An interview with a business coach Robbie Steinhous
Whether Georgia can draw attention both in terms of culture and economy?
Georgia has a very interesting culture, and in my opinion it is necessary to spend more to preserve the historic appearance of Tbilisi. Maybe it will not be investing in new buildings, but more should be spent on historic buildings, the construction of roads and other infrastructure.
You also need to invest a lot in advertising tourism, facilitate the development of international aviation. Tourism is always very interesting and many countries focus on its development, Tbilisi has great potential in this regard.
What should a country do to attract investors? How should we interest foreigners to invest in this sector?
There are many factors – good infrastructure, the rule of law in concluding agreements, economic stability and the stability of the exchange rate, direct flights, etc. In addition, profitability of the project is crucial for investors.
A stable and sustainable economic growth is also required. For example, if economic growth in Turkey amounts to 10%, then in Georgia it should be 2-3% higher to be considered high.
Currently, Georgia’s economic growth is 4%. Is this result good for a developing country?
By itself, the 4% growth is not bad, but the problem arises when, for example, this figure is compared with Turkey where growth amounts to 10%. To attract investors, Georgia needs a more active growth.
If you were an investor, what would you pay priority attention to?
Stability of contracts and the implementation of laws are very important factors. It is also very important what are the expectations in the country.
I worked in a French Bank BNP Paribas, which employs 200 000 people, I conduct trainings in China, Turkey, France, USA, etc.
I know that about 30% of Georgia’s population works abroad, and this is very bad. I often meet talented and intelligent Georgians in London. Georgia has a great culture, but as the situation is not good enough for all to show themselves, many people have to go abroad.
What should a country do to bring them back?
A large-scale migration is a temporary process that took place in all the countries of the world. When the economy grows and incomes rise, it creates the conditions for people to come back.
Access to education is also very important. In this direction the state must invest a lot as well as bring from abroad specialists in various fields of business.
The secret of success of any country is a high management level and it is directly related to training. For example, China has invested a lot in education to get a highly qualified workforce.
Georgia just needs to develop management skills.
The government launched a program to support small businesses and introduced a system of subsidies. Will this allow businesses to be profitable in the long run?Businessmen are like little children, at the beginning they need great resources, and annually they grow stronger.
For example, in a country like the USA 70-80% of startups fail within a year. A number of people who can achieve long-term and sustainable business success is very small.
Of course, government incentives are very helpful, and I think that Georgia will retain a 4% growth.
What would be your top three tips to the Georgian government and business?
First of all, this is education and learning. Many companies have ambitions that they know everything, but nevertheless constant development is needed.
Second – the government should invest more in education in order business companies to get qualified specialists.
The third is that the government, through its departments and organizations, could develop the skills of the population. If the level of education and skills grows equally both in the private and public sectors, it will provide for big competition that is good for everyone. For example, people with a good education and skills will be able to easily change jobs and move from public to private sector and vice versa.