Kazakh businesswomen elevate small retail business to new level

ASTANA – When sisters Nasima and Nafisa Rozikova realised the format of the store near their house did not meet their needs, they decided to open their own.

Photo credit: kapital.kz.

The new shop is distinguished by good-neighbourliness, thoughtful consumption and the choice of useful and eco-friendly products. They intend to change people’s minds and help local manufacturers enter the Almaty market.

“We will affect the market due to the fact that local organic products will appear on the shelves of regular stores,” said Nasima Rozikova, according to Kapital.kz.

The small but cosy store is located in a high-rise building. Inside, everything is arranged neatly and with taste, which immediately distinguishes it from the usual markets.

“I used to do clothing retail and Nafisa worked in restaurants and catering. We began to wonder how we could combine all our experience and make a joint project. We agreed on the opening of the store, but we decided that it will be different from all others,” she said.

Photo credit: kapital.kz.

“On average, a person goes to such a shop three times a week only for the most necessary foodstuffs. There are many good manufacturers in Almaty, but they are all dispersed. If you want to buy something special, you have to go to an expensive and beautiful supermarket, and if you need spices, you should go to a market. We thought it would be good to put them together and influence the selection of products. That is, this is a completely different format of the store near the house – to give people what they didn’t even ask for,” she added.

The shop is within walking distance, allowing customers to pick up fresh coffee and a bun on the way to work. It offers the comfort and atmosphere of a good supermarket, with a product selection similar to Esentai Gourmet.

“I have been living most of the time in France for the last eleven years. There, bio-shops are very popular. These stores are much smaller than ordinary supermarkets, but not so small. We were inspired by them, but in the process, we made our own adjustments,” said Nasima Rozikova.

Good-looking products

The entrepreneurs noted they cannot call their store a bio or eco shop, as Kazakhstan does not have a bio-certification procedure at the national level.

Photo credit: kapital.kz.

“We call our products good-looking products. Before putting it on the shelf, we check it for composition and environmental friendliness. For now, we are forming the composition of what we ourselves would like to see in stores. Also, people confuse eco, farm and organic products and these are completely different things. So far, we all perceive this as one and our task is to show the difference,” said Nafisa Rozikova.

The store offers spices, dairy products from farmers, vegan products and vegetables grown in a “good way.” Products are supplied directly by local manufacturers or distributors.

The concept of thoughtful consumption reflects people’s choices when they vote for a certain product. Internal business ethics also apply to environmental friendliness.

The attitude towards customers is similar to a coffee shop. The businesswomen note it is important to know and remember the name and preferences of each of their clients, which helps them to connect with customers and recommend future products.

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