A 300% increase in construction volume in 2022- 2023: Beka Khoperia and Apart Development have set themselves a specific and measurable development objective.
Beka Khoperia has directed several short films, is passionate about photography and likes to view each detail of life in Tbilisi through his own eyes. He passionately believes that these interests have also helped him do business. After deciding to pursue a serious career in business, he completed several international courses in management and insists that this newly acquired knowledge plays a significant role in his team’s management strategy and project development.
Mr Khoperia founded Apart Development in 2019. Soon afterwards, the company had to deal with the pandemic and successfully managed to do so: It became the market leader that year, which Mr Khoperia attributes to effective adaptation to the COVID-19 regulations and turning pandemic-related challenges into opportunities.
As I understand from my conversation with the founder of Apart Development, the business takes up a substantial amount of his time: He is usually the first to arrive at work, is briefed on current affairs and personally attends business meetings. Therefore, focusing on details is important to him and for the business. However, he also has his methods for relieving work-related stress. Sometimes he brings all four of his children to work to increase his motivation. At other times, he travels – inspiration and new ideas often come to him from experiencing other countries and their different architectural styles. Nevertheless, he always seeks to return home as soon as possible, as he cannot go long without work.
The Apart Development team plans to increase construction volume by 300% in 2022-2023. Beka Khoperia’s main ambition is to revitalize the Old Town. Tbilisi needs urban development, while customers require quality services tailored to their wishes and needs. The company sees itself playing a big role in creating high-quality construction and implementing this standard in the Georgian market.
When and why did you decide to start your own business?
I tried to be financially independent from an early age. I did many different jobs, including handing out flyers. I am not embarrassed by this at all. Before you reach the top of the ladder, you must experience everything, including hardship as well as challenging and physically demanding work. Money can only be made through hard work. The success of my company is the result of the risks I was bold enough to take.
Taking risks is important, but you also considered which demands to respond to in order to get your business up and running.
There was undoubtedly demand on the market that the business sector was well aware of, but it was complicated to implement construction projects in Old Tbilisi. Numerous restrictions exist, and the other companies wanted to avoid taking the risk. We found the right niche for us. We have adapted our projects to the existing reality, and the results have justified our decisions. This is becoming increasingly apparent each day as we meet substantial demand. However, the process still needs to be finished. I love Tbilisi and wish to contribute towards its urban development and the maintenance of its traditions. This is what motivated me to start a construction and development business.
Can you be more specific about your business mission?
Every business has a mission to make money. Still, for us, it is also vital to implement top-quality construction projects focused on customer comfort as well as tailored to their wishes and needs. Furthermore, our mission is to support Old Tbilisi’s urban development and renovation. Therefore, I have also set myself the challenge of reaching even higher levels of development.
Can you put it into numbers for us? We are Forbes, after all.
Our financial figures have surpassed the third category, and we can confidently expect to establish ourselves in the second category next year.
What kind of manager are you? Do you prefer a centralized or delegated style of management?
When we first started out with a small team, I performed several functions, which meant that we had a centralized form of management at our company. As we grew, several experienced managers joined our team. As a result, we now delegate all tasks to the relevant departments. Nevertheless, I remain an ordinary team member and am often involved in decision-making.
Would you say that your business is successful?
Positive financial figures, many satisfied customers and their endorsements reflect the success of our business. However, our ambition is to keep moving forward and succeed at every stage of development.
Let me rephrase the question: What makes you stand out on the market?
I will start by reiterating that Old Tbilisi is a unique location for new construction projects, offering stunning views of the whole city. I would also highlight the quality of construction and our services that facilitate all the bureaucratic procedures for our foreign clients who wish to purchase an apartment remotely. The Old City Panorama complex, which we are building right now (part of it has already been completed), has been designed according to my personal preferences. I want this place to include all the trappings of comfort I would dream of having: Parking, a car wash, a fitness room, a pool, hotel services, and a club community/neighborhood feel.
Listening to you, I wonder if you could possibly have any direct competitors on the market.
