Georgia’s leading optical company Roniko is expanding on the local market with about four new branches and offering luxury eyewear from such global brands as Ermenegildo Zegna, MaxMara, Barton Perreira and others.
Currently, Roniko has a wide network of 23 stores located in Tbilisi, Batumi and Kutaisi, offering the largest local selection of products – sunglasses, eyeglasses, power lenses and contact lenses, and even sight diagnostics.
The shelves at Roniko stores are always stocked with the latest collection of international luxury brands. In partnership with Luxottica Group, De Rigo, Marcolin, Eschenbach and others, Roniko supplies the local market with eyewear from Ray-Ban, Giorgio Armani, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Emporio Armani, Persol, George Piralli, Bvlgari, Chopard, Cartier, Ermenegildo Zegna, Versace, Vogue, Oakley, Miu -Miu, and others.
General Director of Roniko Roland Javakhia reviewed the company’s development with Golden Brand and thanked customers and experts surveyed by the Golden Brand awards for naming Roniko as their favorite lenswear company in Georgia.
Q. Roniko has been growing steadily since 1995. During this time the company has gained the trust of the customers, reflected by the Golden Brand nomination. What’s it like to start the business in such a difficult time as the ‘90s and withstand the many challenges the country and of course the company have faced over the years?
A. We started our work in the most difficult period in the ‘90s. Roniko’s first optical store opened in 1996 on 107 Agmashenebeli Avenue in Tbilisi. This store still stands at this address.
We had no illusions that we would be successful when launching the company, on the contrary we worked patiently for several years and invested all the resources we earned in development. To date, our main revenue is used for development and invested in education, network expansion and modern technology.
Among many other factors, the history of Roniko is shaped by the people who work for us. The success and prestige of the company depend on their professionalism. Every employee who has a relationship with the customer is the face of Roniko. Ensuring the professionalism of the employees is one of the main tasks of the company. Seminars and training for ophthalmologists and sales staff are regularly held with the participation of experienced experts and specialists from partner companies. Staff are informed about the latest developments in the field of optics, fashion trends and master high-level service skills. It is a pleasure to keep the team stable and encourage them to grow into good managers.
During Roniko’s 27 years of operation, its main achievement is the trust of the customer. Our main task is to make Roniko a byword for high quality, good service and exquisite taste. We strive to offer customers diverse and updated collections. This is made possible by the fact that Roniko is the official distributor of more than 50 brands in Georgia and cooperates with the world’s leading optical companies.
As for partners, there were cases when we had to prove the reliability and respectability of our company prior to cooperating with international brands. With these small steps towards success, Roniko has become a company that every foreign partner wants to have a relationship with today. Even today, they contact us and request to meet and communicate with us, as the leading optical company in the Caucasus. Today we have the opportunity to choose the best partner brands ourselves.
The most important achievement of recent years is the wide range of power lenses and contact lenses. Roniko offers Hoya and Essilor power lenses. As for contact lenses, we have products of all three major world leading manufacturers — Cooper Vision, Alcon, Johnson & Johnson.
Constantly updated, new and exclusive collections are the most important aspects of Roniko’s success. Collections are selected by company buyers who regularly attend international optical exhibitions. Every year Roniko’s team travels to the SILMO and MIDO exhibitions, as well as to Luxottica exhibitions in various Italian cities. The best collections selected there will be found later in Roniko optical stores.
Q. In the category “favorite optical company” Roniko won the Golden Brand award. Please tell us what led the company to this recognition.
A. First of all, I would like to tell you that it is very pleasant for us to get this award and see appreciation for and recognition of our company’s activities.
Yes, I agree that we are actually the leaders in the optical industry and that is the result of our 28 years of tireless work. We represent the largest optical network, distinguished by a collection and service backed by high quality.
Q. Please summarize 2022, as the Golden Brand award is given to the companies following the successful activities of the previous year.
A. Despite global difficulties and tensions, 2022 was a post-pandemic, recovery and regeneration year that should be considered truly productive for our company, both in terms of sales and branch growth.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict added an unhappy tone to the beginning of the year. The entire world’s attention was directed to Ukraine, so consumers still missed some novelties and quality products after the pandemic. We correctly identified their needs in time and, together with foreign partners, provided in a timely and efficient manner exactly what was needed for the market and the country.
Last year we introduced daily contact lenses from Alcon’s Dailies Total, a very successful project in 2022, and this year we added another brand, CooperVision, with its Myday lenses.
Technological developments have also ensured lenses made with unique technology. Customers can find BlueControl glasses lenses from Japanese company HOYA that protect against harmful blue light, harmful blue rays emitted from the screens of computers, phones, tablets and various digital devices.
Q. How many branches does Roniko have in Georgia and do you plan to expand?
A. Yes, of course we plan to expand. As of now we have 23 branches, although I think this number will increase to 26-27 by the end of the year.
Our country is developing quite fast, even now a new shopping center is planned to be opened in Batumi, where Roniko will also be represented.
We are planning to add a new branch on a very strategic street in Batumi in April. Along with the opening of new branches, we regularly update existing branches.
Q. Which international brands do you officially cooperate with and which brands are exclusively represented at Roniko?
A. Roniko unites more than 60 global brands. We represent the Italian company Luxottica in the optical industry, from whose portfolio a number of leading and popular brands are on sale in Georgia, such as Ray-Ban, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Armani, Persol, etc.
We also have jewelry brands such as Chopards, Cartier, BVLGARI.
We should not forget the Georgian brand George Piralli, which, thanks to its interesting collections and quality models, is loved by both Georgian and foreign customers.
Q. There are a number of optical stores in Georgia. How healthy is the competition on the market and what is Roniko’s competitive advantage?
A. We welcome the appearance of companies that sell original products on the market.
The main advantage of Roniko is stability, assortment, service, price, and selection. Tbilisi stands next to Milan, Paris, and other big cities in terms of trend-following. Our customers always see and appreciate this.
Style is what the customer likes, and usually it is quite diverse. You have to know your customer in order to help them choose.
Our slogan is: “With Roniko You See Better and Look Wonderful!”