Blitz interview with Founder and President of Coca-Cola Bottlers Georgia Temur Chkonia, as he shares his working peculiarities and the path of his success.
My First Job
I started working at a bakery laboratory. I stayed there for a year. The job was very primitive. Very young people are employed on similar positions, as s rule. I was 18 years old in that period. I used to work and attend the university then.
I do not remember how much it was. This was in the remote past. There was a different political system and different money. I just know the salary was very little and I do not think I would be content with it.
I first tasted Coca-Cola at the age of 20
I was very young. In that period Coca-Cola was not imported to Georgia. As I remember, dancers of the Sukhishvili ensemble brought one tin of Coca-Cola from abroad and I managed to taste a small amount from the same tin.
On watching that tin
I was dazzled because I could not imagine I would ever import Coca-Cola to Georgia. The Communist Regime had closed the whole space and I could not imagine that system would ever collapse. In that period, it was unimaginable to fly to foreign countries by airplane.
I have just once tasted Pepsi
I tasted it to recognize and perceive its essence and core. You like what you have accustomed to.
I drink two bottles of Coca-Cola a day
but only Coca-Cola Zero, not because of a dietary regime. I just like it very much. Press a small piece of lemon into it, add ice and that’s it.
If I were a high school graduate
I would study two disciplines. I would study law and business-economics. Today both professions are a must.
I go to office every day
At different time and for different reasons. I do not wake up at a the specific time. For example, I do not wake up at 6 o’clock every morning to go to office, meet the co-workers, the management members and blame them for a delay. I go to the office at 7 o’clock or at 10 o’clock, depending on specific situations. Everything depends on specific situations at the office.
I start my working day with greetings
Then I receive information from subsidiaries – McDonald’s, breweries, Coca-Cola and so on. My assistant puts all these materials on my table. I check finances, examine the budget and the whereabouts of the expenditures.
I cannot imagine myself retired
I do not know whether I am due to take a pension. I do not know in advance what I will do when I get older and appoint a new manager. Maybe I will get ready to move on to another life.
Most of All I care for my relatives
And friends and for their safety and well-being. These aspects concern me very much.
Most of all I wanted to organize a huge production
I dream of this even today. I admire huge advertisements. We installed a big AD billboard at the entrance of Zugdidi. This billboard makes you feel that you enter a different world. I still have not realized that Coca-Cola is a success in Georgia and I have made it a people’s beverage.
I have many other dreams in relation to this brand. My second major dream was to see Georgian children snacking at McDonald’s. I think I have managed this and I have created the American environment for them. For example, yesterday I visited McDonald’s and I liked it very much. Young people visit it, get entertained there. I want to do more and make more achievements. In 2016, I will add 11 restaurants. I am constructing a huge McDonald’s restaurant in Rustavi. I think I have not finished the projects that I have launched. Therefore, I have to still perform a lot of work.
As to making a career
Various people apply various methods. Some of them resort to flattery and roguery to make a career. Some people prefer to work hard and achieve success by zeal. However, many professionally are not appreciated in our country. There are many professionals at state offices, but most of them are assistants and deputy heads, while they bear major responsibility and perform the main job. Inappropriate people frequently occupy undeserved positions and this category frequently achieves the highest success. They do not deserve to occupy those positions because they have come from the street. I do not approve revolutionary pathos.
I have no favorite toast
In general, I do not drink much. I believe these toasts are banal ones. I do not like when they hail each other and when they stand up to drink toasts. I think this is much tragedy when the chief of the table, Tamada, says a toast and 50 persons stand up. I get confused in this situation. What is this?
I receive information from all sources
Television. For example, I listen to radio stations in my car, read information on in the Internet. In general, I like reading.
Currently, I am reading the whole cycle of Maphet
I am not good at reading in English. Some places are translated for me. I worry in this way, but anyway. I like the life of this person very much. He has lived a very deep and reasonable life. Moreover, I read many economics manuals, books about new achievements, management systems. Very good books have been published recently.
Favorite football team
Is Manchester United.