Founded in Baku in 2006, Pasha Holding operates across a diverse range of market sectors, including insurance, banking, property, construction and tourism, and is one of the largest companies in Azerbaijan.
By 2014 they had identified a gap in the fast-growing and dynamic Azeri consumer economy – supermarket retailing was traditionally served by very small independent groups, with fractured store networks and relatively poor operational delivery. In addition, there were no major international supermarket players due to prohibitive import costs, a major barrier to market entry.
Leveraging its land bank, construction experience and management expertise, Pasha decided to develop their own, under a new subsidiary, Azerbaijan Supermarket LLC. They now have plans to capture 50% of the country’s c. €3 billion supermarket sector from a network of 100-150 convenience, supermarket, and hypermarket stores.
To help bring the plan to life, RMC was retained to hire their Retail Managing Director. We started by mapping out supermarket / hypermarket developments across Eastern and Central European, and Northern Asia as being the most representative of the ambiguities and immature market dynamics of Azerbaijan. We then conducted an exhaustive search for senior supermarket executives who had demonstrated their proven ability to “colonise” these new frontier emerging markets and create a successful end-to-end trading enterprise.
The new Pasha Retail division needed a charismatic leader with vision, energy, and hard-won experience – and we found a very special individual with proven blue-chip global experience and the rare ability to make this new business relevant to the needs and wants of the local consumer.
One year after his appointment, the new Retail MD successfully ‘Bravo‘, the first major supermarket chain in Azerbaijan in 2015, quickly followed by the country’s first hypermarket, in Baku. Bravo has now firmly arrived as the key player in this nascent retail sector, offering Azeri families innovative products and food inspiration within a shopping experience on the cutting edge of retail design.
“Thank you very much for your original initiative and personal support, really appreciated, without you this country [Azerbaijan] would not have had this positive retail development.”
Managing Director, Azerbaijan Supermarket LLC