Kouji Okumura, President and CEO

Kouji Okumura, President and CEO

Premium Beauty News - A few words to start on your group.

Kouji Okumura - Nippon Shikizai started its business in the 1930s as a manufacturer of pigments for facial cosmetics and is now one of Japan’s most innovative cosmetic providers of research, development and product manufacturing technology. In addition to across-the-board manufacturing capabilities, comprehensive quality control and an unrivalled commitment to research and development, we bring together a unique group of specialists dedicated to providing cosmetic companies, worldwide, a comprehensive and total business solution.

Globally, we have more than 180 clients including several larger-sized cosmetic producers in domestic Japanese market and overseas markets.

Premium Beauty News - You are one of the few Japanese companies in the cosmetics sector to have taken the initiative to invest commercially in Europe by acquiring a French company, and you will continue investing.

Kouji Okumura - France is the leading country in the cosmetic field where numbers of beauty/ fashion brands and prestigious global manufacturers originated from. We believe that we can introduce our high-quality and value-added products into such sophisticated market with the help of the clients who understand our quality.

In 2000, we acquired the French company, Thépenier Pharma Industry, headquartered in Paris, as a 100% owned subsidiary, in a move to expand operations internationally. Thépenier is an integrated pharmaceutical manufacturer; that primarily focuses on the manufacturing on assignment. Production includes drugs, sanitary goods and cosmetics. Thépenier supplies contract-manufactured goods to major pharmaceutical companies, mostly in Europe.

This enables us to carry out internationally targeted product development and global marketing. We have indeed planned to invest significantly to expand the plant’s production capabilities by the middle of next year. The interest for us to take over Thépenier Pharma Industry stood mainly in its ability to guarantee us a production tool at the top in terms of quality production and of compliance to standards. Levels required for pharma production enable to develop ourselves in total peace of mind in the cosmetics sector.

Premium Beauty News - What are the main strengths of your group in today’s competitive environment?

Kouji Okumura - Our strategy is built on four pillars:

- We foster creativity and technical expertise to supply outstanding products that can proudly bear your name.
- Our uncompromising commitment to quality and our flexibility are the pillars of our business success.
- We strive to be a major global player and the most innovative and cosmetics contract manufacturer.
- We seek to enrich lives with formulas that deliver maximum sensory delight.

I want to emphasize on what makes the difference between us and our competitors. This lies in our ability to innovate, our customer service, our level of quality but also in our competitiveness in terms of prices. We definitely position ourselves in bespoken and upscale products and as a highly reliable supplier who is loyal and trustworthy, to its clients in terms of quality assurance and delivery schedule.

Premium Beauty News - Make-up products are important in your portfolio.

Kouji Okumura - That’s true. Still today foundation products represent 25% of our business, but they are closely followed by mascaras and eyeliners (15%) and lipsticks (12%). We offer a broad selection of formulas to beautify one’s complexion: make-up bases, concealers, liquid & cream foundations, powder foundation and blushes. These formulas feature outstanding textures, colours and make-up properties, while blending into the skin for a natural and lasting finish.

Mousse foundation, stick concealer, dual-stick foundation and cream to powder compact foundation are just a few of the many innovative cosmetic products manufactured by Nippon Shikizai.

Our lip formulas include a wide selection of lipsticks (matte, sheer, glossy, long-lasting, 100% natural, and others), lip balms and glosses. Our cutting-edge production facilities allow various design options: standard or slim sticks, back or front injection, metal or silicone moulds, double lipsticks (2 colours or with a treatment core), glosses containing patterns or swirls. To complement these products, we also offer lip liners in mechanical pencils.

Furthermore, our eye make-up collection consists of a broad range of formulas: eye shadows (pressed powder, liquid, cream, cream to powder or solid), mascaras, eyeliners (gel, solid, liquid pen or pencil) and eyebrow make-up.

Premium Beauty News - Asides from these investments in France, you also plan to invest in Japan in a new production unit, which will be operational next year?

Kouji Okumura - The construction of the new production unit will be soon completed, to start operations by February 2014. It will allow us to increase our filling capacity and, if all goes according to the investment plan, we will also install some production equipment.