World Monitor Mag WM_June 2018 web - Page 58

EXPERT OPINION Ramstore – the key milestones of excellence World Monitor had a pleasure of visiting new Ramstore facilities in Almaty and having conversation with Mr Kilic about the 19 years of the brand’s quality work in Kazakhstan. Ramstore is 19 years old this year. What are the key milestones you can outline? Onder Kilic, Marketing Director, Ramstore Kazakhstan LLP As was mentioned Ramstore was built in Kazakhstan 19 years ago. This building is the first supermarket and also first shopping mall in Kazakhstan. The key aspect after all these years is that we are still here, in this market. We are inspired to be working on this – it is our strategic plan. During the past years Kazakhstan experienced various stages of economic crises, but due to our financial discipline and ‘know how’, we sustained through it. Many companies went bankrupt, and some competitors closed their business because of economic difficulties. But Ramstore continues to be at your service. Another aspect is that we were always a leader. I do not mean externally. I’m talking about in the ways of implementing new things – our innovations for the clients. Even today our promotion mechanisms are very different from our competitors. We have a ‘first come, first served’ promo concept. As part of this program, our customers can buy products participating in the promotion at a discount of 70%. We practice a loyalty system that our competitors don’t have – it includes a bonus system and additional activities in the store. Participants of our bonus system not only save on purchases, but 54 world monitor also earn on them, with the opportunity to pay with bonus units. We can easily call ourselves the only supermarket chain in Kazakhstan. Other competitors work differently: some work in the hypermarket area. These are small stores that look like discount stores, but they have a limited assortment. Others function as gourmet markets. Ramstore is a pure supermarket for everyone, because we don’t have customers ‘clusterization’: there is no A or B or any specific type of consumers we work for. For us the inclusive nature of business is primary. Everyone is our customer. Ramstore aims its marketing and communication strategies at everyone – a wide range of clients. I joined Ramstore in Kazakhstan a year ago. I can assure you that Almaty is the most exciting market for me personally. The city life and doing business here is challenging even after 18 years of previous experience, there is still something I can learn. This is a different way of doing retail business because the customers’ habits are different. The population is very diverse with many ethnic groups that have different demands that we need to meet. We need to define our assortment and promotion strategy based on these diverse public preferences. The unique feature of people in