Conquering China requires ‘foreseeing the right change’, says L’Oreal

By Michelle Yeomans

- Last updated on GMT

L'Oreal China division CEO Alexis Perakis-Valat. Source:
L'Oreal China division CEO Alexis Perakis-Valat. Source:

Related tags Pacific ocean

Regardless of how successful an international beauty player may be on the Asia Pacific region, the China market practically evolves overnight and staying ahead of the game here – as L’Oreal knows only too well, takes risk and strategic foresight.

Asia Pacific analysts have stressed time and time again that for international and domestic players alike to see success on the region, it is imperative to really 'know' what the consumer's needs are in each market, rather than targeting Asia as a whole. 

According to the CEO of L'Oreal's China division, Alexis Perakis-Vala; ensuring its' "brands keep very cool and relevant for the young generation​" is what helps this firm to stay ahead of the game.

Having mastered the Chinese language, Greek national Perakis-Vala is a man described as going after what he wants; an ideal temperament required for the task of increasing this global beauty firm's foothold in China.

"What is dangerous in China is not to foresee the right change,"​ the CEO told The China Daily as he pointed to L'Oreal's ability to adapt in the digital world as technology and online shopping rapidly evolves.

In that interview, Perakis-Vala spoke about the regular program of selecting households in first tier and lower tier cities, noting that "there is growth and wealth everywhere in China​".

Exploring and investing in its China presence...

In 2014, the cosmetics giant bought Chinese skin care company Magic Holdings International for HK$6.5bn ($843m), as the French firm made moves to take advantage of the growing luxury market in China.

At the time, Magic Holdings, based in Guangzhou was renowned for its top-selling facial masks; one of China’s fastest growing beauty categories in recent years.

“China is still a 1.3 billion population market and personal growth is growing,”​ said Norman Chan, the Hong Kong-based head of investment at Calibre Asset Management in Business Week at the time of the acquisition.

“The faster growing markets are the low- to mid-end, which the domestic companies would have a better foothold.”

L’Oreal has been present in China for over 18 years. 

Related topics Business & Financial East Asia China

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