Azerbaijan has redefined itself over the past two decades from a struggling newly independent state to a major regional energy player.
However, despite the fast-growing and dynamic Azeri consumer economy, the retail market in Azerbaijan remains dominated by traditional bazaars, convenience stores, kiosks and street vendors. Local supermarkets were sparse and poor quality, whilst prohibitive import costs provided a major barrier to market entry for the major international supermarket operators.
The country was crying out for a modern, homegrown Supermarket operation fit for the 21st century – but the odds seemed stacked against it.
This was the daunting challenge set to us by Pasha Holding.
Founded in Baku in 2006, Pasha is one of the largest companies in Azerbaijan, operating across a diverse range of market sectors, including insurance, banking, property, construction and tourism – in fact, everything except retailing.
Leveraging its land bank, construction experience and management expertise, Pasha had an ambitious plan to fill the void and to develop Azerbaijan’s first truly modern Supermarket. We thought they were just about crazy enough to make it work!
To help bring the plan to life, we were retained to conduct a global search to hire a founding Retail Managing Director, whose brief was to create an entirely a successful end-to-end trading enterprise, from scratch. We successfully recruited 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.
Within 12 months of appointment, the new Retail MD successfully delivered ‘Bravo‘, now firmly established as the key player in this nascent Azeri retail sector. Pasha Holding now confidently expect to capture 50% of Azerbaijan’s potential €3 billion supermarket sector from a planned network of 100-150 convenience, supermarket, and hypermarket stores.
We were naturally thrilled at the commercial outcome, but we are particularly proud of playing our part in helping to Azeri families join in with the modern world and enjoy all of the convenience, choice and everyday value which most take for granted.
“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