Completely committed to customers

APERTURAMilano-headquartered Res Pharma was established as a specialized cosmetics ingredients’ distributor back in 1962 but with time it has also turned to the production of cosmetic ingredients; and in an effort to consolidate its global presence and business it has recently opened a new branch in the United Kingdom
It will be headed by International Business Manager Letizia Facchini-Harrison, who answered Kosmeticaworld’s questions regarding Res Pharma’s global growth strategy.

Could you give us an idea of the company’s turnover, workforce and business model?How many agents or representatives you have in Italy and worldwide?
The Res Pharma group has a turnover of around 12 million euros which is divided roughly 65% in Italy and 35% for Export. The group currently employs a total of 26 people. The sales organisation on the Italian side is entrusted to direct area sales executives who follow customers on a very personal and customised level, an approach that has become necessary due to the customisable nature of many of the current products we sell. With regards to Export the company relies on a network of local distributors who cover determined territories, usually their own National market, but some do follow more than one market. The ability of these distributors to reflect our product communication effectively on to their local customers is a fundamental part of our business. This is not always easy for several reason. Firstly our distributors have several companies to represent, not just Res Pharma. Secondly the previously mentioned customisable nature of some of our products, in particular the Resconcept Line, require a very particular approach if we are to be successful abroad as we have been in Italy where the line has become our top seller. We are selling a Concept, not just a product. Therefore training our distributors is a very important matter for us. We currently have around 20 distributors around the world and we are constantly looking for qualified companies to represent us in other countries.

 Letizia Facchini-Harrison
Letizia Facchini-Harrison

How significant is the establishment of Res Pharma UK for you at this time?
We have opened our branch in the United Kingdom with the intent of developing and improving our International presence and increasing awareness of our company brand and products worldwide. It was opened for these specific reasons and not to follow the British market directly. The current UK distributor, namely ProTec Ingredia, will continue as our partner on the UK market.

What are the specific aims of the new UK set-up and what value do you foresee the branch bringing to your overall activities?
As mentioned previously, the main objective is that of further developing and improving our International activity and creating deeper awareness of the Res Pharma brand. We need to bring Res Pharma into the modern and ever changing business environment and make sure we are reaching our customers as effectively as possible. We need to do this by using up-to-date platforms and media that will allow us to be in touch with the roots of the industry. We also want to expand the technical collaboration we enjoy with Technical Institutions and Universities in Italy beyond our national borders. We felt that the United Kingdom would be the ideal base for us to move in this direction. It is early days, but we are already making significant progresses in many of these areas.

The newly opened headquarter in the UK is also the first Res Pharma branch outside of Italy: is it going to be the first of many others?
A tough question for now. As we already mentioned, our current objective is to increase our International presence from the UK branch. If we are successful, maybe we will need to open further offices to follow different continents more locally and directly. But that is for the future: for now we need to concentrate on the UK branch and its short-medium term goals.

Res Pharma is already decidedly global: which markets are proving to be the most successful and why; and which markets do you expect to be the most interesting, in terms of performances and revenues, in the future, and why?
Res Pharma has been active outside of Italy for over 15 years. The most considerable growth was from 2005 onwards when we made a significant effort to increase our presence on new marketsaround the world. However we feel our success to date has been held back due to the fragmented way the Export business has grown. We have had considerable success in such markets as the United States and Canada, France, China, and other Asian countries. We believe that some of our success is due to the choice of distributors in such markets; and their ability to reflect our philosophy onto their own markets. But it is also due to the nature of the above-mentioned markets, which seem more receptive to our type of product. A rapidly growing area of our business in recent years is the Wet Wipes industry. We specifically developed a line of highly innovative products for this specialised industry and we have brought on dedicated and experienced sales and technical staff to follow specific multinational customers directly. This part of our business will also be managed from our new branch in the United Kingdom. We are confident that this business sector will grow further, thanks to our product and market knowhow and to our innovative R&D activity, along with Res Pharma’s attention to emerging market trends. With regards to markets where we expect to see steady and significant development in the near future, we are working to train our partners in the BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India and China. Some of them are already bringing in good results, others are struggling both for specific local issues and our ability to adapt our product to that specific market. One of those areas is Brazil, or rather the South American continent. We need to study our strategy on these markets and make an effort to get on the map.

What are your considerations and expectations with regards to the Italian market?
I am 100% dedicated to developing our business outside Italy. But Res Pharma in Italy has a double identity. In the beginning,it was a specialized distribution company for the Italian market. Alongside the promotion of our own Res Pharma products we continue to distribute successfully for DSM (with whom we have worked for 35 years now), CitriqueBelge and Greentech. We hope to be able to further develop this side of the business in Italy and we are confident that a more international presence through our UK branch will also allow us to attract other important companies from the industry,that would like us to represent them on the Italian market, alongside these very important names we already have the privilege of representing.

What effect will the innovative approach of your daily work have on your products?
We are confident that a further benefit of a greaterinternational presence will be represented by increased market feedback from a broader international customer base, that will allow us to develop new products of relevance both for worldwide application and, where possible, to more local specific market needs.

Who are your typical customers: how have they evolved and how will they continue to evolve? How do you plan to satisfy them in the future?
Our typical customers are manufacturers of cosmetic products, mostly in the Skin Care and Rinse off businesses. As I said, we also supply many Wet Wipe manufactures both through distributors and directly. We supply companies of all sizes, from multinationals to small private companies. Our flexibility and personal interest in all of our customers allows us to satisfy both ends of the scale, and everything in between. We hope the company will manage to continue this approach as we grow.
Customers are continuously evolving, together with the market around them. It might sound a bit like a cliché, but our aim is to help them evolve, and also to evolve together with them. We are constantly adapting to the rapidly changing markets and have often been ahead of the game in the development of specific products that offer customers solutions to problems before they even arise.

Could You give us a few examples?
We were ready with PEG free products before they were commonly required. And similarly, we were ready when our customers asked us for Paraben free solutions, Fairtrade products, and, more recently, RSPO products.
We want to continue to listen to the market’s requests and do our utmost to be ready before our customers even realise they are in need of something. A big challenge? Maybe: but these are the very foundations on which Res Pharma was built, and this is what we define as total customer dedication.

Has reached a global turnover of around 12 million euros, andits revenues can be roughly divided between Italy, which represents 65% of overall sales; and overseas markets, with a 35% weight. Today, the company employs 26 professionals directly.

Res Pharma typically identifies its customers with cosmetic products manufacturers, mostly in the Skin Care and Rinse off businesses. In recent times, though, the Italian brand has entered the Wet Wipe segment, serving manufactures both through distributors and directly.

by R. Carminati