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Starting Point: It’s Not So Much What You Know …

By: Karen A. Newman
Posted: January 10, 2008, from the January 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

The adage suggests that who you know in life can tip the scale toward personal success. We like to think that who you know can also make your work life more interesting, broadening your perspective on events shaping your world and your industry. We meet a lot of interesting people as we cover the beauty business, and regular readers know that we pack a lot of different perspectives into every issue—from cover profiles to “Inside Style” to the “Added Value” Q&A to the back page “Profile” and so much more. This issue is no exception, and, in fact, brings you more people than the average issue of GCI magazine as we introduce a new feature called “20 to Know.”

We have rounded up a selection of people doing interesting things in the beauty industry who intrigue us in various ways. Some have earned awards and recognition in the past year for new products, research results and overall industry achievement. Others are pushing the envelope in digital marketing and research. Still others are taking greening to heart by changing processes and helping the industry define critical terms. Our list is not complete or even remotely exhaustive, and no doubt you know other interesting people from the global beauty industry who you think others should know, too. We hope you’ll pick up the phone and tell us about them. They just may end up in the pages of GCI magazine.

Speaking of people to know, you’ve already been introduced to Priyanka Bhattacharya, a feature contributor on the subject of the beauty industry in India. Beginning with this issue, you’ll get to know her as the author of our newest column, “India Quarterly”—joining “Live from New York,” “London Glam” and “Latin Beat” in our expanding global coverage. In her first column, Bhattacharya sheds light on the introduction of the Clinique brand to the Indian market, Mary Kay’s $20 million investment there, Wipro’s purchase of Southeast Asian beauty and personal care brand Unza, and more. The Indian color cosmetics market, to illustrate the market’s value, posted sales of $4 billion in 2006—the fastest value growth for color cosmetics in the world, according to Euromonitor International. One estimate values the country’s skin care market at $5.3 billion.

Elsewhere on the global market, the Australian beauty industry is thriving, and we put some brands in the spotlight in a feature called “Australian Beauty: Taking the Initiative.” The Australian Trade Commission recently launched Discover the Beauty of Australia trade initiative to introduce American retailers and beauty journalists to some of the country’s hidden beauty secrets. The 10 companies in the first initiative were selected for their lines and market positions, and include products for men and women.

Eager to know even more people? Not long ago, I joined GCI magazine’s U.K. associate Jane Evison on a trip into the French countryside led by Bernard Mas, chairman and founder of Sothys, and his son, Christian, managing director of Sothys’ brand Bernard Cassiere. Our destination was the small town of Auriac, where Bernard and his family have a home. We were there to visit his latest project, Les Jardin Sothys, which, while still in its early stages, shows the promise of becoming a tranquil retreat and so much more. In this garden, Bernard is working with scientists from the University of Limoges to study natural polysaccharides and peptides from local plants. He, like many others, it seems, would like to see more natural and organic ingredients used in his products. You can read more about our visit to Bernard’s garden in our online exclusive feature at www.gcimagazine.com.