Caucasus Business week offers you an interview with Khatia Shamugia, head of PR and Marketing Department of the ICI-Paris perfumery network, where she shares her road to success, becoming one of the leading PR managers in Georgia.
What is your profession?
I am specialist of Georgian language and literature. I graduated from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University. I hold BA and MA degrees. Also, I graduated from the marketing and management faculty of University of Georgia.
What was your first job place?
I started my career at Voice of Georgia radio station (FM 107.9) as a host of musical programs. Later, I continued my career in Tbilisi no. 6 secondary school as a probationer teacher.
What is your current job and position?
Head of PR and Marketing Department of Ici-Paris perfumery network.
What was your first success?
Enrollment into Higher School was my first success.
What is your business project that you are still proud of today?
There are many similar projects in which I have succeeded. This includes the festival at State Philharmonic where, for the first time, I stood on a stage of Big Concert Hall. There, Fortuna radio station presenters were leading the evening. We handed over awards to a composer of the century, song and so on. I met with a musical elite for the first time. This concert was very successful. Consequently, I consider that event as one of the formulas for my success. This concert was staged by Marina Beridze. After this concert Marina Beridze offered me to lead various concerts at various stages. That is how my career of a stage presenter started.
Besides your concert career, you also lead the PR and marketing department of Ici-Paris network in Georgia. You have, successfully and actively, been leading this business for many years. What makes a person successful in your field? Besides knowledge, what special characteristics are required?
Only knowledge does not work in this field. Firstly, a PR manager represents a company in which he/she works. In practice, this signifies that a PR manager is the image of the company. Therefore, you should be able to tune the society positively. If the society likes you, they will like your company too. Therefore, fluent speech and capability of persuading people are the most important features and details for PR managers. Moreover, you should be very positive, love communicating with people and act as a diplomat and a balanced person.
Is it possible today, in Georgia, to study PR valuably? Or is international knowledge and experience is required anyway?
In general, experience is required in all fields. Synthesis of theory and practice is the best combination for becoming the best professional.
Is PR management perceived and understood in Georgia in its classical form?
I have not worked as a PR manager in developed countries and I do not know details of their activities. However, a PR manager does not solely signify a famous person. A PR manager should love the company that he/she works for. Motivation is also necessary, but practical experience brings everything. Nobody has taught me PR management. I suppose this is inherent potential. I love my work so much and that’s why I have grown into a good PR manager. Moreover, the personal nature of a PR manager is very important. A PR manager must be very balanced, calm and able to receive criticism. A good PR manager can either revive or frustrate a company.
Where would you work if not in the PR management field?
I have worked for Fortuna radio station for 10 years as one of the best presenters. Still today, FM 106.9 is the radio market leader. Anyway, I would work as a PR manager for Fortuna radio station. When I was working there, PR direction was different from the contemporary model. However, we were working as presenters and we used to perform PR management functions too. I am associated with Fortuna radio even today and this makes me happy. If not a radio station and concert presenter, I would be a philologist and prepare children. To put it simply, I would be a teacher. I love children very much, as well as communicating with people. I believe we can learn a lot from children. I grew up in a family of teachers. My mother and grandmother were teachers. Even my aunt was a teacher. Therefore, I think I have inherited this aspect genetically.
Where do you see yourself after 20-30 years?
I will turn 69 after 30 years and, therefore, I doubt I will be working as PR manager. Anyway, I think I will have a consulting company.
Field where you would never work.
I would answer this question with a joke. I think I would never work in banking sector. Not because a commercial bank is a bad. As I have clarified, a commercial bank has its protocol and according to this protocol, bank employees cannot have wear red manicure and red lipstick. However, red manicure and lipstick are my signature trends. Therefore, I would not work in a commercial bank.
What benefits do you receive from the company where you work? What makes your company interesting?
The ICI-Paris company has given a lot to me. This is a huge experience with many interesting people. I have met world leader in perfumery. Moreover, I have traveled all over the world. It is the merit of this company. I am a famous perfumery expert in Georgia.
What are your strong and weak sides, as a businesswoman?
I would not name strong aspects as it is difficult to talk about myself. Nevertheless, I would say that I have many strong sides, including the fact that I am independent and I am the only bread winner in my family. I care for financial aspects of my family. As to my weak sides, I did not pay attention to them, but now I do. I am not good at cooking and I have no idea what happens in the kitchen. This is my minus since girls busier than me can cook supper and invite friends. They are proud of this. But me, I invite my friends to supper prepared by my mother. I cannot prepare any dishes. This is my quality I dislike the most.