Shaper: Guka Tavberidze

Show aired on 10th March 2018

Transcript

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?”

“It was really important to me to give the consumers the best possible products and when I was told that the way I wanted to make it, the way my mother was making it in a kitchen-  raw and as natural and as fresh as possible – wasn’t possible and I had to compromise on the ingredients and only pasteurisation was possible, I absolutely refused to compromise.”