Access to credit? Icing on the cake!
"Getting up long before the crack of dawn isn’t always easy. But when you are as lucky as I am to see how years and years of hard work pay off, you quickly forget the tough times. Especially when you have a partner like Araratbank at your side to steer clear of obstacles and help keep you on course. Especially when you have a partner like Araratbank at your side to steer clear of obstacles and help keep you on course."
"I learned the ins and outs of baking during the Soviet era. Even if I knew I had the skills and the drive, to say that I was a bit apprehensive about going to business on my own is to put it mildly," Patvakan Khachatryan admitted.
That was in 2000, and nobody could have imagined then, least of all Patvakan and his son Armen, that the Vahan Khachatryan and Friends bakery would become the successful business it is today. At the time, Patvakan had started out with three old electric ovens, which were quite inefficient and costly to operate, eroding his margins. But Patvakan just focused on what he did best: bake. The fact customers not only kept coming back, but were also telling others to stop by Vahan Khachatryan and Friends for the finest bread, was motivation enough for him to work harder. Today, his son Armen has a team of 11 bakers and 4 deliverymen to keep the business humming along.
"I couldn’t have done it without Araratbank. I was working with obsolete ovens that made working conditions more difficult than they had to be, and I dreaded my electricity bill every month," Armen recalls. As a first step, Araratbank’s credit officer went over the issues that plagued the bakery and mapped out an investment plan to modernise his production setup.
Two loans, totalling USD 57,000, went towards the acquisition of gas-fired ovens, which are much more energy-efficient. "And the difference comes through in the quality, too!"