It’s kind of being at school and the teacher asking the class to write about what we did during summer vacations, but with so many flavours of experiences from the recent Georgia visit and the unexpected sources of inspirations I had to write them down. In this letter, I’ll share one of them.
I grew up in the capital and love everything that only capitals (or equally large cities) can provide… easy access to the underground theatres, higher end ballet performances, and the endless discovery of new cafes and quirky arty crafts.
Perhaps having access to plenty creates the inquisitive nature that craves to discover something no one else had seen or thought of visiting before, after all there can only be so much excitement about visiting another cafe. That’s why visiting the mineral water factory, Borjomi, that my friend had organized for us, felt super exciting.
In the beautiful part of Georgia, Borjomi, where the infrastructure is post-communist and the mountains are high, there is a factory equipped with the 21st century technology, and a thousand staff working really hard to produce 450 million bottles of mineral water that are born some 8000 meters below the earth surface.
Me and Alan were greeted by a 17 year old smiley intern who asked us to cover ourselves with sanitary clothes from head to toe. Through our intern, we learnt the journey of water production, from it’s extraction through the source (without disturbing the earth of course) to sticking branded labels on the battles.
As a child I grew up with the bottle of Borjomi in our fridge as an essential staple, I also remember really well how in the 90s shortly after the countries liberation from the Soviet occupation, production of mineral waters had deteriorated. Falsified mineral waters started to leak into the market, the factory became near abandoned and the quality of the production became under the scrutiny.
It was then when 2 partners took over the factory, invested heavily in the technology and recreated a brand that made Georgian production proud again. Their strategy of doing a great job and doing it well has paid off, with the growing production and supporting the local economy by employing 1000 people, no wonder our young intern guide felt so enthusiastic to be given the opportunity to represent the company.
The factory experience gave me a lesson and the lesson is simple.
Whether it’s selling water or running retreats, making things are good, doing them well is important.
Whether it’s a yoga in the abandoned community hall or a brand new rooftop studio, quality of the service is what matters.
Becoming more self-sufficient by creating service that benefits people, communities, contributes to the welfare of the economy that we all live in.
When you do things well, people want to be part of that experience – I spoke to some of the factory workers who seemed so proud working for the company for the 18th year.
And finally, I really liked how unflashy the entire experience was. I have always liked businesses that do things well without making a big deal out of it, it always feels humbling and grounding, so I hope to bring back a little bit of that spirit back with me in Manchester
and that desire to lead a simpler, more balanced and healthy mind, healthy business balance.
What about your yoga business? How does running your business feel like? Do you feel in business as balanced as you do in one leg yoga poses?
What would you change if money was not a restriction?
What could you improve to provide a healthier, more balanced service to the communities?
I will share other experiences at another time soon, in the meantime, stay balanced, stay tuned!
PS. Oh yes I also learnt that with such elaborate work that goes into the bottled water production I will never take for granted opening a bottle of mineral water and paying some 80p for it x
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