Shaper: Guka Tavberidze
Guka Tavberidze was born in Georgia but left at the age of seven and moved to London in 1994. He reportedly grew up in a “health conscious” family, with his two sisters Sophia and Salli and mother Nina, who often experimented with fruit and vegetables to make tasty smoothies. Prior to founding Savsé (pronounced sav-say), Guka dropped out of university and found it difficult to find employment. He realised that he wanted to “pursue [his] own plans and dreams” and left a “high-paying job” at a pharmaceutical sales company in search of his own business idea; before starting to look at introducing smoothies on the market. Guka has said that if he were not an entrepreneur he would have been a footballer or a rugby player: “anything that allowed me to play or compete against somebody.” Guka still lives in London and speaks three languages; English, Russian and Georgian.
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“I was tired of watching the giants of the industry brainwashing consumers that their smoothies were healthy and they were not and I wanted to do something about that.”
“Savsé itself means crammed. So our product is crammed full of goodness…We were drinking vegetables so it was a great way for [my mother] to sneak those powerhouse veg in without us knowing what it was and we were happy to drink them, it was delicious and nutritious at the [same] time.”
“[They] broke up, as a lot of parents do, but [my father] literally took everything and my mother and my sisters and I were left in extreme poverty. I was embarrassed to even go to school with the type of clothes that I would be wearing.”
“I had to understand that you can pretty much do and want and be anything that you want to be, and you can impact the world – you just have to believe in yourself and do things for the right reasons.”
“I got a sales position at a pharmaceutical company and I was really curious about how one person selling the same product could earn more than the others. I asked a successful salesman ‘what is it that you are doing that’s setting you apart from everybody else?’ and he said ‘I read a lot of books.”
“I was walking past Kings Road Waterstones and I remember walking into the business section and my eyes literally lit up. It was one of those moments where it was meant to happen, where all these books – from Anthony Robbins to Brian Creasey to many, many others – shape and change the way you think about things. You go from the negativity of ‘poor me’ and ‘poor that’ to thinking completely different.”
“I got to the point where I didn’t want to work for anybody else anymore, I wanted to have a company of my own, I wanted to start something out of nothing and turn it into something magnificent.”
“I am tasting these incredible smoothies and I am thinking, this is delicious, this is so nutritious, I love this, I miss this. How do I get my hands on my mother’s smoothies without having to see her on a daily basis?”