Rezo Vashakidze, the founder of the company Chirina, is a biologist. After completing the Tbilisi State University (where he met his classmate Kakha Bendukidze), he completed a Masters and PhD at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Moscow. Following his education, he stayed at the same university for work and was focused on genetic engineering.
“I was a biologist and also knew English. I had an advantage in this regard.” – remembers Rezo Vashakidze. According to Vashakidze, he was able to succeed in Russia because he chose a field of business that was more or less protected from crime and corruption.
“Corruption and crime are more prominent in the businesses of oil and oil products,” says Vashakidze. “I am biochemist by diploma. This is how I was able to protect myself. None of the bandits at the time knew about chemistry.”
After that, he also participated in the privatization of chemistry factories and till this day owns a share of some of them. Due to the growing nationalism in Russia, he first sent his wife and kids back to Georgia, and in 2007-2008 he also returned.
You can read about the Chirina Company in detail in the Forbes February issue.