The FINANCIAL -- The Georgian pharmaceutical company PSP Group is going to expand its pharmacy chain into neighbouring countries, with Armenia intended as its first destination.
As of today, PSP Group has been negotiating with the pharmacy chains of Armenia on purchasing a controlling package of shares.
“PSP Group is entering the Armenian market as a pharmaceutical network. PSP Group has received an appropriate offer from the Armenian side. The company which is interested in selling its shares to PSP Group is one of the leaders of Armenia’s pharmaceutical market, listed in the top five companies. At this stage the name of the Armenian company remains confidential as we are still in the process of negotiations,” said Director of the Pharmaceutical Company PSP Group, Gocha Gogilashvili.
“Armenian customers already know PSP Group as a producer of pharmaceutical production. We have our representation there and we now plan to expand further. Medicaments produced by PSP’s pharmaceutical factory “GM Pharmaceuticals” have been selling in Armenia for about five years already and hold a 1.5 percent market share. The Armenian and Georgian markets are kind of similar so it is not that challenging for us to expand in Armenia,” he added.
If the negotiations end successfully and PSP Group purchases a controlling package of the Armenian company’s shares, then the Armenian company will continue its activities under the PSP brand name.
“This will be the first case of PSP as a pharmaceutical company entering a foreign market. As a producer of medicaments we are operating in many other countries but as a pharmaceutical company this is our debut. However, our priority is to enter new markets as a producer rather than as a pharmaceutical network. In five countries PSP usually sells production worth USD 17 million,” Gogilashvili said.
PSP Group has been operating on the Georgian market for 22 years. It imports over 10,000 items of medicaments, skin care products and disinfectants from more than 1,000 pharmacy factories and distributes them throughout Georgia. Moreover, PSP Group offers more than 20,000 medicines and medical cosmetics.
In 2000 the company started drug production within its daughter company GMP. Medicines produced in Georgia are already exported to more than ten countries.
Expansion on the local market is one of the most important things for PSP Group. The company is planning a more ambitious project to expand in Georgia than it had before. The first store of PSP’s pharmaceutical network to be opened since the rebranding was in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi at #41, Abashidze Street, which has been greatly appreciated by customers.
“We do our best to make healthcare affordable and accessible for Georgian people. For this purpose network expansion is actively continuing, not only in Tbilisi, but in various regions and cities of Georgia. At the same time we are constantly negotiating with our suppliers to reduce prices of production. At the same time we have some discount offers and activities at our pharmaceutical stores so our customers can afford to buy our products,” Gogilashvili said.
Last year PSP Group completed 70 percent of its network expansion plans. In parallel to opening new stores PSP Group also renovated the old ones. And this was not all - PSP introduced new products to its customers as well. As of today, PSP offers 20,000 products in total.
“PSP is much more than a pharmacy, offering the best solutions for health and beauty. We have recently added the production of Solgar which is a world famous producer of vitamins, herbs, supplements and more; sports nutrition by Trac Nutrition; French producer Bioderma and British Soft&Gentle’s cosmetic line and many others. We will continue adding new products in the future as well,” Gogilashvili said.
It is possible to buy PSP products from PSP’s online store and mobile application. Gogilashvili said 30,000 users have downloaded the mobile application so far, however buying products via mobile application or online store is not in-demand or popular in Georgia.
Currently over two million customers a month choose PSP as their family’s pharmacy, visiting PSP stores every month. Last year the number of PSP customers increased by one million visitors.
Taking care of the environment is one of the primary goals of the company. In 2015 PSP pharmacy retailer introduced bio bags confirming that the company is bio-friendly.
PSP is also one of the biggest employers in Georgia, currently employing more than 5,000 people at PSP Group and 2,411 people at PSP Pharmacy.
In recognition of its successful and innovative activities PSP won the 11th Golden Brand at its 11th awards ceremony, meaning that PSP has never let the award go to any other company operating in the same field.
Q. You mentioned rebranding. How does the new PSP look and what is new for customers?
A. After 22 years of operating on the Georgian market, PSP Group now offers a new concept to its customers. Family is the focus of the new concept. PSP offers all that is needed for one’s family to be healthy.
The renewed PSP has three zones: beauty, health and family care zones.
The beauty zone is raspberry-coloured and offers the highest quality beauty products from French and other European producer companies.
The family care zone is painted yellow and is attractive for those with children.
The health zone is full of pharmaceutical products and is painted green.
PSP management teamed up with British experts to design the new concept for PSP Group. Thanks to them we created an innovative PSP and called it “more than a pharmacy”.
Q. In March this year PSP Group and Microsoft signed a Memorandum on purchasing licensing from the company. What innovations did the American multinational technology company offer you and have you implemented these innovations yet?
A. The Memorandum emphasised improvement of the qualifications of PSP Group’s staff working at the department of Information Technologies (IT).
Within the partnership we will use the latest technologies to increase the efficiency of the business. This is the first stage of the partnership which only includes implementing licensed products in PSP Group.
We use the operating systems (Windows 10), office programs (Office 2016), server programs (Windows Server) and software and data processing systems (SQL). All these systems create our eco-system where we mainly use Microsoft technologies. Without them it is impossible to effectively do modern business.