PORTFOLIO SIZE (GEL)
NET PROFIT (GEL ‘000’)
Gold Guaranteed Loan
NUMBER OF BRANCHES
AREAS WHERE CURRENT LOANS ARE GRANTED
NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES
1 022 989 1 021
March 2020 Q4 2019 Q2 2019
EMPLOYEES’ GENDER STATISTICS
Our History and Values
The past 25 years have seen incredible change in Georgia. Over this period, JSC MFO Crystal has grown from a small business project within a not-for-profit organisation founded by a group of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to the largest microfinance institution in Georgia. We now deliver financial services to over 100,000 customers, with a mission to defeat poverty in Georgia by creating entrepreneurial opportunity in Georgia’s agricultural, micro and small business sectors. Our focus on positive development outcomes in all areas of our work has persisted since we began life as Charity Humanitarian Centre Abkhazeti (CHCA) in 1995. Georgia was a very different place, recovering from two damaging ethnic conflicts and a civil war that displaced over 200,000 people and left almost no economic infrastructure.
Our founder and Chairman, Archil Bakuradze, was among those IDPs, confronted with the daunting reality of the challenge that now faced Abkhazians and Georgians alike. Along with co-founder, activist and social entrepreneur Alu Gamakharia, he mobilised a small team of students, family and friends to create CHCA, an organisation built on the belief that IDPs themselves were best placed to understand their own needs. The organisation’s innovation was driven, as Crystal’s is today, by the evolving needs of the people it served. The first microfinance operation emerged in 1998, raising US$ 10,000 of pilot funding from the International Rescue Committee. The impact was almost immediate, with the first period of micro-financing serving thousands of micro-entrepreneurs in Western Georgia over the next three years, attracting grant funding that included $352,000 for the revolving loan portfolio. At the end of this period, the fund was recycled and handed over to CHCA for the further expansion of its microfinance activity.By 2001, the microfinance program had become self-sufficient, phasing out grant funding and switching focus to Microfinance Investment Vehicles (MIVs) and commercial banks, including a first Georgian lender, TBC bank. This led to the 2003 decision to split the not-for-profit portfolio from microfinance operations, creating and registering Crystal Fund as an independent microfinance institution (MFI). In 2007, Crystal Fund reacted to a new law on MFIs by becoming an entrepreneurial legal entity and transferring commercial operations to newly established JSC MFO Crystal, certified by the National Bank of Georgia.
Today, JSC MFO Crystal’s customer-focused and innovative financial services reach almost every corner of Georgia, with the families of our clients making up over 10% of the country’s population. Positive development outcomes remain integral to our approach, pursued through a Triple Bottom Line business model that affords equal value to people, planet and profit to achieve sustainability. Our market-leading consumer protection and award-winning transparency is underpinned by impactful Environmental and Social projects, delivered in partnership with Crystal Fund, to combat Georgia’s most pressing development challenges.
The evolution of our services is clear in the diversity of our 1,000-strong multidisciplinary team, including finance, technology, consulting and data experts working from head offices in Kutaisi, Tbilisi and up to 50 branches. Crystal’s vision is to take the next step in this evolution by becoming a data-driven sustainable bank in 2021, keeping customers at the core of what we do by expanding our services, and contributing further to our mission to sustainably defeat poverty in Georgia.
Responsibility – Responsibility underpins every business decision made at Crystal. As a lender, we are committed to the avoidance of over-indebtedness for our customers. We treat our customers fairly, with care and due forbearance, and are market leading in our approach to transparency in loan conditions. This commitment extends to our attitude towards employees, business partners, the community and the environment.
Transparency – We endeavour for complete transparency in all our interactions with stakeholders and clients. Our customers should always be able to compare costs, terms and conditions of a loan, and understand the consequences of non-payment. Crystal’s relationship with clients, staff, funders and with wider society is based on transparency, frankness and fairness
Partnership – a long–term, equitable and customer-focused relationship. The cornerstone of Crystal’s approach is care towards customers and sustainability.
