Having robust IT infrastructure, solid cybersecurity, and fast digital transformation processes in place have become a priority for almost every organization in recent months. Orient Logic has been offering technical support to companies in Georgia for more than twenty-five years. Forbes Georgia spoke to the company’s CEO, Levan Akhvlediani, and Commercial Director, Giorgi Tuskia, about the effects of the pandemic on the technology sector and Orient Logic’s plans for the future.
Orient Logic has been operating in Georgia for more than two decades. In your view, how has the Georgian IT market changed in this time?
Levan Akhvlediani: Orient Logic started doing business in 1995 when few people in Georgia were concerned with technology. The difficult environment that existed in Georgia at that time did not deter the company founders – four friends with a shared interest in the technology of the future. They decided to introduce leading names in the global technology sector to the Georgian market, laying the foundation for the platform that currently brings together over thirty major international brands.
Giorgi Tuskia: At first, our organization was mainly involved in computer sales. Approximately ten years later, when other priorities began to take shape, the company started offering branded personal computers and IT. As the industry developed, so did our company. Orient Logic now operates in the fields of IT infrastructure, network and telecom solutions, personal systems, software, and information security. By working with the world’s leading manufacturers, we help our partner organizations successfully achieve digital transformation.
Who are your customers? Are they large businesses, and do they represent a variety of sectors?
Giorgi Tuskia: Our clients are large and medium-sized businesses operating in Georgia that are seeking digital transformation. We also actively work with state organizations. The education sector is strategically important to us, and we have already implemented numerous significant and successful projects in this field. With regard to the private sector, our portfolio includes major projects carried out at leading financial organizations, as well as for telecommunications, healthcare, and hospitality businesses.
What are the main challenges for Georgian IT firms at the moment?
Levan Akhvlediani: Georgian IT companies have issues with staffing, which is directly related to another problem – the small scale of the economy. Although our organization is already implementing major projects locally, we would be able to carry out more complex and significant ones if we had more professionals available to us, which would ultimately have a positive effect on the Georgian economy. We, therefore, decided to establish the Orient Logic Academy for individuals who wish to work in the field of technology. The knowledge and experience obtained at our academy will be incredibly useful and valuable to its graduates both in local and international markets.
The pandemic has caused chaos across the world, affecting virtually every industry. What has changed in the IT sector?
Giorgi Tuskia: The pandemic has further sped up digital transformation. As organizations across the world have switched to working and studying remotely, the role of technology has increased further. It is also worth highlighting the issue of cybersecurity, which has become particularly important not only to those who operate in the technology sector but also to the whole world.
Has the pandemic affected your company’s activities?
Levan Akhvlediani: In response to the challenges presented to us by the pandemic, we began expanding the Orient Logic team by taking more professionals on board. The current market demand has led to significant growth in our IT and cybersecurity operations. To this end, we are actively implementing projects at our partner organizations to ensure the continuity and security of their business processes. Furthermore, we have added a DevOps and cloud-native technology sales team to our company, offering our clients modern and innovative software solutions for their digital transformation.
Orient Logic has implemented numerous major projects. Which one of them stands out most?
Levan Akhvlediani: Our portfolio includes many successful projects in almost every industry. I would highlight the projects that we implemented in the education sector, as they are incredibly important for our development as a country. We equipped around 200 public schools with wireless access points and implemented the electronic journal project that helps Georgian public schools conduct modern educational activities to a high standard. I would also like to mention one of this year’s largest projects that involved providing full technological equipment to Kutaisi International University. It is great to see that our projects are creating opportunities for future generations to obtain a better education.
We are also currently working on projects at leading financial institutions, telecommunications companies, state agencies, and other organizations. Our portfolio includes major international projects such as providing full technical support to the Youth Olympic Games and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Could you provide us with some figures regarding sales and customers?
Giorgi Tuskia: Orient Logic posted its best-ever financial results in 2019. As a result, we started this year with high ambitions, but the pandemic created numerous difficulties for us. Despite the current environment and the shrinking economy, I can confidently say that through our team’s dedication we have achieved positive results during the first half of 2020. As for our customers, we are currently working with around 150 partner organizations that are operating in the Georgian market.
Corporate social responsibility has become a major component in the activities of any successful company. What steps are being taken by Orient Logic in this regard?
Giorgi Tuskia: We take our social responsibility very seriously and have already launched numerous projects to this end. One of our most interesting and important CSR projects during the pandemic was to create the SupportIT.ge platform that offers free consultation and support to companies to help them overcome any existing challenges. All our departments are involved in this project, and I think that we have already helped many Georgian organizations with regard to maintaining the continuity of their business activities. We also donated ₾20,000 to the Covid-19 response fund. Finally, I wish to highlight the charity project that we are conducting jointly with the civil movement Shenmokmedi, providing computers and internet access to large families across Georgia to help them with distance learning during the pandemic.
Are any new investments being planned by your company?
Levan Akhvlediani: Due to the current crisis, it is difficult to talk about new investments, although I can say that our company aims to expand internationally over the next three years. Naturally, this requires additional investment. As soon as we can overcome the current challenges in the local market, we will be ready to increase our investment to establish ourselves in the international market. Our ultimate goal is to become an international technology company with its head office in Georgia.
Finally, we often hear that Georgia has great potential with regard to technology and exporting technical skills. What are your thoughts on this issue?
Levan Akhvlediani: Georgia definitely has a lot of potential in this field. That is why we opened a new branch in Sweden a couple of years ago. I think the DevOps segment has great potential regarding the export of technical skills. Here we can export services that are created in Georgia based on European and Asian vendor platforms. We have major plans for this, and soon I hope that we will be able to launch many successful projects internationally.
Photo: Khatuna Khutsishvili.