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In the contemporary world, in which creativity is the ultimate and most desirable  asset of every Employee and entrepreneurship, LEGO is the very synonym of creativity. One of the most renown and recognized brands on Earth has built its success upon creative thinking, innovation and planning outside the box.

The history of the Danish company has slowly become a kind of a beautiful fairy tale for managers, who dream to become Mr. Ole Kirk Kristiansen himself, metaphorically of course. Every commercial organization wishes its products to evoke the same emotions and connotations as LEGO: happiness, reminiscent laughter, the memory of carefree childhood, glimpses of images of a family, spending time together. Every child and most of adults are rapt, when they unpack a set of LEGO bricks for Christmas or birthday. But, the legendary company has not become such in a day, so the LEGO Group is a great example of a dream becoming truth thus every other entrepreneurship can theoretically repeat its global success. But the question is, how to do that? Mrs. Andrea Faflíková, LEGO Group’s Regional PR & Event Manager, Brand Marketing CEEMEA, whom we’ve interviewed, will help us understand the process of transforming a small carpenter’s workshop into a global company. 

The biggest company
– the biggest responsibility
GIG Group is a holding company like any other. While the number of organizations around the world boasts sensational performance in various areas of business, just like the Georgian company, none bears such responsibility for the country’s economy. This is due to historical conditions. For many countries, the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 80s and 90s of the twentieth century was a huge shock. The last decade of the past century has passed in Georgia under the sign of the bankruptcy of many companies, especially in the field of heavy industry, a giant increase in unemployment, and the political, economic and social abyss. Georgian Industrial Group Ltd. was established in 2006, primarily to rebuild the industrial potential of the country. While the holding company is relatively young, manages a number of subsidiary companies, which are active in many areas of the Georgian industry. An active investment strategy brings great effects, so that the industry, especially heavy, begins to play a very important role in the economy of Georgia, but also in the entire region. This would not be possible without a group of visionaries, who began work on the revitalization of the Georgian economy already in the early 90s, and today, enriched with over 20 years of experience, continue to pursue their mission with passion and dedication, now under the banner of GIG Group. Consistently implemented development plan, involving support of the various sectors of the economy of Georgia has brought tangible results. Georgian Industrial Group Ltd. is today one of the key organizations for the development of the whole country. The holding company employs about 4,500 Employees in daughter-companies throughout Georgia. Today, Georgian Industrial Group Holding is the largest industrial holding in Georgia with a wide business portfolio including coal mining, energy generation, natural gas retail, real estate and a whole range of other sectors. The country gains on the holding’s business activities; it is thanks to GIG Group, Georgia is able to maintain an impressive GDP growth rate, despite global financial crisis. The scale and scope of the business activity of the company is amazing. It is important to analyze the key areas of GIG Group’s interest to understand, so we could understand the secret of success of the organization.
Objective? Perfection in every detail!
In order to realize what a great enterprise a Georgian Industrial Group Holding is, we need to be aware of the range of activities of its subsidiaries. The organization is working hard on the development of most sectors of the domestic industry, from the production of electricity, coal mining, to the construction of housing, investment in infrastructure, and even production of excellent beer and lemonade! To effectively manage such diverse conglomerate, one must meet a number of conditions: a responsible HR policy, right investment decisions, pursue the correct development plan… not to mention providing appropriate technological support and implement effective solutions in logistics, manufacturing, control, etc. Contemporary, modern company cannot forget the issues, key to the perception and value of the company – Corporate Social Responsibility and green policy. We can see that the tasks of the company’s authorities are not easy. Yet, the holding consistently over the years accomplishes its mission to become one of the most important companies in Georgia, strengthen the competitive position in the region and win the recognition and trust of the company’s business partners and subsidiaries. To understand the secret of the success of Georgian Industrial Group Holding, we have interviewed Mrs. Natia Turnava - Head of the Board of Directors of Georgian International Energy Corporation, one of the subsidiaries of Georgian Industrial Group Ltd.
The future belongs to the bold!
The most important element of any enterprise, regardless of the industry and the scale of activity, are its Employees. The entities comprising the holding employ about 4,500 Employees. How looks the company’s HR policy? “Holding practices individual approach to each employee to discover possible potential in the very beginning and invest in them accordingly. We offer to our prospective team members a sound career development and high-quality financial and social benefits: above industry average salary, scholarship plan abroad, safe and respective working environment, one of the best medical insurance, frequent corporate events, etc.” – explains Mrs. Turnava. GIG Group is a highly attractive employer, and subsidiary companies, such as Saqnakhshiri GIG Group working in the mining industry, spend millions of dollars for the implementation of strict safety standards and equipment Improving. The giant investment projects, such as the largest coal mine in Georgia - Coal Fired Power Plant, worth approximately 100 million dollars, create jobs and the holding itself expands its huge technological potential and production capacity, optimizes modern management procedures and shapes Georgia’s competitive position. The position and the importance of Georgian Industrial Group Holding are unique. Therefore, Mrs. Turnava, asked about the things that the company’s authorities are the most proud of, says: “We are proud of being meaningful and largest industrial holding in Georgia and proud that every single person within the group acts in a way clearly perceiving what mission we carry out to transform to essential for Georgia’s and regional long-term industrial prosperity.” The scope of the company’s responsibility is enormous for the observers outside GIG Group. Still, holding’s managers strive to maintain the beauty of the environment in the South Caucasus. “Our efforts to improve environmental performance are broadly reflected in overall strategies, as well as in activities on operational level. We focus on ecologically viable alternatives on considering investments in any kind of projects starting from modification and improvement of existing facilities to construction of new plants. Wind project completion by GIEC, subsidiary to GIG Holding will result in additional step forward to country’s clean energy generation with low impact on local wildlife. On operational level the companies within group are shifting focus on developing voluntary techniques to optimize efficiency and industrial pollution control at existing facilities” – explains Mrs. Turnava. Modern, characterized by a high level of business acumen, affecting the future of the whole region and the performance of the economies of several countries: these are the features of Georgian Industrial Group Holding, based in Tbilisi. The future belongs to the bold, dynamic companies, such as the Georgia’s Tiger…
