Direct Mineral Resources Manager
George Devadze believes that the success that Gulf Georgia achieved in such a competitive environment after being in operation for only six years is one of biggest achievements of his team. Devadze has been the CEO of Georgia’s leading oil company for four years now.
“I think I stayed long enough with Gulf Georgia. If you look over my past, you will see that I have never worked at any company for that long. In the case of Gulf Georgia, it’s due to the fact that we have the best team a company could ask for. The key to our success is our team, the relationships we build, and our long-term development strategy,” notes Devadze, who has worked as the company’s CEO for 19 years now, and is without a doubt one of the best manager s in Georgia.
Devadze has always been ambitious and worked on top management positions. In 1997 he became one of the company’s financial directors, and since then he is either a Director, Deputy Director or a vice President. The job title is always impressive , the only difference is the size of the company he is working for. The successful career of General Director of Gulf Georgia started 19 years ago.
Previously, Devadze worked as the financial director in the mineral industry area. From 1999 to 2000, he was acting on behalf of Bitol, one of the largest companies in Central Asia that specializes in the purchase and transportation of oil. From 2005, he was the vice president of the state company Saknavtobi. After which, he continued working as the COO Cenior Operations Officer at upstream oil Lolisveli company. Afterwards, Devadze shifted to Armenia, where he reached the peak of the career, leading the country’s largest oil company. In 2009 he returned to Georgia, where he became the general director of Magneulis Kvarciti. In 2012 he joined - “Gulf Georgia” as a member of super visory board, only after that he became the head of the company.
George Devadze’s entire career has been in the oil, copper and gold sectors. This is the only field where he sees himself even in the distant future; Currently the mineral resources manager, who has led some of the region’s largest companies, spoke with Forbes Georgia about Gulf Georgia.
What is the main thing that distinguishes the Gulf Georgia team and the company from its competitors?
I think manager has two obligations: One - to make the decision and second - to make the right decision. This is the general rule that helped me to succeed is still helps in keeping this position.
The manager’s professionalism is determined by whether or not he/she can form a team using the existing staff and continues working with this team. First of all, the driving and guiding force of our company starts with our competent staff.
We can respond quickly to any external challenge, which led us to being able to become such a successful company in such a short time. Gulf Georgia distinguishes itself from the others by its innovative projects, and how it takes care of its employees’ professional development. Highly qualified team is important for the company, therefore, we are always looking to attract skilled staff members. Our aim is to formulate a strong, well-trained team of people who represent the company. This is one of our main priorities that we are always trying to develop.
How many people are employed in the company?
Approximately 1,350 people are working for Gulf Georgia. We are a fast-growing company and a major employer in Georgia. This leads to a need for human resources – not only in Tbilisi, but also in the regions – so the company is in constant search of new people. Despite the great fluctuations caused on the market, there were no structural changes. On the contrary, we delegated the responsibility to our employees internally. For me as for the leader, knowing that all of our employees are working in a stable company with a stable income is very important and gratifying.
Where does Gulf Georgia rank on the Georgian oil market, and what is the company’s competitive advantage in this field?
Gulf Georgia is one the major payer companies, with the high market-share. The company unites around 145 petrol stations throughout Georgia. We import our fuel from the top oil refineries in Europe and in terms of quality control, we satisfy the highest standards. In addition, Gulf petrol stations are all fitted with modern equipment. Gulf is an innovative company, and we have introduced premium fuel, automatization, discount cards, bonus system, and other perks. Our company is oriented on constant growth and development. Quality is vital but customer proximity is no less a priority for Gulf, so we are always researching our client’s interests and make sure they are satisfied.
Where do you see Gulf Georgia over the next five to ten years?
I see Gulf as one of the major companies with renewed infrastructure and a leader in the development and provision of European level standards of service, which means the transition to self-service gas stations. I also see Gulf as a regional development company, which will have branches in various countries throughout our region. Whether we like it or not, Georgia is still a limited market, so I think that the company will have an eye towards regional development.
What are Gulf Georgia’s future plans, and as the company’s general director, what ambitions do you have? Our ambitions are quite large. First of all, we want to increase our market share in the future. But of course we also have the desire to develop the company in the various regional markets too. We also want to continue our cooperation under the existing logo, as well as in retail sales and in wholesale sales. We plan to establish a control center in Tbilisi and go forward with our regional development using the staff we current have.
How do you see the oil importers’ market and the major players, and how do they respond to the demands of modern business?
The players are quite strong in Georgia. The five largest brands operating in this field are pretty solid companies. Our goal is to make client oriented, fast and most importantly, the right decisions. That’s because to maintain ourselves in such a competitive environment is not an easy thing to do, and our task is to maintain high quality, keep pace with innovations in the industry and continuously advance position in the market.