Pictured above (from left to right): Satoshi Suzuki, President and CEO, Pola Orbis Holdings; Robert Seidl, Chief Global Business Strategy Officer; Bill Colli, General Manager
Satoshi Suzuki, President and CEO of Pola Orbis Holdings, recently visited Manhattan to celebrate the opening of the Japanese skin care giant’s New York headquarters. Mr. Suzuki, who oversees the $1.95 billion company, aims to achieve consolidated sales of $2.5 billion by 2020. Pola Orbis owns several major subsidiaries, including H2O Plus and Jurlique, as well as seven other established Asian brands.The new office, which is located in midtown, is closely aligned with the company’s Tokyo headquarters and is focused on furthering the company’s global presence, including assessing key brand acquisitions. Last week Mr. Suzuki sat with
Beauty Insider at Pola Orbis’ new offices, located at 712 Fifth Avenue, to talk about the company’s future growth.
Beauty Insider: Discuss the strategic reasoning behind Pola Orbis opening a New York office?
Satoshi Suzuki: When we listed our company three years ago on the Tokyo Stock Exchange we had a long-term vision that by 2020 sales generated overseas would be 20% of overall sales. So with that long-term vision we included the New York City office. To be in New York is to be in the heart and on the pulse of the industry. The move is a commitment to truly being a global company. The role of the office is not to increase sales in North America but rather to collect trends and to use the office as an opportunity to seek out a third M&A in the future. Having a New York base is part of aligning the financial markets—it provides a lot of big advantages to the company.
BI: The two companies Pola Orbis purchased in the past two years have been prestige skin care companies (Jurlique and H20 Plus). Would a third deal involve another skin care company or are you looking to diversify the portfolio?
SS: Our third acquisition could be another skin care company. We have nine other brands in our group, with 60% of sales coming from the skin care segment. We have hair care and cosmetics items but we are focusing on skin care because of our R&D. Our technology has been good in skin care in terms of matching products to customers’ specific skin care concerns.
BI: Are there any Pola Orbis brands that show opportunity to penetrate the U.S. market?
SS: Yes but we need to have a good distribution system in each area. So for North America, our focus will continue to be Jurlique and H20 Plus. However, our strategy to increase sales of these two brands is also to promote them in Asian countries and in China because we already have that sales distribution network.
BI: Please talk about the Pola Orbis New York team.
SS: Bob Seidl, who formerly was CEO of H20 Plus, will oversee Pola Orbis growth from the New York office. Bill Colli, formerly Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing at H20 Plus, is also now based in New York and will work closely with Bob. The two will develop the global strategies for the company, build relationships here and around the world and spearhead our M&A activity.
BI: The U.S. often takes cues from Asia in regard to beauty trends. What do you see happening in Asia that you would want to see here in the U.S.?
SS: There are two characteristics that are different in the Asian and Japanese markets than anywhere else. The first one is whitening, the second is the Pola face cleansing ritual, which includes a face wash, a cleansing cream and a massage cream. I would like to introduce these concepts into other geographical areas.