Written by Jacek Głowacki
From wooden toys to plastic bricks
The LEGO Group is a family-owned company, founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen in a small town of Billund in the region of Southern Denmark. The word LEGO, as we probably all know, is derived from the Danish expression “leg godt”, meaning “play well.” The two words have become the most important guideline to the Kristiansen family, who still own the company, despite the fact that LEGO Group is already more than 80 years old. LEGO bricks as we know them were born in 1958. Before that, the company manufactured highest quality wooden toys, but when couple of fires struck the company’s warehouses, Godtfred Kristiansen – Ole’s son and the Group’s second president – decided to focus the production processes on manufacturing plastic bricks, which eventually revolutionized the global toy market and contributed to creating one of the strongest brands ever. The company’s products have undergone extensive development over the years – and LEGO Group itself had its highs and lows – but the foundation remains the traditional LEGO brick – and the creative play experiences it offers to all users. Nowadays LEGO Group is a highly profitable company, which boasts wide portfolio of products, including core product lines such as LEGO City, LEGO Star Wars, LEGO DUPLO, as well as LEGO Friends, LEGO Chima, LEGO Ninjago, LEGO Creator and LEGO Technic. The company also offers other product lines such as LEGO Creator Expert, LEGO Simpsons and other products like “Pick a brick” and “Build a minifigure”. LEGO Group’s offices are located in the US, London, Singapore, Shanghai and naturally also in the company’s Headquarters in Billund, where it all began in 1932.
Always one step ahead of its competitors
When we think about LEGO Group and analyze the Danish company’s business activity, it’s easy to forget that we deal with one of the most renown manufacturing companies in the world. A company, which hires thousands of Employees, cooperates with many of its business partners and suppliers, manages warehouses and logistics on several continents. We are talking about the LEGO Group - the world’s most valuable toy company with a value at over $14.6 billion. Building a global brand is a long and demanding process, not playing with bricks and wooden toys. Plus we have to remember, that the company’s products are generally intended for children, which means that LEGO bricks have to pass the most severe and strict quality and safety tests. Mrs. Andrea Faflíková, LEGO Group’s Regional PR & Event Manager explains, how it is complicated to actually finish a set of bricks: “Product safety begins with our raw materials. Every individual substance, raw material, LEGO element and LEGO set is screened to verify compliance with the European Toy Safety Directive as well as other legislation, e.g. US legislation, and also with the Group’s internal requirements. LEGO bricks are made of only the absolutely safest and cleanest materials. We can document that the more than 2,000 raw materials we use pass the requirements. To ensure impeccable product safety, all production and consumer feedback is monitored and should any safety defects be identified, a product recall is performed. Since 2009, the LEGO Group has performed zero product recalls. Zero product recalls remains our continuous target.” Zero product recalls. An ambitious target, yet accomplished so far. Still, without a group of perfectly prepared Employees and proper technological background impossible to maintain. Luckily for LEGO Group, the company from Billund boasts both. “There was 13,869 Employees working for The LEGO Group in the end of the year 2013, currently more than 14,000 are employed. Being a family owned company dedicated to delivering high quality and creative play experiences to children all over the world, we are very much a value driven company. We measure the Employee satisfaction and engagement annually, as we want to be a great place to work for all Employees“ – says Mrs. Faflíková. Three generations of the Kristiansen family worked for more than 80 years to make LEGO Group a different corporation – focused on creativity, innovation, highest standards, traditional hierarchy of values. It has become the role models for other family entrepreneurship, a very unique type of commercial organizations. Although the Danish company had to face couple of problems during its long and rich history, it has never forget about its principles, its mission and vision, which all together comprise the company’s management philosophy, thanks to which LEGO Group has survived every crisis. Of course that would not be possible, if not the cutting-edge machinery and equipment, as well as optimized production and logistics processes. LEGO Group needs to maintain its manufacturing facilities all over the world to be able to effectively respond to the needs of ever changing market, co-create global trends and make sure that the company’s Customers are fully satisfied. “We are currently building a LEGO factory in China to supply all of Asia with LEGO products in future. The factory will supplement our current factories in Europe (Denmark, Hungary and Czech Republic) as well as our factory in Mexico. In addition we have just opened our fifth main office globally, which is a part of our ambition to truly globalize the LEGO System in Play – providing LEGO play to children all over the world” – explains Mrs. Faflíková
“Only the best is good enough”
Children in more than 130 countries. They are LEGO Group’s most important stakeholders and it’s up to them, if the Danish company will be able to carry on its business in the future. Also, as one of the global business leaders, LEGO Group carries a great responsibility for the future generations. That is why the company puts emphasis on building an environmentally friendly manufacturing company, which pays respect to the rules of Corporate Social Responsibility. One could write a book about all the efforts LEGO Group puts to make Earth a better place to live. The company will soon become a 100% renewable energy company, as states one of the most important targets of LEGO Group. The company lives up to its motto – “only the best is good enough.” Mrs. Faflíková puts it this way: “We focus on how we can deliver that in every aspect of the way we operate – also explicitly through the product we make. In that sense awards are significant to us – continuously delivering the best we can, and to provide children with great play experiences is what is meaningful to us. As you can see, if you start thinking like LEGO Group, you might eventually repeat its success. But you have to start right now. 



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