AmorePacific's Suh Kyung-Bae named 'Asia's 2015 Businessman of the Year'

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Korea South korea

AmorePacific's Suh Kyung-Bae named 'Asia's 2015 Businessman of the Year'
It's all good for South Korea beauty giant, AmorePacific right now. Last month it made its debut at No. 28 in Forbes 2015 'World’s Most Innovative Companies' list, now its CEO Suh Kyung-Bae has been flagged up as the publication's 'Businessman of the Year'.

The surge of cultural influence from Korea has helped brands like AmorePacific boost its image of the country around the globe in recent years. 

Visibility that has helped to drive the ascent of Suh and the company founded by his father 70 years ago.

According to Forbes, the CEO only became a billionaire in 2011, but by 2015 he ranked as the country’s second-wealthiest person, with a $9.2 billion fortune–372% larger in just two years.

Nevertheless, the publication reports that Suh attributes the success of AmorePacific rising on its own merits, not only on the K-Wave.

While he acknowledges the phenomenon, he prefers to claim credit for the company’s stellar performance for himself.

The point in time when we considered ourselves to be on the trajectory towards success was before the K-Wave had even entered China​,” he told the publication.

Cushion compact phenomenon 

Alongside this ranking, AmorePacific currently stands as the world’s 14th largest cosmetics company; boasting 30 brands in its portfolio, including Hera, IOPE, Laneige, Etude House.

The company is most known for its 'cushion compact', attracting worldwide attention and revolutionizing the make-up routine for women.

The ‘Cushion’ refers to a make-up compact built with specially-designed urethane foam that safely contains and preserves make-up liquid comprised of foundation, sunscreen and skin care formula.

It has been a popular product in Korea for convenience and according to global research firm TNS Korea, 75 per cent of Korean women have used or are currently using Cushion products.

It is also said to have changed the make-up habits of Korean women by reducing the steps and time needed in creating the skin-looks they prefer, with many saying the Cushion is their sole base make-up product.


The popularity within the country is also having an effect globally, such as the influence of K-Beauty (Korean beauty), as according to a 2013 survey conducted by the Korea Tourism Organization, more than 50 per cent of the foreign visitors to Korea have purchased cosmetics products.

Among Korean cosmetics products, Cushion is now creating a global beauty trend beyond its domestic popularity.

As a result of this AmorePacific says that the global sales of Cushion products under its brands are expected to exceed 50 million units on a cumulative basis during January 2015.

With the total sales of these products increasing 105 per cent YoY to 26 million units, an AmorePacific Cushion was sold every 1.2 seconds in 2014. In particular, the sales of the products outside of Korea surged approximately 140% YoY.

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