EBRD supports Embawood in Georgia, Azerbaijan and beyond
The Embawood factory on the outskirts of Tbilisi is very busy and very efficient. On floor after floor, shelves, kitchens, sofas, mattresses under the well-known Embawood brand are made, tested, boxed and shipped off.
Embawood originated in Azerbaijan, but its affordable flat-pack furniture is also made in Georgia, Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan. There are seven factories in total, two of which are in Georgia, and over 250 brand stores employ more than a thousand people.
“Furniture is best made close to the people who are going to buy it, and customers in different countries have different tastes,” said Elshad Abbasov, Embawood’s founder and general director. “For example, only in Georgia do we make high-gloss furniture which is liked here.”
“Also transporting furniture is expensive and we want to keep costs as low as possible so more families can choose our affordable but stylish furniture.”
The products have even found admirers outside the region.
“I am very proud of our latest furniture collection put together by a German designer,” Mr Abbasov said. “We took it to an exhibition in Eastern Europe and received interest from buyers in several countries, from Italy to India, and even from as far away as New Zealand!”
Embawood has grown very fast not only because it offers similar products in the region unserved by Ikea, but also because it takes into account every customer’s need.
“We offer a guarantee on our furniture including mattresses,” said Romeo Shvelidze, the director of the Tbilisi furniture factory. “But we also know that accidents happen, so we offer a cheap service to refurbish mattresses where damage is not covered by the guarantee. It is very popular.”
The EBRD has supported Embawood in two ways: as a lender, providing financing both in Azerbaijan and in Georgia, and also through its Small Business Support team, which for the last 15 years has assisted the company with technical cooperation and consultancy services.