By EWN • 03 August 2021 • 9:58
Yerkin Tatishev’s Kusto Group, the Wissol Group and Wendy’s aim to have 65 branches of the American fast-food chain in Central Asia by 2030.
Over the next nine years, Yerkin Tatishev’s Kusto Group, Georgia-based Wissol Group and Wendy’s will open multiple branches of the popular American fast-food chain in Kazakhstan, Georgia and Uzbekistan. They aim to build a total of 65 restaurants in the three countries by 2030.
Twenty-five of the restaurants will be opened in Kazakhstan, paving the way for the creation of more than 800 jobs. Twenty new Wendy’s branches will be opened in Uzbekistan, while the rest will be located in Georgia.
Earlier this year, Kusto Group’s founding chairman, Yerkin Tatishev, and Wissol Group inaugurated the first two Wendy’s restaurants in Almaty, Kazakhstan and a drive-thru branch in the Tbilisi district of Georgia.
“Through our collaboration with Wendy’s, Kusto Group has brought the best international standards of safe and wholesome restaurant management to the Central Asian market,” said Yerkin Tatishev on the expansion of the chain’s presence in Central Asia.
“We have seen a real appetite – pun intended – among consumers for top-class items which make use of locally sourced and prepared produce. Now, many more consumers will have the chance to enjoy the Wendy’s experience.”
Yerkin Tatishev: “Everything I do is geared around serving local communities”
The cooperation between Tatishev’s Kusto Group, Wissol Group and Wendy’s began in 2019 when the three parties opened two Wendy’s branches in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.
Tatishev said at the time that Kusto Group had recognized a demand for a “recognizable and respected American brand serving quality food.”
He was drawn to Wendy’s because of the brand’s policy of sourcing local produce for its operations.
“Everything I try to do at Kusto Group is geared around serving local communities first and foremost,” said Tatishev in 2019.“Unlike other Western franchises, which rely heavily on imported produce, our Wendy’s restaurants already source 60% of their ingredients from local suppliers. As our relationships with local suppliers deepen, we expect this figure to grow.”
The newly opened branches in Kazakhstan and Georgia have followed the same model.
“Thanks to our localized supply chains, Wendy’s growth will continue to support home-grown producers while providing customers with a first-class retail experience,” Yerkin Tatishev explained.
He added that Kusto Group expects to create 1450 new jobs as a result of the many upcoming Wendy’s restaurants.
Three companies with shared values
Tatishev is not the only one who is excited about the cooperation. Abigail Pringle, the President, International and Chief Development Officer of The Wendy’s Company, is looking forward to growing the chain’s operations in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia.
“We are excited to expand Wendy’s presence across the Central Asia region with world-class, experienced franchisees that have strong operations experience, local development expertise and a proven track record for growing brands internationally,” said Pringle of the partnership.
“Kusto Group and Wissol Group, and their owners and affiliates, share our values and passion for quality and exceptional customer service. We firmly believe that our great-tasting, signature menu items will appeal to consumers who are looking for more options and high-quality food at a great price.”
The president of Wissol Group, Dr. Samson Pkhakadze, is equally happy about continuing the collaboration with Tatishev and Pringle.
“We have been a proud Wendy’s franchisee since we opened the first Wendy’s restaurant in Georgia in 2014. We are thrilled to grow the Wendy’s brand in Georgiaand to partner with Kusto Group, and their owners and affiliates, to bring Wendy’s to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan after making the brand a favorite restaurant in Georgia,” he said.
“Wendy’s is a well-established, iconic global brand and is known for quality. We have every confidence that the brand will also be successful and beloved by customers in the Central Asia region.”
Kusto Group’s operations in 11 countries
Apart from Wendy’s in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Georgia, Kusto Group has diversified interests across multiple continents.
Tatishev founded the international holding company in Kazakhstan in 2002, but the headquarters have since been relocated to Singapore.
Today, Kusto Group operates in Kazakhstan, Singapore, Ukraine, Canada, Israel, Vietnam, Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Uzbekistan, and China.
The main focus of the company is real estate, agribusiness, retail, construction materials, and oil and gas.
The company has found success in developing international partnerships that fuse cutting-edge technology and innovative practices with local expertise to accelerate growth and regional development.
The company has partnered with Tyson Foods and Valmont Industries’ Valley Irrigation on separate ventures to bring new technologies and job growth to Kazakhstan’s agricultural sector.
“Our recent projects with Tyson Foods, Valmont Corporation and others to bring state-of-the-technology to Kazakhstan are, as the Kazakh Prime Minister Askar Mamin himself has said, a major step forward for the country,” said Daniel Kunin, managing director of Kusto Group. “They bring jobs, know-how, increased efficiency, better yields, enhanced predictability and, perhaps most importantly, a commitment to sustainability that is fundamental for agriculture to succeed.”
The company’s partnership with Wissol Group and Wendy’s is another example of Kusto’s efforts to drive industry growth by focusing on local demand for local products.
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