Today I am happy to have with us dr Wolfgang Baier, CEO of Luxasia. Luxasia is one of the largest regional distributor of over 150 international beauty and luxury lifestyle brands such as Clarins, Estee Lauder, Ferragamo, Hermes and Shiseido and they also have joint ventures with the Coty Group, the LVMH Group and Elizabeth Arden. Present in 15 Asia Pacific countries, and hiring more than 2,000 full-time employees, Luxasia aims to define a new omnichannel experience in the beauty industry in Asia.
Dr. Wolfgang Baier has been the Group CEO of Luxasia Pte Ltd. since August 2016. He joined on a mission to transform the company from being the leading Asian beauty distributor into a Lifestyle Omnichannel Leader adding ecommerce and new industry capabilities to the brick-and-mortar foundation.
Prior to this, Dr. Baier was the Group CEO of Singapore Post from 2011 to 2016. He successfully led the transformation of the Singapore Post Group from a traditional postal service into non-mail business such as logistics, retail and e-commerce and accelerated its global expansion. This resulted in a significant increase of the share price.
Before that Dr. Baier worked for more than 10 years with the top consulting firm McKinsey & Company in Europe and Asia. He was a Partner at the Singapore office leading the Transportation and Logistics as well as Operations activities in South East Asia.
Some of the highlights from the podcast:
- Luxasia omnichannel experience
- Regional trends in the beauty industry E-COMMERCE
- The “phygital” (physical+digital) strategy of health and beauty retailers
- White spaces in the industry
- Last mile logistics problems
- You like to call yourself – Chief Transformation Officer – how does this approach impact the business?
- Singpost and Luxasia – how have they shaped your own thinking?
Episode #23: Dr. Wolfgang Baier CEO Luxasia
- [01:32] How many fragrances do you use now and how many did you use before joining?
- [02:06] When you joined 2 years ago Luxasia was leading in brick and mortar. And you wanted to focus more on ecommerce. How has that focus changed the business so far?
- [04:47] What does an Luxasia omnichannel experience feel/look like?
- [07:31] What are some of the regional trends in the beauty industry E-COMMERCE segment and are they different to perhaps Europe or America and particular to ASIA?
- [10:12] The importance of “phygital” strategy of health and beauty retailers. Do you see such developments changing and basically shifting the development of department stores all over the region?
- [11:08] Areas where you find there are lots of room for improvement? What are the white spaces in the industry?
- [13:33] What opportunities does ecommerce in Singapore provide to investors and how would the market shape up?
- [15:57] The biggest misconception or misplaced assumption that a brand has over the distributor?
- [17:08] Last mile logistics problems (more islands means big headache)? Will it be the biggest challenge for e-commerce growth?
- [19:31] What are your main challenges when it comes to finding the right talent?
- [22:07] How do you select your leadership team?
- [23:35] You prefer to call yourself Chief Transformation Officer – why is this and how does it impact the business?
- [25:06] How do you collaborate and growth the business with the owning family – Mr Patrick Chong and his children ( I understand they have a direct role in the business as well)
- [26:35] What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?
- [28:00] What does it take to Change Culture and have buy in for Transformation?
- [30:33] How have the two journeys in Singpost and Luxasia shaped your own thinking?
- [32:15] What would be a piece of advice that you would give recent graduates if they wanted to have a successful career in a company like Luxasia?\