Access – our product design, lending standards, distribution channels and customer interfaces are all about access. We are always accessible to our clients, business partners and each other.
Innovation – Innovation driven by constant improvement is a crucial tenet of Crystal’s approach. We ground this innovation in the shifting needs of customers, encouraging creative solutions that make maximum use of new technology.
Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Chair of ALCO
Mr. Archil Bakuradze is the Executive Chairman of Crystal. He chairs the Supervisory Board and Assets and Liabilities Committee. Archil has founded Crystal being involved in its management and governance since 1998. He was a Chairman and currently serves as a Board Member of the Georgian Microfinance Association. As part of his commitment to civil society, Archil holds non-executive positions in the Business and Economic Centre in the Parliament of Georgia and Charity Humanitarian Center “Abkhazeti”. For his contribution to the Internally Displaced People, in 2003, he received the international award from the Dutch Refugee Foundation (Stichting Vluchteling). Archil Bakuradze holds a BA in Economics from the Georgian Institute of Sub-tropic Agriculture and MBA degree from the Lancaster University. He is the UK FCO Chevening scholar and Fellow of the John Smith Trust.
Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Chair of the Risk Committee
Mr. Nikoloz Loladze is the Deputy Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Crystal. He is a social entrepreneur and development consultant with more than 15 years of experience in economic development work. Mr. Loladze is a founder and board member of a number of prominent business and not-for-profit organizations in Georgia. In his capacity as a governance expert, Mr. Nikoloz Loladze is an advisor and board member of a number of business and not-for-profit organizations, including the Georgian Stock Exchange, JSC Brokerage Company Caucasus Capital Group, JSC Mobile Finance Eurasia, UK-Georgia Professional Network and Anchor Consulting LLC. Mr. Loladze holds postgraduate qualifications in Management (Warwick, UK), and Physics (Tbilisi, Georgia), as well as certificates in Project Management, Policy Analysis, and Public Administration.
Chair of the Strategy, Data and Innovations Committee
Mr. Jan Dewijngaert has broad Private Equity experience in acquiring, managing and selling equity stakes in a wide variety of sectors. Executed more than 60 investments and exits in Europe and Asia. He acts as a Managing Partner or Managing Director and Member of the Investment Committee of various private equity funds. Mr. Dewijngaert has extensive Board Member experience in multiple sectors and countries. Currently, besides his Board role at Crystal, he acts as a Board member of BEM (real estate fund), Genesis Private Equity Fund (Czech and Slovak PE fund), Araratbank (Armenia) and Arvand (Tajikistan).
Chair of the E&S Committee
Mr. Aleem Remtula is DWM’s investor nominee director on the Supervisory Board of Crystal. He has been on the Board of Crystal since DWM’s equity investment in 2011 and leads the Company’s Social Committee. Mr. Remtula has a decade of impact investing experience with socially responsible, double and triple bottom line venture capital and private equity funds in the U.S. and Europe. He is a Director of Private Equity at DWM covering Central and South Asia and the Caucasus. Mr. Aleem Remtula received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his BA in Economics and Finance from Princeton University.
Keith Young MBE
Chair of the HR, Compensation and Remuneration Committee
Mr. Keith Young MBE is a member of Board and Chairman of HR and Remuneration Committee. He is an Entrepreneur with considerable expertise in the publishing, communications and new technology industries. Mr. Young co-founded Private Equity Investor plc. He also founded Easynet plc. His publishing interests include Parliamentary Communications Plc, the publisher of Parliament’s “House Magazine” and European Parliament’s “Parliament Magazine”. He has been the Executive Chairman of cScape Group PLC and a co-founder of Group NBT plc (formerly NetBenefit PLC). He served as a Non-Executive Director of Private Equity Investor PLC. Mr. Keith Young MBE holds a Degree in Economics from the London School of Economics, also has a broad background of investment in and management of companies in a number of other sectors.
Chair of the Independent Internal Audit Committee
A co-founder and CEO of ADWISE Consulting. She is leading the business advisory sector of the Company including banking advisory services.
