Amaury de Menthière - I will recall a few facts. In early 2012, the international investment fund 3i entered into an agreement to take a majority stake in Geka’s capital. Founded in 1925, this German company is a pioneer company in the field of plastic injection moulding for mascara brushes and packaging. Geka has production facilities in Bechhofen, Germany and in Elgin, Illinois, and has sales offices in Paris and New York. We employ approximately 800 people worldwide and this year the company’s turnover will be on the rise. We can consider that we have in the field of mascara a global market share of around 30%.
Premium Beauty News - What key decisions were taken in recent months?
Amaury de Menthière - We started by launching a few months ago a “supply chain” plan to shorten our delivery times and reduce our minimum order quantity (MOQ) to 25 000 pieces to better meet the requirements of our customers. And the least we can say is that this operation was a success, since we are about to achieve a customer satisfaction rating never reached before. Second decision, take advantage of the company’s technological expertise to diversify its activities towards health care and applicators in a field that encompasses not only skincare but also pharmacy and, to some extent, the medical sector. This was achieved as it is now a separate activity. Third decision, an effective industrial presence in Brazil.
Premium Beauty News - Brazil, an important issue?
Amaury de Menthière - Jérôme de Prémare, the Group’s Sales & Marketing SVP, had already stressed on this point in your columns a few months ago. If our objective is to strengthen the development of the Group’s activities both in Europe and the United States, we also want to set foot in new markets in Asia and South America, particularly in China and Brazil. After the successful creation of a business structure in Sao Paulo, we made some plans to build a factory of its own. This will soon be achieved. It will be located in the outskirts of Sao Paulo. The first injection and assembly machines are actually on their way to the site. This factory will help address projects that are already under way, not only concerning mascara but also lipgloss and eyeliners. But that’s not all! I remind you that our trading subsidiary Victoria (specialised in cosmetic brushes and accessories) is opening some offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai to import products in Europe and the US. A structure that only reflects what the next steps of our development in Asia will be.
Premium Beauty News - The American factory has also been revamped?
Amaury de Menthière - That’s right, our factory in Elgin, Illinois, has fully integrated, since this year, the “injection” part, which was previously outsourced.
Premium Beauty News - A group in working order?
Amaury de Menthière - Absolutely! All the more since both the sales and technical teams have been reinforced and we continue to build on innovation. This has always been in the company’s DNA and we are pursuing this strategy more than ever. On average we file between five to ten patents a year and the goal is clearly to expand our product portfolio in the field of system applicators. The Geka Group is and will remain a leading and unavoidable player in this market segment.