpedo Kutaisi as the western standard football club. Unfortunately many people have remained sceptical about our decision to become involved in the sports sector. They think that we won’t be able to be as successful in sports as we are in business. We have proved however that we are doing well in this direction as well,” Pkhakadze said.
“At the beginning of the year Torpedo was in 10th place of the National Football Championship and we are now in 2nd and we have serious ambitions to hold 1st place. We are building children’s football academy at Torpedo Kutaisi, where our scouts are searching for young talented football players. We have different age groups. We do think that the future of Georgian football lies in the children of today. A good way to make your country famous abroad is to play good football . This would be the quickest and most effective way of bringing world recognition to the country,” Pkhakadze said.
Wissol has participated in many charity projects, but as Pkhakadze says, the company prefers to stay active in this direction yet remain discreet about the work they do. It is known that Wissol Group took part in Iavnana charity actions and has helped many poor and needy families.
“When a big company has solid income, as a commercial organization it should return an amount of the money to society asides from just paying its bills. That’s the ‘social responsibility’ side of business. Society gives you the opportunity to be successful, so you should help them in return therefore. Consumers are loyal to our brands and we want to remain loyal to our clients as well. We should all be socially responsible,” Pkhakadze said.
“Wissol Group has about 4,000 employees in total. There are some companies which have more employees but we are still in the process of developing our business. Business is a guarantee of economic development. Economic strength is the main priority for every country. We should all take in to account this formula. In this way we will have a more successful country. If the country has strong companies represented on the market, then its economy will develop accordingly,” Pkhakadze said.
“The main challenges for Wissol Group in 2012 will be the development of Smart Supermarkets and Torpedo Kutaisi football club. The Smart supermarket network is a new project. When you start something from nothing it requires a great force to make it successful. We hope to double the number of Smart supermarkets in the next year. We should create a strong organization. We will focus on making Torpedo Kutaisi successful as well. We do hope that this club will gain popularity not just in Georgia but worldwide. Therefore we are continuing in our search for talented young Georgian footballers,” Pkhakadze said.