In Georgia, we often say that our home is our castle. And GRC, the leading producer of building materials, stands tall defending our ‘castles’ from storms, unbearable heat and pouring rain - sometimes even snow, if the country welcomes a white season.
Roofing, including green coverings, has been the main focus of the company for two decades. However, the company’s products go far beyond roofs. Together with the European Union (EU), the EBRD has helped GRC to introduce the latest addition to their portfolio: rain gutter systems.
Here comes the rain
“We have always had an ambition to diversify and launch new products to make the Georgian construction market more attractive and local production more viable,” says Jaba Janelidze, GRC brand manager.
The construction sector is one of the major contributors to economic growth in Georgia, creating demand for building and home improvement materials.
GRC’s story starts humbly, as all good stories do. Year by year, the company has grown, producing roof tiles, opening four shops and becoming one of the leaders in the local market. Now, with support from the EBRD and the EU, GRC has embarked on a journey of improving homes, one gutter at a time.
Not all gutters are created equal
“Most rainwater systems you can see on the local market are manually produced and poorly designed, with non-standard sized pipes and gutters making fitting a laborious process. We have decided to change the status quo,” says Jaba.
The EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line helped by offering the company the opportunity to invest in new modern machinery via Procredit Bank, a local partner commercial bank. As part of the investment, the company enjoyed technical support from an international group of experts. After completion of the project, the business enjoyed a cashback incentive funded by the EU under its EU4Business initiative. Additionally, the EBRD has helped the company with an international advisory project to introduce the principles of lean management - an ideology to minimise waste of material and labour while maintaining or even increasing levels of production.
“High performance, speed and accuracy meet the requirements of our manufacturing process to the maximum”, says Jaba. He is happy to talk for hours about the opportunities that the new equipment brings to customers and the company.
GRC can now produce all components of its rainwater systems and accessories internally, such as gutter joints and hook ends, outlet collars, pipe wall hooks and much more. The new equipment decreases the factory’s electricity consumption by roughly a factor of three.
Towards a cloudless future
GRC’s future appears bright, with the company itself looking to expand its markets to the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, the EU, and even sooner to Armenia.
“The construction of your house is a pleasurable, but quite often stressful endeavour,” says Jaba. “When you start fitting a gutter system, that is the sign that you are nearing the finish line. We would like to ease our customers’ experience by providing high quality, rounded, double-painted rainwater systems that can last a lifetime and are able to cope with large flows of rainwater,” he notes.
GRC is one of more than 240 companies in Georgia that has benefitted from the EU4Business-EBRD Credit Line since its inception in 2016. With five partner financial institutions participating in the programme and mounting interest from local companies, many more will benefit in the future.