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Japanese Candies ZOCY – Business of 11-Grade Pupils

ZOCY is an online store that trades in Japanese candies, chewing gums and various confectioneries. 11-grade pupils of Georgian-American school have founded this startup – Mariam Kanashvili and Giorgi Meskhi.

The idea of undertaking this business arose at an airplane. They started implementing the idea in the same place. The company name they invented in Duty Free zone. Having left airport, they started implementing the project. In their interview with the Marketer, Mariam and Giorgi have described their business in details.

– How would you describe ZOCY’s Japanese Candies and what products do you offer to consumers?

Mariam: – ZOCY is an online store of Japanese candies, where consumers are able to choose desirable products and couriers will deliver orders to desirable address in Tbilisi. The products include candies, chewing gums and other interesting, exotic and diverse Japanese confectioneries.

– How did this business idea arise and how have you selected the company name?

Mariam: – Over the past 3 years we have taken part in many international conferences in mathematics  (ICYS,2015-Gold Medal; Intel ISEF 2016; IYIPO-Gold Medal and so on). As a result, we have acquired much experience and at the same time, new ideas appeared. When leaving for Intel conference, at Munich airport we decided to start business and we took first efforts at computer of transit department. As to the company name, it arose absolutely by accident in Duty Free zone.

-Why have you decided to make accent on Japanese candies and is Georgian customers interested in your products?

Giorgi: – We are classmates and we used to order candies from Japan when we were 8-grade pupils. Then we grew up and gained experience, we decided to undertake this startup and I think we are success. Consumers show much interest.

-What makes you special from other competitors?

Mariam: –Since Georgian market lacks for Japanese candies, we do not nave competitors in practice. Moreover, I believe our idea is very attractive and interesting for Georgian youth, because we offer absolutely new product.

-How much do your products cost and where are they sold?

Mariam: – Price depends on variety of candies and ranges from 2 to 5 GEL on average. Products may be bought by online orders and on Facebook and Instagram pages. Distribution is carried out by a delivery service.

-What difficulties have you overcome when undertaking this business and how do you manage to study and do business simultaneously?

Giorgi: – There are many difficulties, because we are 11-grade pupils and we are considered to be prospective university students. It is very difficult to combine studies with business, even more so we do this business alone. It is difficult to resolve problems and objectives in short period. We have huge support from our parents who are more experienced in this case.

-What stage of development have you reached and what innovations do you plan to offer to clients?

Mariam: – The first consignment of candies were run out and we are waiting for the new one. We also plan to expand our business in social network to draw as many customers as possible.

Giorgi: – We never stop developing our services and content. In the near future we plan to undertake a new direction in relation to the subscription box.