SMEs repurpose operations to reduce pandemic's impact
In regular times, one might struggle to find much in common between these three Georgian companies: Proservice, a leading ICT player; Nutrimax, an animal feed producer; and Materia, a famous fashion house.
Nevertheless, during the coronavirus pandemic, all three are playing their part in the fight against the outbreak and its impact on the economy in Georgia. The EBRD and the European Union (EU) have had the good fortune of working with these companies. Now our clients are finding ways of stepping up and rallying to support those in need.
Lending a helping hand
Proservice is the best friend of entrepreneurs who consider a well-functioning website a prerequisite to running a successful business. The company offers web-site development, hosting and data storage to corporate and public institutions.
With funding from the European Union, the EBRD worked with the company to find a new spacious, multi-purpose home – a space to accommodate a modern data centre. The best construction and design solution services secured Proservice all necessary permits, and with financing from the EBRD’s and EU’s joint facility, the company upgraded their equipment. With this increased capacity, the company is now helping SMEs to keep their lights on by offering a grace period and favourable rates on digital services.
“Before the pandemic, we firmly believed in the power of the digital world. Now we see that digital tools and e-commerce are needed as never before. We want to play our part and help as many companies as possible to shift their goods and services to the online sphere,” says Revaz Natroshvili, Proservice CEO.
Spreading the knowledge
Nutrimax is a Georgian company nestled in the capital, Tbilisi, producing animal feed. With a robust distribution network, the company serves the needs of the small, medium and large scale farmers across the country. The EBRD and the EU helped the company with both advice and financing to introduce quality standards, cutting-edge technology and equipment.
The company is now employing digital tools to support farmers across Georgia and opening its knowledge base to local farmers by launching an online school to support with advice those who need it most. Their online group already has over 1,400 members.
‘’The coronavirus pandemic changed everyone’s lives, and we want to support those who want to try domestic animal farming for themselves. Our school helps both seasoned and aspiring farmers to get practical information on how to plan and manage their activities,” says Revaz Lapachi, Technical Team Manager.
Green is still the colour of the season
On a regular day, the premises of fashion house Materia would bustle with life and noise... Now, all activities must follow rigorous regulations: tailors sit apart, maintaining safe distance and sporting protective gear, while manufacturing bio-safety coveralls, medical scrubs and face masks.
The company prides itself on goods that are medically endorsed but also environmentally friendly: the company integrated the use of biodegradable fabrics into face mask manufacturing technology. EBRD and the EU worked with Materia to support a large-scale upgrade of the company’s premises and equipment while also assisting in the introduction of quality standards.
More and more companies are stepping up with their own acts of solidarity and resilience against Covid-19. Now, more than ever, small gestures make a big difference.