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Georgian Employer of the Year Says to Open Representations in Europe

Published: May 28, 2012 | 8:51 am
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General Director: “Obri Group is a leading developer in the country”


The more jobs a country creates the better developed is its economy. Private sector involvement in employment issues is essential anywhere worldwide and it’s true for Georgia as well.  Mercury 2012, the national business award, revealed winners in different nominations on May 11. Orbi Group, a developer from Adjara was named the Employer of the Year in the People’s Choice category. The COMMERCIAL TIMES interviewed Irakli Kverghelidze, General Director of Orbi Group, regarding the company’s history back from the beginning up to the national acknowledgement, current activities and future development strategy.

- Job creation is one of the top priorities according to the 10-Point Action Plan of the Government of Georgia for Modernization and Employment. In general, unemployment issue is actively discussed by the world leaders of different countries globally. As the head of the company, which is the winner of the Employer of the Year nomination, how would you evaluate the importance of the Mercury 2012 award?

- Winning Mercury 2012 carries a two-fold importance for our company as we were awarded in the Employer of the Year nomination through the People’s Choice category.  In general, award that is granted by a competent jury is a great honor, while being chosen as a people’s favorite company brings double happiness. It’s a big acknowledgement to win the award in a competitive environment and get listed ahead of other companies that are also prominent players in the local market. On the other hand, it’s a huge responsibility that makes us be more active in future.

- Orbi Group is constructing the world’s largest apartment hotel in Batumi. How much has the company invested in the project up to now and what’s the total value of the project?

- Sea Towers is a large-scale complex of apartment hotels in Batumi. The project is under construction currently. Orbi Group is constructing two 25-storey and one-the first in the Caucasus 33-storey hotel type residential building on Khimshiashvili Street. In total, 1900 rooms will be offered in the three hotels, 570 rooms per two buildings and 760 in the biggest one. The construction of this complex of apartment hotels was started in May, June and October, 2011 and will be fully completed by June, 2013.

Another apartment hotel, located at Kobaladze Street (close to Aqua Park) is already constructed and finalizing works are underway. The hotel includes 850 rooms. The construction of this project was started in October, 2010 and will be completed in October, 2012.

Total budget of the apartment hotels constructed by Orbi Group in Batumi is USD 150 million. The company has already invested USD 60 million in these projects up to now.

- Could you please explain what does becoming a business partner of Orbi Group mean?

- Orbi Group provides its clients with a business offer. By purchasing real estate, our clients are given an opportunity to turn their acquisition into a financial income as they can manage the administration of the leasing of the purchased apartments. In this case in 4-5 years the money spent in the acquisition will totally be returned back to the buyer.

This is a very attractive offer for our potential clients telling them that along with becoming real estate owners they’re also becoming business partners of Orbi Group.

- As for creating new jobs, what’s the total employment capability of the people’s favorite employer?

- The history of our company starts back in 1997. However, Orbi Group began large-scale activities as a developer since 2004. In total, the number of our employees from the very beginning up to now, including both regular and single-project workforce, has exceeded 5 000. We’re highly proud with this indicator and plan to create 7 000 permanent jobs within the company to serve local tourism infrastructure development.

We’re committed to hire local population, 95% of our workforce are the people employed from the region. Certainly, we have personnel from other regions as well. Specialist invited from abroad make only one 1% employment resource in the company. Orbi Group also employees several people who are currently on probation.

- According to the official website of Orbi Group, one of the major strategies within the company’s philosophy is assisting tourism development in Georgia. Should we expect new projects by Orbi Group to appear in other regions of Georgia?

- Currently, Orbi Group is focused on Batumi and our activities are concentrated within Adjara region. We believe this is the region, which has a rich potential and is an interesting area both for Georgian and foreign consumers.

- Orbi Group has been a success in attracting consumers from abroad. Do you have plans for expansion outside Georgia?

- Considering the latest statistics that 65% of the consumers are foreigners, Orbi Group has made a decision to open representations abroad, in several European countries. This will help us bring foreign investors in Georgia to finance tourism infrastructure.

I’d like to stress that we provide firm guarantee for the reliability of our future projects as in close future Orbi Group will attract around USD 200-300 million from foreign clients. This financing will be spent in the new projects. As a result, we’ll create a sound infrastructure, which is one of the most important priorities for the city.

Foreigners should know that Batumi is the city where the world’s largest apartment hotel is being built. This project has no analogue globally. We’re proud to be the implementers of this unique apartment hotel project and we’re proud that it will be constructed in Batumi.

The main goal for Orbi Group is not only focusing on the company’s commercial profit, but we’re willing to put all our effort and resources in building the city, developing its infrastructure and attracting more and more tourists in the region.

- How important is Corporate Social Responsibility direction for Orbi Group?

- Charity and different kinds of social activities present one of the most important priorities for our company. Orbi Group actively supports children and socially vulnerable people in general. The company is also involved in cultural and sports events. Orbi Group is the supporter of TV projects such as Georgia’s Got Talent and GeoStar, the winners of which become the owners of the hotel room constructed by our company.

Orbi Group contributes much to the development of basketball. The company is the sponsor of the basketball team Batumi.

- How would you evaluate the company’s development from the very beginning up to now?

- All the large-scale projects that Orbi Group implements (550 thousand sq m) are conducted by the company’s own actives. We’re a hundred percent Georgian company.

The very first project launched by Orbi Group covered only 8 thousand sq m. Since then the company continued investing in new projects and today we dare say that Orbi Group is a leading developer in the country. The volume of our investment capital already reaches GEL 200 million.






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