Lilit has more than 16 years of progressive experience in different industries out of which around 8 years of mostly leadership positions in banking and financial sector. Lilit’s bank management experience includes roles of Head of Budgeting & Controlling Department, Head of Internal Audit Department, Management Board Member responsible for HR & Operations at ProCredit Bank as well as Head of Planning & Financial Analysis at Farm Credit Armenia UCO.
Lilit holds MBA degree with major in Finance from American University of Armenia, MA from Yerevan State University and pursues ACCA and CIA qualifications.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
Chief Business Officer (CBO)
Chief Innovation and Marketing Officer (CINO)
Chief Information Officer (CIO)
Fitch updated credit rating and affirmed ‘B’ Outlook Stable
EIB boosted its support to Crystal through EUR 4.1 million facility
Crystal first time partners with Black Sea Trade and Development Bank through GEL 15 million facility
Microfinanza (MFR) rated Crystal with ‘A-‘
Crystal became winner of Corporate Social Responsibility Award 2019
Crystal raised equity investment of 10 million Georgian Lari
Crystal issued GEL 15 million corporate bonds
Crystal Received Grand Prix at the Georgia’s Responsible Business Contest
Fitch Ratings has affirmed JSC MFO Crystal’s Long-Term Issuer Default Ratings at ‘B’ with a Stable Outlook.
Fitch Ratings assigned JSC MFO Crystal a final long-term rating of ‘B’ with stable outlooks
Implemented micro credit distribution channels called “Credit Boutiques” in rural areas
Our objective is to build long-term relationships responsibly so as to help our customers on the path to financial success.
Our customers are the people who are growing the economy of Georgia from its very foundations – on their farms, in their shops, hotels, hostels, restaurants, bars and in construction, workshops and manufacturing units. It is they who are taking the benefits to the population at large of the massive infrastructure spending and tourist numbers now being seen in Georgia. Their efforts are bringing a better life to their families and employees and thus hundreds of thousands of people. They are resourceful and innovative. We are doing our best to help them, not just by making available the money to fund their efforts, but with support and ideas. Their future is our future and the future of Georgia.
Zaza Gagua is a director of the company “Vino Martvili”. He has spent all his life in Tbilisi and married a girl born in the city. However, more than a year ago now he left Tbilisi and settled down in Martvili with his family.
“This year, our house in Martvili turned 80 years old. My great grandfather built it back in 1935. My wife and I decided to visit the house not only during summertime, but also to restore it and to lead our everyday life here”.
He first tried his hand at viticulture in 2012. He purchased half a hectare of land, together with his friends, and planted a vineyard of Ojaleshi. Four years have passed and he is waiting now for the harvest.
While his own vineyard is still young, he is buying grapes from other vine-growers. He makes sure that his partner cultivators use organic methods to grow their grapes.
“Once, a vine-grower called me from the village of Betlemi. I am loyal to Ojaleshi, which he produces using organic methods. He has one of the best vineyards from among those from which I buy grapes each year. He told me that he had 0.5 tons of grapes. I was very upset that I could not buy them as that year I did not have much Megrelian Ojaleshi from which to produce wine. We could not afford to pay a high price and also we did not have a sufficient number of vessels. However, it seemed to me that it was inadmissible not to take these grapes – they must not fall into the hands of someone who would produce bad wine from excellent grapes!’
Right away he decided to apply to Crystal. As Zaza states, he did not have to undertake much in the way of enquiries as he was immediately offered a loan with favorable conditions and a one-year grace period
They have good plans for the future as well: they intend to grow a vineyard where all Megrelian and Abkhazian breeds will be planted- around 120 varieties. They need to purchase a plot of land and expand the wine cellar. “We should turn this place into a hub of wine tourism. We have a plan for 5-10 years, which we are following step-by-step. In our future plans, we see Crystal as a partner, as the state programs are intended more for the eastern Georgian vineyard owners.
