The FINANCIAL -- Georgian business news outlet Commersant is developing a multi-functional media platform where all news about business will be available in one space.
Radio Commersant, Commersant.ge and its Russian-language newspaper - all three directions of the Holding will be united in one space, a website which will enable visitors to catch up with the latest business stories covered in a professional way.
Commersant started its activities on the Georgian market with a radio station that opened in August 2008. Since then the radio has gained popularity and recognition among Georgian listeners and the time has now come for its further development.
“Commersant is taking a giant step towards a new phase of development. We are rebranding our radio and reinforcing it technically. We are increasing the reach of Radio Commersant so its voice will cover almost the whole country,” said the Director of Commersant, Goga Samushia.
“We are also rebranding our website which doesn’t only entail visual changes but includes its functional development as well. We are creating a multi-functional media platform which will unite our radio, our website and our Russian-language newspaper. Through this multi-functional media platform business information will be more accessible to all,” he added. Furthermore, Commersant is working on a mobile application to make it more comfortable and convenient for people to access news from the media outlet. More importantly, the multi-functional online platform that will be available to society from this September will have the available functions of pause and rewind for videos or radio streams.
“Taking into account modern lifestyles, we see that people have less and less time. It is difficult to always grab the full attention of readers with an online format. No matter how interesting or useful the information you give them, the problem is that they simply do not have enough time to follow all the information,” Samushia said.
“So we decided to let them choose their own time to get the information and are going to add convenient features such as the functions of pause and rewind. These features will be applied to our audio as well as video sections of the website. We think that all of these works will be completed by September 2017,” he added
Q. You have said that Radio Commersant is going to expand in Georgia and cover more territories of the country. Can you give us more details about this development?
A. Previously, as business activities were mostly developing in the capital city Tbilisi, our focus was also in Tbilisi. But now we see that businesses are developing in various regions of Georgia and it is time for our radio to cover the regions as well, to let the local people know what the latest news is in their specific areas. By the end of this year Radio Commersant will be available in the Adjara, Samegrelo, Imereti and Kakheti regions of Georgia. Our goal is for Radio Commersant to cover the whole of Georgia and especially those areas where business activities are higher. Business-related information is mostly available in Tbilisi. Information such as how to access state programmes; state services; what the ongoing processes within business associations are; what initiatives the non-governmental sector has going on - such information which is necessary for businesses is unfortunately unavailable in the regions. We will therefore do our best to give them access to such information.
Q. The Holding is going through a very serious rebranding process. What outcome do you expect? What will be the positive developments at Commersant as a business following the rebranding?
A. We expect at least 35 percent growth in income after rebranding and about 25 percent growth in our audience.
Q. So you expect more advertisements after you expand in the regions. How are the businesse developing in the regions of Georgia A. We see the business environment is further improving in Georgia and we also see new businesses are being created. The state is also stimulating growth of business activities which is very good.
Starting from the Association Agreement signed with the European Union, and part of it the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) deal, to the free trade deal with China - all efforts are being made to improve the business climate in the country. As far as I know Georgia is currently negotiating with the United States and India on free trade deals which is also very important for our country. All of these processes will encourage the creation of more Georgian brands. State programmes support the creation of new businesses, mostly in the regions, because in Tbilisi businesses are more or less already quite developed and they have all the conditions to operate. Our contribution will be to help new businesses in the regions to get all the useful information about business activities. All together we will achieve the goal to have a more experienced and qualified business society in Georgia.
Q. Besides development, what are the challenges facing businesses in Georgia?
A. I would say that Georgian companies need help in terms of strengthening their positions; improving service and management; having better PR and marketing departments; having better technologies and more knowledge. In these directions Georgian companies need more assistance. So far Georgian companies are not ready for the European and Chinese markets. Sometimes the companies make production but do not know where to take it. Having an enterprise and producing something does not mean that the business is done. Selling this production and successfully completing its realization is another challenge entirely. Less creativity is another problem for the companies. They are not oriented towards innovative ideas. They do their job satisfactorily and do not strive to have more initiative, to think more.
Q. As a business media portal Commersant was partner of this year’s Golden Brand awards ceremony. What was your impression of this cooperation?
A. As a business media portal, business-related projects have always been interesting to us. Golden Brand is a very useful and needed project for Georgian business. Golden Brand was named a brand itself, which establishes new standards and encourages other companies to implement successful activities. We have been observing the market dynamic and I think each nomination had a very worthy winner. The awards ceremony was very high quality and prestigious. We are glad and proud to be the partner of such an influential business awards ceremony.