Premium Beauty News - First changes this year at Strand Cosmetics Europe, with your forthcoming appointment, Eric, to an operational position as the Managing Director and you Dominique, with the intensification of your commitment in R&D.
Éric Bouvier - Yes, the Board of Strand Cosmetics Europe decided to reconfigure the management team to suit the new development goals that we set ourselves in terms of turnover increase, extension of our industrial activity and internationalization.
Dominique Bouvier - And for my part, my personal investment will be fully focused on research and innovation. If we look back at the thirty-four past years, we can be proud – with all the teams at Strand – of having built a sound company, with one of its important milestone being the transfer of our activities in 2001, on the current site of La Source in Lentilly.
Premium Beauty News - At the age of 53, Éric Bouvier, these responsibilities are in line with your career…
Éric Bouvier - Indeed, both my training and professional experience stick well to the goals we have set ourselves. I am a Doctor in Pharmacy; in 1993, I graduated with an MBA degree from the Management School of Lyon and did a stint at the London Business School. Professionally, I was President and CEO of a NASDAQ listed U.S. company, BG Medicine, a start-up specialised in the diagnosis of heart disease. Prior to that, I led Leica Microsystems in Germany after being Deputy Director General of the BioMérieux Group in charge of the Immunoassays and Human Resources global division. A Group in which I also acted as President of the subsidiary in the United States, BioMérieux Inc., Vice-President of the ATU (Advanced Technologies Unit) and President of Apibio.
Premium Beauty News - Sport also holds an important place in your career and your encounter!
Éric Bouvier - You are right once again, since in 2000, I was the CEO of Occade Sport (creation of the website, Le Club du Sport.com) based in Caluire in the Lyon region. I also took part to two Olympic Games in 1988 and 1992 with the French volley ball Team. And everyone knows the sporting career of Dominique. It’s actually near the sports courts that we met more than 35 years ago. More than a necessity, sport is a philosophy that conveys a lot of positive concepts - concepts which, for some of them, are fully applicable to the corporate world.
Premium Beauty News - Your forthcoming appointment as CEO of Strand Cosmetics is in line with your commitment, and that of your equity partners, in the development of this company you acquired in 1980. What are the next steps of this development?
Éric Bouvier - Indeed I actually know the company very well and the company knows me well too. I took part with Dominique and our shareholders to all the phases of recovery and development of Strand Cosmetics Europe. The work that was undertaken by all the teams in the past years is remarkable and fantastic. May I recall the main pillars that support this development: Creation/Innovation, Quality/Regulation, and Internationalization. Thanks to them, we have become one of the European leaders not to say the world leader in our field. Our name and our expertise are acknowledged worldwide and we intend to increase our export share from 32% to more than 50% in the next five years, by reinforcing our activities in Asia, Brazil but also Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the Middle East. Accounting for 60% of our sales, make-up remains the spearhead of the company, with a significant portion coming from foundation. We also gained significant market shares with powders and lipsticks. The skincare activity has grown steadily. We packed a total of more than 9 million units last year.
Premium Beauty News - Your “pharmaceutical” experience comes into play at the right time! Your forthcoming investments prove it.
Éric Bouvier - Well, as you know ...., according to the good old saying, “there’s no time but the right time” As you know, the boundary between make-up and skin care products, not to mention health products, has never been so narrow. Market demands are heading towards that direction and we have decided to follow the trend. Hence a new building will soon be built from the ground up, on our La Source site at Lentilly near Lyon and it will complement the existing 8,200 sqm. It will host very “Medical Device”-oriented OTC premises and with of course an FDA certification. To note that on the regulatory side we are going to get the ISO 14000 and ISO 18000 certifications. And as you know, we obtained the ISO 9001 certification more than a decade ago and the ISO 22716 certification three years ago.
Premium Beauty News - The concept of team is a key component for you?
Dominique Bouvier and Éric Bouvier - Essential, indeed! It is through dialogue and respect for the given word that we can build a lasting relationship of trust, a key element for the success of any team, in both an entrepreneurial or sport environment. Strand Cosmetics Europe employs today more than 140 people with an average age under 38. One third of the staff comes from reputable regional schools or universities (engineers, pharmacists, chemists, microbiologists, computer specialists, colourists, galenists...). We spend a lot on training (three times the legal requirements).
We have an entrepreneurial and very “German” vision of the business. We favour development and long-term sustainability by building on strong relations of partnership with our customers and suppliers.