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23/06/2012

Meet the Business Unit Director: Giorgio Cassanmagnago, Quadpack Italy

Giorgio Cassanmagnago explains the role of the Italian office within the Quadpack Group international strategy.

Quadpack: Please describe the Italian cosmetics market.

Giorgio Cassanmagnago: The Italian cosmetics market is the most fragmented in Europe. In terms of market volume, it is comparable to the UK, valued at about €8.4bn. There are not many multinational players; instead, we have over 1,000 brands, in addition to a large number of contract fillers and private label manufacturers. Italy is the home of colour cosmetics and responsible for over 60 per cent of global make-up production.

How do these cosmetics brands sell their products?

Giorgio Cassanmagnago: There is an interesting trend for brands to create their own retail network. They are opening their own chains of ‘monobrand’ stores. This means a sharp increase in the number of new launches and we are able to partner with many of these brands to help them reduce their time to market. We are also seeing many Italian entrepreneurs focused on export to emerging markets like China and Russia. Again, we have the infrastructure in place to support these ventures.

What role does Quadpack Italy play in the group as a whole?

Giorgio Cassanmagnago: Quadpack Italy spearheads the group’s drive into the colour cosmetics market. It provides the company with a strategic base, forging close links to the world’s premium source of colour cosmetics. As such, it acts as a bridge between Quadpack’s international sales teams and our Italian manufacturing partners. We have exclusive distribution agreements with mascara and lipstick specialist Brivaplast and fragrance and skincare packaging manufacturer Premi. Italy boasts a crop of outstanding manufacturers and we are ideally placed to help them expand and fill a growing need to source locally within Europe.

What is your background?

Giorgio Cassanmagnago: I worked for years for a major Italian packaging manufacturer. I joined Quadpack in 2009 to help set up the Italian office. Quadpack was already active in Italy but lacked a dedicated office. I helped to create the current team and manage the business from a sales and business perspective. I have just completed a GEMBA at the IESE business school, so I finally have some room to breathe!

And now you have just moved to larger offices. Business must be good.

Giorgio Cassanmagnago: Indeed, we now employ seven people and just had the grand opening of our new office in Milan. We have a designer showroom that is the pride of the whole group. In the three years since I have been here, we have had a consolidated annual growth of 40% and a three-fold increase in business volume. The economic crisis will be felt this year, with companies relying on stock to get through. However, it will bring forth a consolidation of the market that will leave it leaner, stronger and more mature.

What is it like to work at Quadpack Italy?

Giorgio Cassanmagnago: We are a happy team and enjoy working together. We have different backgrounds and specialities, ranging from marketing to production, so we can approach any project from multiple viewpoints. Being part of a global organisation, this is a good place to learn and get an international perspective.

In your opinion, what’s next in cosmetic packaging?

Giorgio Cassanmagnago: Though it is no easy concept to develop technically, eco-friendly packaging is being propelled through increased consumer sensitivity. Carbon footprint is a factor in this, so local sourcing or split Asian/European supply chains will be more in demand.