It’s just over a year after we last spoke to Farhad about Regibus International, and he, Jorge and Levan have definitely embraced their own advice! Their angle of selling Georgian wine has proven to be their key differentiator, and has even attracted Michelin starred restaurants as clients. But it’s been a challenge to get the business to this point, as Farhad explains.
“Our longer-term goal is to become the best and biggest Georgian wine distributor in the UK.”
“E-commerce presented new challenges, we needed to sort out which wines to stock and how to get them to the UK. I was sending emails, approaching people, going and meeting wine producers that I’d never met in my life and needing to convince them to work with me, even though I’m twenty two years old, just graduated and hadn’t really worked anywhere because my job got canceled! Being a Les Roches graduate was a big help, it’s like a never ending phone book in terms of needing those connections around the globe. So we managed to get a couple of contracts.”
Educating the customer
With licenses sorted, a website up and running and stock secured, there was one last, and sizable, job to take care of. “The challenge was the lack of education from the consumer side about Georgian wines in general, so you’re trying to push that first before actually getting people to buy the products. It’s something that we didn’t think about in advance.”
“…we discovered that Michelin star restaurants are more likely to want to sell Georgian wine rather than a restaurant that sells five or six types of wines…”
As pandemic restrictions began to lift in the UK, Farhad was able to restart the B2B side of the business, acquiring some impressive clients early on. “We are actually supplying wine to a couple of Michelin star restaurants. In fact, we discovered that Michelin star restaurants are more likely to want to sell Georgian wine rather than a restaurant that sells five or six types of wines in general, because Michelin starred restaurants are looking for that point of difference.”
With a challenging 12 months behind them, Farhad has clear ambitions for the business in 2022 and beyond. “Currently this year the strategy is to push the B2B side of the business, because restaurants are now working freely in the UK. Our longer-term goal is to become the best and the biggest Georgian wine distributor and seller in the UK. We want to supply and sell as much wine as we can!”