Tamaz Kalatozishvili (38) is a native of Tbilisi. Since graduating from school he has been performing physical work to earn a living and support his family. He used to work for private entrepreneurs and various farms. For a while, he was employed as a driver of agricultural machinery at the Ministry of Agriculture. But one day he decided that he would not be dependent on a salary anymore and would start his own business. To obtain assistance, he followed the recommendation of his friend and applied to Crystal. Gaining an initial loan of USD 6000, he purchased a lorry. In parallel, he still continued to work as a driver: as he explained, he did not know whether his efforts would bear fruit and he was afraid to deprive the family of a stable income.
The business started to prosper. The number of orders allowed him to repay the loan and to make a profit. So since he did not need to borrow more money he quit his job and bought another agricultural machine, this time a tractor.
“I have a family and three kids. My salary was the only source of income. I took a risk and became a businessman. Now, I employ another person to be a driver and I pay him myself. Thanks to Crystal, I can call myself a successful person. I generate am generating a much higher income and I can think about further development. As soon as I repay the loan, I plan to apply to Crystal to purchase additional machinery.
“A little while ago, I accompanied my friend to Crystal and guaranteed his loan, which he used for purchasing machinery. I recommend everyone not to step back, but to start one’s own business, to make the effort and increase the money they make”
Lali Shengelia is a successful entrepreneur from the village Zeda Vani. She has been engaged in the poultry business for ten years now. She started the business with her own saving and initially bought 2000 chickens. The business began to prosper. Gradually, she started to add chickens and sell them not only in the villages of Vani, but beyond the region as well. She hired six people and, in parallel, started to focus on expansion of her business assets.
“Hardships started when we learned about the illness of my husband. While suffering from diabetes, he was also diagnosed with tuberculosis. He underwent treatment in Abastumani, but he felt really bad. Our expenses started to soar. It was a difficult period: we had sold all our chickens, spent the money and ran out of finances. We had to urgently raise funds to continue our business activities.
Not having any experience with banks, I was recommended to apply to Crystal. I was hosted by a friendly employee, whom I started to trust. I disclosed all my problems. They studied my business and offered a loan with a grace period. They offered to lend money for purchasing chickens and gave an opportunity to repay it after they were sold. Such condition was definitely welcome for me.
Currently, I have 10 000 chickens. I sell both color and broiler chickens. My business is running well, though sometimes unforeseen circumstances do occur. Increase of USD rate automatically leads to rise of prices for chicken food. Sometimes it happens that chickens die due to some disease. In any unforeseen event, I rely on Crystal and regard it as my savior”.
Irakli Pipia (30) started his business about a year ago. Currently, he is a director of a block factory which employs 11 people. It all started with a simple idea, but with zero experience.
“Being a newly founded company, we did not have that large a scale production. We needed to purchase a block cutting machine. As our savings did not allow acquiring one, we started to search for funds. Being a newly-fledged firm, almost all the banks refused to extend a loan to us. Most likely, given our small amount of experience they did not want to take the risk. Finally, we applied to Crystal, which offered great support to us. Thanks to their loan, we managed to purchase new machinery and almost doubled our production”.
The company “Green Building” of Irakli Pipia was a successful startup. He says that he took a risk and it was worth the effort. When asked if he thinks himself a successful man, he smiles and says that he is not dissatisfied. He plans to buy new equipment soon and to employ another 25 people. He recommends everyone not to be discouraged by initial problems. He thinks that spending labor and making the commitment will certainly bring success.
“More than a year has passed since the foundation of the “Green Building” Ltd. Seeing our turnover, the banks are now eager to offer us different types of loans, but Crystal was the only one to stand by our side in our moment of difficulties. All the conditions of this company are acceptable to me. That’s the reason I want to continue cooperation just with Crystal”.
|Crystal raises USD 10 million for green financing||Young Entrepreneur’s School|
|Zaza Gagua – Winemaker||Tamaz Kalatozishvili – Entrepreneur|
|Lela Shengelia – Entrepreneur||Irakli Pipia – Entrepreneur|