[LBI Voice]Emmanuel Alavoine: President of LBI Korea
President, LBI Korea
Q1. Could you tell us about your previous job experiences?
In the very early 1990’s, I started my very first job experience at L’Oreal, worldwide leader in Cosmetics manufacturing and Retailing, as Financial and Supply Chain Controller in Hong Kong. 2 years later, I returned to France to hold several Executives, Senior Executives and Director positions in L’Oreal Group, until the year 2000 when Chanel Group contacted me to join Bourjois Paris company in order to set up the Demand & Supply Chain Division and to drive its worldwide plan. Thanks to this offer, I became a Global VP and was able to focus again on Business Development with all subsidiaries and distributors, working with nearly 80 countries. After having worked as CFO and COO- CFO at Bourjois HQ in Paris, I returned to Hong Kong in 2007 as Asia Pacific President in order to set up the Asia Pacific region with a new subsidiary, and a team to recruit. By 2015, we have managed to open for Bourjois nearly 10 new countries in Asia, including China, where we reached 800 POS for the brand.
Q2. How did you decide to join LBI Korea?
Since 2005, I was already closely in touch with Daniel Mayran, the CEO of Bluebell Korea which became Bourjois’ domestic distributor and Travel Retail agent. When he introduced me in 2008 the concept of “The School”, as previously code-named before the name of SLBI was chosen, I was spontaneously convinced about the legitimacy and the need for this new concept in Korea and about this idea of bringing to people the additional knowledge and added value for their business performance and for their own personal development. A few year later from then, I became a shareholder of LBI Korea. When Chanel decided to sell the brand Bourjois to Coty group, I decided to leave Bourjois and set up several companies with my own partners and trying to do what I knew best: Building up brands (mostly Cosmetics and Lifestyle) and developing their business in Asia, in e-Commerce for China as well as in Offline in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Vietnam.
It was no surprise for both myself and Daniel, following the internal evolution of LBI group and Edouard Champrenault moving to Hong Kong, that I finally took the opportunity to lead LBI Korea, once my initial years as founder and initial entrepreneur were over. I wanted to reach a new stage in my personal accomplishment, and I wanted to get closer to what I valued the most since the last 20 years of my jobs experiences: developing talents and skills of people.
Q3. How do you see the Quality of Service in Asian Luxury industry?
For the last 40 years, Asian Luxury Industry has been the leading growing area where clients actively look for and buy luxury goods and service through every distribution channel from Domestic shops to Travel Retail. USA, Europe, Middle East, Brazil, and Russia will still remain as strong players, but the Asian demand will inevitably drive the offer since half of the world population lives there, with the highest GDP per capita growth rate. It is irresistible that the quality of Service should match and even surpass the needs of Asian clients. I am convinced the highest Quality of Service in Luxury industry relies on “the extra mile”, this extra final touch, exceeding or positively surprising the client. This is how the shoppers/clients remember their moment of the brand experience, and this is how the brand builds up additional & strong loyalty, in a very competitive environment.
Q4. What is the news at LBI Korea?
The coming months will bring several positive news and changes to LBI Korea. First of all, we are going to reorganize the team to fit the market trends and accelerate the evolution of our business in Korea. And we will reinforce the added values, visions and solutions, brought to our B2B clients including our very first client, Bluebell Korea. Also, we will simultaneously develop the e-Movie Learning program in our current and new training business. This innovative online training program will also be used as the spearhead for our new Hospitality Task Force expertise. At last, we will also assess and ensure LBI Korea’s abilities to relay the B2U – B2C vision with several Universities, students and job seekers.
Q5. What is your vision for LBI Korea by 2020?
The 2020 timeline seems too close to me. LBI core activities are based on the education of people working in the various luxury industries such as Fashion, Cosmetics, Lifestyle, Hospitality, Automobiles, and Electronics. These industries are in constant evolution. And that is why LBI shall also constantly evolve. So far, the challenge for LBI is to remain at the forefront of the current and future expectations of our so diversified clients. And their expectations are very similar across their different activities:
1) recruiting, retaining and developing their own staff with the outstanding training programs
2) driving their Senior Staff to anticipate the evolution of their clients and giving to these Senior Executives some reading keys of the market for the future
To achieve this dual purpose, LBI shall invest into 3 key strategic orientations, which shall become Task Forces if needed, as they are mutually interacting and influencing each other:
1) Ready to use contents and mind-blowing Pedagogical programs, in which LBI should be the undisputed leader in Korea, thanks to the value of its insightful programs.
2) Memorable training sessions, led by outstanding showmen/ show-women and training experts.
3) Aggressive and ambitious Business Development plans across different industries, from Executive Search to B2B as well as B2U – B2C business if we can make a point of difference.
Uniqueness, point of difference, will be the motto of LBI Korea for 2018-2019.