Since our projects are in Old Tbilisi, we have virtually no competition in this area. However, I am delighted to see numerous exciting projects being implemented across the city. The quality of construction has clearly gone up. If we can create a healthy competitive business environment in this field, it will benefit all players as well as the customer.
Who are your customers?
Our clients are Georgians who are attracted by the combination of comfort and beautiful views of Old Tbilisi. Some foreigners see our projects as an investment opportunity. Our service continues beyond the sale. We also offer interior design, maintenance and rental services that immensely benefit people who do not live in Georgia. They trust us to manage their properties for them.
Can you give us more details about the services that you offer? How well does the one-space principle work?
As I mentioned, our team tries to facilitate purchasing apartments for our customers, particularly those based abroad. To this end, we have developed remote services for them. We represent them vis-à-vis the public and banking sectors. We perform preliminary financial analysis to ensure that customers know how quickly they can make a return on their investment. We also have the design group Apart Showroom under our umbrella, which offers a full cycle of services from apartment planning to the final interior works. It should also be noted that the construction process is managed by our own company Apart Construction, which additionally guarantees high quality.
Is the customer always right?
Based on our product, we have a unique approach to our customers. We go through quite a lengthy and detailed working process with each of them. Buying an expensive apartment is not easy, so we discuss even the most minor details with them. Sometimes, we adapt to their requirements. At other times, they follow our reasonable suggestions. Ultimately, both sides end up being right in each other’s eyes.
At present, what is the main challenge facing your business?
For us and the business sector as a whole, the main challenge is adapting to the current unstable situation and creating appropriate products or services. It is also challenging to set the right price against the backdrop of financial instability.
How difficult is it to find professional personnel on the market today, and how do you deal with this challenge?
Unfortunately, there is a need for more professional staff on the market, especially in the construction industry. There is a high outflow of personnel from Georgia. Nevertheless, we have managed to assemble a highly trustworthy and professional team in management and construction. I generally aim to employ local personnel. However, international experience is also important, so we often consult foreign experts.
What are the main skills that you look for in your employees?
Professionalism, responsibility, logical thinking and, most importantly – reliability. They say that I am a good boss, but I know everything about the peculiarities of my character, some are not easy for my colleagues to handle, so I want to thank them for their loyalty and support.
Is it easy to be an entrepreneur in Georgia?
An entrepreneur is a person who is mentally free and confident in their abilities, who is not afraid of difficulties and who takes risks with a lot of self-belief. If you are born this way, then nothing is difficult.
Did you invest your own capital in your business, or did you seek help from banks? Also, do you cooperate with any international financial organizations?
You may be surprised, but I started my first project with a small amount of borrowed money. I repaid the loan very soon, as the project was successful. Later we partnered up with banks with large portfolios to ensure more comfort and reliability for our customers. We are considering cooperation with international organizations on large-scale projects in the future.
What are the main opportunities for your business?
There is an opportunity to create products and services of such quality that the business environment in Georgia attracts even more real estate investment. Additionally, we can create a cozy living environment for all residents.
Which systemic solutions and reforms are needed to facilitate business in Georgia?
It would be good to have less bureaucracy in state institutions. This takes up a lot of time and causes inevitable interruptions in business activities.
How will your business benefit from being on the cover of Forbes?
People on the cover of one of the world’s most famous and influential economic magazines have always been interesting and examples to me. I dreamed of being among them one day. Thus, on a personal level, this is a status that I have aspired to, and I want to thank you for this opportunity. Furthermore, from our company’s point of view, this highlights our quality and reliability.
How difficult is it to make predictions and plans in the current economic and geopolitical environment?
It is always difficult to influence what is beyond your control. Recent global events, such as the pandemic and wars between our neighbors, create difficulties. But, if the company perceives and evaluates the events correctly, it can find a way to keep moving forward and supporting the country’s economic growth through its activities.
Finally, can you reveal some of your plans that both your customers and competitors can look forward to?
Our main goal remains the development of Old Tbilisi, but we constantly set ourselves new challenges, and I would not rule out expanding our activities beyond Tbilisi soon.
Photo Credits to Khatuna Khutsishvili / Forbes GeorgiaLeave a comment