New Vision for Business - Exclusive with David Kereselidze

At the recent ProCredit Bank conference and round of aided Business to Business (B2B) meetings “Realizing the Potential of the Region- SMEs Join Forces,” in which 18 Georgian companies represented by 27 businesspersons had the opportunity to meet with their Balkan counterparts to discuss new partnership potential, GEORGIA TODAY spoke to David Kereselidze, Head of the Academic Board at New Vision University and Head of the Supervisory Committee at the New Vision University Hospital.

Tell us about your business

New Vision University implements undergraduate and post graduate programs in Medicine, Law, Politics, International Relations, Business and Information Technologies. It is the fastest growing international university in the region with 75% of students coming from more than 20 countries around the globe. New Vision University Hospital is dedicated to high quality medical treatment, supported by University Research. It is vital for the implementation of medical degree programs.

How many meetings did you have during the May 9th conference?

I had six meetings in Thessaloniki with potential suppliers of medical equipment for New Vision University Hospital, as well as with companies providing their services to support the development of the university’s sports facilities and other educational infrastructure.

What did you achieve there?

This was a unique opportunity to meet potential business partners from diverse areas relevant for development of our university. In particular in one day we had the chance to get information about various medical equipment produced in several Eastern European countries, enabling us to compare those with alternatives available on the market. We also had a chance to see different options of putting together sports facilities. At one meeting we discussed the opportunity of introducing university campus equipment for environmentally friendly waste management. All these offers are currently under discussion and may well result in the signing of respective agreements.

What is your experience of working with ProCredit Bank?

ProCredit is a reliable and comfortable partner which has supported our business from the very beginning. We have many things in common; we share a vision to promote innovation, have new approaches and technologies in our businesses and to simultaneously be environmental friendly. ProCredit experts have also been good advisors in prioritizing areas of university development. In several cases we used bank expertise in the selection of appropriate investment opportunities.

What are your future plans for your business? How will the contacts you made at the B2B event assist you in this?

We’re currently working on further development of our medical school environment. Thus, we approached ProCredit Bank (for the 7th time) to support our new project. It’s likely that we’ll have also some equipment from other ProCredit Bank clients on the campus.

What would you say is one of the main weaknesses in the way Georgia operates in terms of SME development?

One of the obstacles for sustainable SME development is high loan interest rates. Despite some reduction during the last months, they remain significantly higher than in other European countries.

Can you foresee this improving?

The new initiative of ProCredit to deliver services comparable to European standards, including European interest rates, may significantly support access to affordable loans. This requires that Georgian SMEs make important steps forward to shaping their business according to internationally accepted management and accounting standards.

If you could change one thing about Georgia, what would you change?

I would try to support environmentally friendly local production, aiming at reduction of the discrepancy between export and import ratio in Georgia and simultaneously raising awareness of society on environmental issues.

What message do you have for young Georgian entrepreneurs thinking of starting up their own businesses in Georgia?

Think of your competitive advantage based on education or already gained experience; make a relevant market study, look for similar international solutions elsewhere and think whether they might work in Georgia; select a reliable bank which will screen your idea and provide appropriate support in developing it – find next-door ProCredit Business Client Advisers!

Katie Ruth Davies

16 May 2016 19:47