SOCIETY
A Georgian girl who conducts business in the UK
18 July, 2018
Irina Gujabidze, a member of the UK Business association, has been in charge of marketing and communications in one of London’s largest companies for a number of years. She also owns a 5% shareholding. The company –“Appy Food&Drinks ” produces organic products for children and adolescents . The Company works with many other well-known companies.

Irina moved to London 10 years ago and started her dream from scratch, which took a great deal of hard work and effort.

“My ancestors came
from Guria, but generations of Gujabidzes have also lived in Poti for years. I'm Megrelian, so I have a mixed character. I graduated from the first gymnasium in Poti, which was considered to be one of the best schools at the time , and it gave me such a comprehensive education knowledge that I didn’t need any additional tutoring. In general, I love subjects, such as English, Georgian literature and History.” – says Irina
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Irina Gujabidze, Photo courtesy: www.gza.kvirispalitra.ge

Irina’s father is a construction engineer and her mother a nurse. They had 3 children (including Irina) and tried to provide a good education for her. She didn’t take this opportunity for granted.
“After school I would always go straight back home and do my homework. In the evening my mother would check most of my homework, except for my maths, which my father would check .”
After she graduated she studied Law at the Kutaisi State University.

After graduating from this University, she married and decided to pursue further studies in London. Although she had studied law at University this had not really been her choice – more her parents .
She did not wish to pursue a career in Law .This was not her ambition in life.

“So when I left for London I decided to study Business Management at the University of Sunderland .”

“ I then went on to graduate with a Masters Degree in Marketing and PR from Brunel University. My father is still asking me, "I cannot understand what this marketing is, what good is it and how can one benefit from it? But he is proud of every step that I have taken. It is his dream for me tobecome a lecturer.The University of Brunel, as the best graduate, actually offered me a post lecturing.However this was not what I wanted as career so I turned down their offer.”
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London, England, Photo courtesy: www.st-christophers.co.uk

Success comes easily for some, whilst others need to work hard to earn it. In her case success did not come easy for Irina. She spent a lot sleepless nights spent in the library, constantly working to improve herself. One key essential ingredient to success is your purpose and determination in achieving your goal . You should know what you want and what you’re searching for in life.

“My parents and brothers are always expecting more from me, sometimes even more than I’m capable of. I always try not to disappoint them.”

Initially, she started working as an intern during her summer holidays from the University . All the other interns she met were English and so she thought they had a better chance of getting a future job than she did. 

“I do not know why I was selected for the job from 10 students, since I had not even completed 3 months of the internship. Perhaps the knowledge of additional languages gave me an advantage. I also like to take the initiative. When other interns did exactly what they were told to do, I offered ideas and alternatives to implementing a project.”
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The streets of London, Photo courtesy: www.favim.com

Her husband started working with her in her company. For 1 year she and her husband barely saw each other - only in the morning and in the evenings. Often she did not see him at the weekends either , since they were both studying and working at the same time.

If I lost even 5 minutes of concentration, I had a sense of guilt. In London, there are many talented and educated people; everyone has an ambition to achieve the best. That's why its very competitive. If you become complacent , it’ll be difficult to go forward. It is important to manage your time effectively. When I'm in Georgia, I have a lot of things to do, and sometimes I can barely catch up with my friends, as I continue to work at the same time- whilst I am here. I have a constant time deficit. However, I am glad that I kept in touch with friends in Georgia. I’m trying to balance my personal life with my career.

The thing that she is most grateful for is her London experience and that she had the opportunity to make friends of different nationalities and know their culture.
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Irina with her husband, Photo courtesy: www.gza.kvirispalitra.ge

“The years spent there have taught me a lot, first of all, the price of time, self-confidence and the determination. No one can help you there: neither your mother nor father. You study – you work in a good company! Do your work – it will be appreciated! Now with some of my employers I am working on a Marketing and Management Agency, which will help companies create products, strategic and business planning, marketing, PR... So to sum it up I have big plans ahead. “ – says Irina

The first photo courtesy: www.gza.kvirispalitra.ge

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