10 largest companies in Georgia
21 October, 2014
When compiling rating lists of world’s richest companies, the main measuring criteria is how much they make per year. As a rule, the “poorest” of them makes around 550 million dollars a day. This is 23 million dollars per hour. Naturally, income of Georgian companies is miniscule in comparison with these mastodons, but none of them can complain about it, either. Ilia University’s Business School publishes lists of largest companies operating in Georgia annually. We are offering you one of them, compiled in 2013 and including the top ten of the largest players on the Georgian market. The list, however, does not include banking and insurance sectors, and also most of these companies aren’t even Georgian to begin with – they are merely subsidiaries of foreign-based undertakings.
1. Socar Georgia Petroleum – a subsidiary of Azerbaijani oil company Socar, founded by Socar Energy Georgia with 100% share participation. It entered the Georgian oil market in 2006, with its annual turnover comprising several million dollars. From its inception in 2006, the company has imported approximately 2,698,891 tons of oil-products. Socar Georgia Petroleum is growing very quickly, with its network of gas stations spreading across the entirety of Georgia. The company currently counts over 1500 employees in its fold.
2. Toyota Caucasus LLC – official distributor of Toyota in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Toyota is one of the world’s largest car producers and Georgia is no exception to its success story. The story of Toyota begins in XIX century, with Sakichi Toyoda inventing his own version of a power loom, thus instigating a revolution in Japan’s textile production. His son, Kiichiro Toyoda, was far more interested in cars rather than looms, however, and in 1937 he founded a corporation that gradually grew, eventually turning into a real titan. From looms to cars – the history of Toyota Corporation is both long and interesting.
3. Georgian Railway – one of the most important transport hubs between Europe and Central Asia, Georgian Railway provides the shortest pathway between the two. The idea of connecting the two continents appeared in the 30’s of XIX century. Construction of the railroad connecting the Black and the Caspian Seas began in 1865 century, and in 1872, the first train from Tbilisi arrived in Poti. This day is considered the day when “Georgian Railway” was officially born. Construction of the Georgian railroad network has been progressing at a steady pace ever since, and now it covers the entire country. On April 12, 2012, Georgian Railway LTD became a stock company, transporting thousands of people both across the country and abroad.
4. Wissol Petroleum Georgia – one of the largest business groups in Georgia, which has an iron in almost every fire imaginable, being involved in construction, advertising, fast food, hotel and supermarket management, etc. Subsidiaries owned by Wissol Group include a supermarket network “Smart”, fast food network “Wendy’s”, developer company “Vellagio” and advertising company “Alma”. “Wissol Group” is the only brand in Georgia that entered the top 10 of successful European companies at European Business Awards in 2010.
5. BP Georgia – similar to Toyota, British Petroleum company, better known as BP, keeps ending up not only in Georgia’s, but the entire world’s lists of richest companies. Headquarters of BP is located in London. After Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Southern Caucasus Pipeline became active, a network of pipelines belonging to BP appeared in Georgia. Main field in which BP Georgia is active in the country is planning, construction and maintenance of gas and oil pipelines.
6. Gulf, also known as Sun Petroleum Georgia– the leader in Georgia’s oil market. Since March 2010, the well-known international brand is represented in the country by Sun Petroleum Georgia. The company was founded in the U.S. in 1901 and today Gulf Oil International conducts distribution of oil products in over 100 countries, being one of the largest players in the international market. Gulf owns 140 gas stations in Georgia, employs over 1300 people and these numbers grow every day.
7. Socar Georgia Gas – Georgia is Azerbaijan’s closest trade partner in the region, providing it with an outlet to Europe. Given such a relationship, it is no surprise that Socar decided to host its largest investment project precisely in Georgia, greatly contributing to development of the natural gas delivery network in the country.
8. Rompetrol Georgia – an offshoot of Rompetrol NV, one of the largest Romanian oil companies that has representation in over 12 countries. Rompetrol Group owns over 1000 gas stations in 6 countries – Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, France, Spain and Georgia. In 2007, after Rompetrol Group purchased a Kazakh oil and gas company KazMunayGaz, the holding became the main tunnel between Central Asian resources and European markets.
9. Lukoil Georgia – an open joint-stock company Lukoil is a titan among multinational oil and gas corporations. Since the day of its inception, the company keeps growing and expanding. The company covers the entire territory of Russia and has a significant presence in Eastern Europe, America, Asia and Western Europe. Naturally, Georgia is also on this list, with Lukoil Georgia being nothing other than a subsidiary of the original company. Direct investments of the company into Georgia over years 2002-2005 comprised approximately 15 million dollars.
10. Energo-Pro Georgia – one of the largest players among electric energy producers and distributors. Energo-Pro Group unites the two groups in Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Georgia and Turkey. Nowadays, the group’s assets are estimated to total over 650 million Euros. The group mainly specializes in hydroelectric energy, owning 12 plants in Czech Republic, 14 in Bulgaria, 15 in Georgia and 5 in Turkey.
By Khatuna Chigogidze