At the end of August 2023, Yerkin Tatishev and Kusto Group opened the fifth Wendy’s restaurant in Uzbekistan. Located in Andijan, an ancient city 260 kilometers away from the capital, Tashkent, the newest restaurant broadens Wendy’s presence outside the country’s central region.
The Andijan opening ceremony featured 500 balloons that were released into the sky and Wendy, the brand’s mascot, making her entrance via zipline. Wendy’s Andijan aims to follow the legacy of the brand, which stands as the second-largest fast-food chain globally, boasting over 7,000 restaurants in 31 countries. Yerkin Tatishev’s Kusto Group, which opened the first Wendy’s branch in Uzbekistan in 2019, has been integral to the brand’s flourishing success in Central Asia.
Kusto Group has ambitious plans for the future, with three more Wendy’s restaurants set to open in Uzbekistan within this year. By 2030, the firm aims to have over 20 Wendy’s branches across the country. This expansive vision aligns well with the brand’s global reputation and the growing fast-food market in Uzbekistan.
Yerkin Tatishev And Kusto Group’ Commitment To Local Communities
In 2019, Yerkin Tatishev’s Kusto Group announced an ambitious partnership with the Wissol Group and Wendy’s to bring the iconic American fast-food chain to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Georgia. The collaboration aims to establish 65 Wendy’s restaurants across the Central Asian nations by 2030.
The expansion in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Georgia not only promises to introduce quality American fast food to new markets but is also a cornerstone in Kusto Group’s ongoing commitment to local communities.
According to plans laid out, Kazakhstan will host 25 Wendy’s branches, thereby generating over 800 job opportunities. Similarly, 20 Wendy’s restaurants are slated to open in Uzbekistan, with the remainder in Georgia.Yerkin Tatishev, the founding chairman of Kusto Group, has articulated a clear vision about the importance of the Wendy’s venture.
“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,” he said in 2019.
Tatishev expressed that there is a “real appetite” in the region for high-quality products that leverage locally sourced produce. He emphasized that his overarching aim is to serve local communities. Unlike many Western franchises that rely heavily on imported goods, Tatishev revealed that 60% of the ingredients used in their Wendy’s outlets come from local suppliers – a figure he expects to grow.
How Wendy’s Contributes To Social Stability
By adhering to a localized supply chain model, Kusto Group is not just filling a market demand but is actively contributing to regional economies. Yerkin Tatishev outlined in 2019 that the company expects to create a total of, 1450 new jobs as a direct outcome of the expansion in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Georgia. These employment opportunities not only benefit people but also contribute to social stability and growth.
The sentiment of community-oriented growth is echoed by other stakeholders as well. Abigail Pringle, the President, International, and Chief Development Officer of The Wendy’s Company, expressed enthusiasm about partnering with “world-class, experienced franchisees that have strong operations experience, local development expertise, and a proven track record for growing brands internationally.”
Similarly, Dr. Samson Pkhakadze, the president of Wissol Group, affirmed his confidence that the Wendy’s brand will be both successful and beloved in the Central Asian region.
Who Are Yerkin Tatishev And Kusto Group?
Beyond the fast-food venture, Kusto Group’s diversified interests stretch across eleven countries, including Singapore, Ukraine, Canada, Israel, Vietnam, Russia, Turkey, and China.
Founded in Kazakhstan in 2002 and now headquartered in Singapore, Kusto Group has ventured into real estate, agribusiness, retail, construction materials, and oil and gas. These wide-ranging operations underscore the group’s knack for creating international partnerships that blend cutting-edge technology and innovation with local expertise.
Whether it is collaborating with Tyson Foods and Valmont Industries’ Valley Irrigation to revitalize Kazakhstan’s agricultural sector or joining hands with Wissol Group and Wendy’s to meet local demands with local products, Kusto Group embodies a holistic, community-first approach to business, echoing Tatishev’s 2019 affirmation: “Everything I do is geared around serving local communities.”
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