HRS: Bringing World Renowned International Standards to Georgian Hospitality Sector

Hospitality & Retail Systems (HRS) is the official authorized distributor of Oracle (ex-MICROS) Software in Central Europe, the CIS, Baltic States, Georgia and Mongolia. It is currently represented in 18 countries including: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Mongolia and etc. As the global leader in hospitality solutions, HRS products can be found installed in over 23,000 hotels and in more than 150,000 restaurants and entertainment complexes worldwide.

Oracle Hospitality offers point of sale and enterprise information system software for the retail and hospitality industries and has been doing so for more than 20 years. Today, it is the market leader in information technology, providing complete information management solutions to top hotels, restaurants and retailers around the globe.

In Georgia, HRS works with the Radisson Blu hotels in Tbilisi and Batumi, Holiday Inn hotel, Tbilisi Marriot and Courtyard Marriot, independent hotels Ambasadori and Kopala, as well as Oazis Hotel in Chaqvi, Sairme Hotel in Sairme, Gudauri Ski Resort Hotel in Gudauri and Georgia Palace Hotel in Kobuleti, amongst others. They also work with various tourism sector training centers which give young professionals experience working with the Oracle-MICROS Software system- invaluable experience they take with them they graduate and find jobs in hotels or restaurants.

Georgia Today sat down with Joanne Vaughan, the CEO of the HRS Group, and Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov, HRS Managing Director, to discuss the past, present and future of HRS in Georgia.

Joanne Vaughan, the CEO of the HRS Group of Companies: I was born in Britain. I’m ex Royal Navy and first came to the Soviet space in 1988. We had a contract- our first big contract- with the Black Sea Shipping Company in Odessa whereby we were tasked with installing [our system] in all the ships. So we can say HRS started in 1990 with that contract. Around the same time I paid a visit to Georgia. For me it’s the most beautiful country in the region. In fact, I have Georgian citizenship and represent Georgia abroad on many occasions.

GeorgiaToday: Tell us about your company strategies for success.

Joanne Vaughan: We believe that through our solutions clients can protect their investments. That is our aim- to be able to offer international standards in our products that enable clients to feel their investments are protected.

Our products are the industry standard worldwide. Wherever you see a Marriott or Radisson Blu, any big major hotel- it will almost certainly be using our products. But that’s not to say we only co-operate with 5-star establishments- we also install for independent local hotels in Georgia.

Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov: Our staff is also one of our success factors. We consider it vitally important, from the very beginning, to pay particular attention to our employees. We have a very strong team of over 200 employees worldwide. They are a professional, skilled and loyal team with a background in hospitality and possessing deep technical know-how. Our staff, our team, allows us to be number one on the market.

Georgia Today: What is your competitive advantage?

Joanne Vaughan: Well, as Vyacheslav said, having the best people working for us certainly contributes to keeping us ahead of the competition. Our highly qualified team is able to communicate with clients on the right level about implementing systems and helping to improve relations internally within their hotels.

We also boast the best products- used as the international standard. I focused on the hotels previously, but we also count restaurants among our client - Burger King, Pizza Hut, Gloria Jeans - the big names all use the solutions we provide, which they choose only after a lengthy evaluation process.

Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov: Our strategy is to maintain close ties and relations with our customers. We offer our hospitality products while following all local legal requirements as set out by the authorities. This is one of HRS’ main benefits- being close to our clients on the ground.

Georgia Today: Tell us more about your presence in Georgia.

Georgia is fast developing region and currently HRS has up to 60 clients here. Not a small number! As market leader, we are constantly looking to expand our operations and open new offices in areas in which we feel they can be sustained and which present a bustling hospitality sector. It is easy to see that Georgia has plenty of hospitality going on! The whole industry is growing, not just in Tbilisi but throughout the country. It is very exciting for us to be a part of.

Georgia Today: What is the future for HRS?

Joanne Vaughan: (Smiles) Staying number one! The whole company is built around customer service. We all know good service equals profits and growth, and HRS works on that basis. Each member of our internal staff is trained in this manner- customer service first. This is something we intend to stick to.

Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov: Technology is developing incredibly quickly and it is our job to stay ahead of the game. We introduce new updated versions of our products annually, allowing customers to be sure they are using the latest technological advances.

Joanne Vaughan: We are always ahead of our competitors in the technological regard, largely thanks to the fact that our main supplier puts a lot of money into R&D [research and development]. Where in the past this investment in product development doubled or tripled year-by-year, with Oracle now in charge this is set to grow ten- or even twenty-fold. We can expect to see some fantastic products coming onto our hospitality line.

Georgia Today: Work aside, what do you think of Georgia?

Vyacheslav Ovchinnikov: Actually, our employees abroad are queuing for the chance to come here and get a taste of the famous Georgian hospitality, enjoy the wine and cuisine and to see the sights.

Joanne Vaughan: I love it. If anyone ever asks me which is the best Eastern European country to visit, I recommend Georgia first. From the mountains to the sea, it’s got everything!

HRS Tbilisi

88/15 Bochorishvili str.,

Tbilisi 0171, Georgia

T: +995 (32) 21 57 000


Dimitri Dolaberidze

03 September 2015 21:34