OMAN - Tourism
Marco Parsiegla was appointed as CEO of Amouage in 2019, marking a new chapter in the House’s acclaimed legacy. Today, Parsiegla is driving the development of Amouage by modernising and reorganising its business model to appeal to the next generation of fragrance lovers expanding beyond hardcore enthusiasts and wealthy connoisseurs. With over two decades of experience in the fragrance and cosmetics industry, Parsiegla has a track record that spans marketing, sales and strategy across the luxury market. He held various senior positions at Procter & Gamble, including Global Vice President of its Prestige division with end-to-end responsibility for twelve iconic beauty brands including Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss and Alexander McQueen. Prior to joining Amouage he held the role of Executive Vice President for Luxury & Consumer Goods at global communications group, Havas, where his accomplishments included the development of the brand’s digital marketing strategies, leading global client acquisition, and facilitating capacity building across the total value chain. Parsiegla holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School, US.
COVID-19 had quite a profound impact on luxury fragrance. But rather than creating new trends, COVID-19 acted as a catalyst and accelerated trends that had been underlying. It has become much more important for clients to see the bigger picture of a brand, beyond a mere product transaction. Clients want to understand the values and wider effects of the brand and whether they are relevant and meaningful for them, as well as fitting their personal style and needs. Of course, their habits have drastically changed too, namely the use of digital, and on this front, e-commerce has been the prominent supportive pillar throughout the crisis. With all of this in mind, we have not changed our strategy, but accelerated our existing plans. Our growth strategy has three main pillars: connecting digitally – internally and with our customers, evoking emotional connections with our existing clients, and reaching new clients. Many interventions have been implemented in the last 12 months: In e-commerce, we moved to a state-of-the-art platform, having reinvented the consumer interface with very intuitive navigation, inspiring content, and rapid shopping possibilities. If you compare Q4 2020 with Q1 2020, we increased our e-commerce business sixfold. Traffic on our site has increased 66% compared to 2020, and revenues saw 50% growth. Despite the physical distance we deepened the emotional connection with our clients. A great example are our most recent creations, Material and Boundless, where our clients themselves created their own content, and through that we were able to reach 27 million people around the globe in only 2 months. We have also expanded our global footprint and opened up new ways for clients to purchase Amouage: We are now present in eighty markets around the world, including China where we launched in the last six months. In Oman it is now possible to order through WhatsApp and receive white-glove home delivery. As retail is reopening, we will welcome clients around the world with a new merchandising generation that we have installed at more than 40 distribution points already. Meanwhile, we continue to innovate and launch new products. In April 2020 we introduced Interlude Black Iris, which has become one of our best performing creations, we have also launched the Renaissance Collection, and more recently in 2021, our power duo Boundless and Material, all to critical acclaim. On the business side, we are ahead of the curve and have doubled our business since 2020, being 20% upward on our 2019 performance ahead of the industry that is projected to return to pre-COVID levels only by 2022.
Sustainability and in general, corporate social responsibility, is a key focus for us, as it should be for any brand, nowadays. Our efforts include solar panels and water collectors on the roof of our plant. We are recycling: for example we are re-using ethanol to clean our machinery and disinfect surfaces reducing waste. We also moved to online meetings and reduced our overall travel. In terms of ingredients, we are working with all of our partners along the value chain to make sure the ingredients we are using are ethically planted, collected and produced before they go into our products. We are exploring more opportunities that will set us on the path to become even more sustainable in the future.
We have big plans for the House of Amouage. We opened the Dubai office as our international sales hub. Our headquarter and the creative and production center of the brand are in Muscat, as it is where we derive our inspiration and turn it into experiences. The Dubai office was opened to accelerate our global expansion. The next phase of this was our launch in China earlier this year, where our fragrances are now available through TMall, China’s largest e-commerce platform. This is an important step as 27% of luxury consumption is predicted to derive from China by 2025. Meanwhile, we recently opened Amouage Americas with an office in New York. The US is the biggest fragrance market in the world and we see huge growth potential for the House. One of the Luxury retailers in the US told us that Amouage is the most searched brand on their site, although they did not previously have Amouage available. We were available in the US previously, but now we are accelerating our presence with our own affiliate, in order to build strong collaborations with department stores and ultimately, achieve the best possible experience for our clients. In the coming months we will be opening retail units in New York, Atlanta, Houston and all the way to the West Coast.
Having Oman as our base is, as we see it, one of our greatest advantages. We are the only Oman-based international luxury house (more than 50% of luxury fragrance houses are related to France) and our rich history and culture are the inspiration for our creations and what makes us so unique. It is also our commitment to craftsmanship and quality ingredients that allows us to tap into the sophisticated perfume traditions of the region. Being based in Oman also helped us during the pandemic. The government’s efforts have been tremendous, creating a framework that helped the retail side navigate the crisis. Also, thanks to the Ministry of Health, we have been able to vaccinate all of our employees, and our Oman operations have not been halted for a single day throughout the whole pandemic.
At the moment, we are a top three player in the global ultra-niche fragrance market, which has a retail size of about USD 1.2 billion. Our vision is to become the number one independent beauty house in the world. In order to get there, we need to keep pushing the boundaries in the next 12 months. We are at the forefront of innovation, and will translate this into more exciting fragrance launches over time. Amouage has always been synonymous with the utmost commitment to craftmanship and quality. These values are deeply anchored in the House’s DNA and they will never be compromised, yet we need to constantly evolve and improve. We will also continue to reinvent the way we interact with our clients. Above all, we remain an ambassador; we have derived so much value from Oman, and we want to spread this message across the world.
OMAN - Green Economy
Country Chief Executive, Oman, Bureau Veritas Middle East LLC – Oman
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