Sustaining market competition in the Georgian pharmaceutical sector

The EBRD is helping a pharmacy chain expand and create more jobs.

Enrico Beridze is the co-founder of ABC Pharmacia, the third-largest importer of pharmaceutical goods in Georgia. His business has been constantly growing together with the pharmaceutical sector in Georgia.

The pharmaceuticals market

Liberated of Soviet regulations, with lower prices on pharmaceutical commodities the market is now open to more competition. That’s why Mr Beridze decided to invest in pharmacies. He created two brands, PharmaDepot and M’curnali, and opened 35 drugstores.

Expanding the pharmacy chain

A US$ 4 million loan from the EBRD is helping ABC Pharmacia to further expanding its chain of pharmacies, serving customers throughout the whole of Georgia by the end of 2012. This will increase the company’s competitiveness in a market currently dominated by just two enterprises. The expansion will require the establishment of 40 additional pharmacies and is expected to create 200 jobs.

During this phase, ABC Pharmacia will be assisted by consultants from the EBRD donor-funded TurnAround Management (TAM) Programme to further improve the management of the retail network, risk control and marketing activities.

The Accounting Improvement Programme

One example of this fruitful cooperation is ABC Pharmacia’s participation in the EBRD’s Accounting Improvement Programme (AIP), developed to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the early transition countries (ETC) to improve accounting and reporting practices. The Programme, which is funded by the ETC Fund and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund (SSF), is implemented by the Early Transition Countries Initiative (ETCI) and the Business Advisory Services (BAS) teams.

ABC Pharmacia is the first Georgian company to participate in the Programme.

By helping ABC Pharmacia adopt financial statements consistent with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the Bank will also help the company become more competitive in the international market. Thanks to the EBRD, Mr Beridze is getting closer to achieving his long-term business plans: becoming a regional distributor of international pharmaceuticals in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.