Meet the Business Unit Director: Marcela Buitrago (Quadpack Spain)
Here, we continue with the re-publication of Quadpack's series of interviews with its key staff. This round, we learn about Marcela Buitrago and her role at Quadpack Spain.
Quadpack: How does Quadpack Spain’s location at the Group’s international head office impact your operations?
Marcela Buitrago: There is a very defined structure. I run the Spanish office and CEO Tim Eaves is in charge of Group operations. Group resources located here offer support to all country offices in terms of administration, finance, logistics, training and quality assurance procedures. Close proximity does perhaps mean we have more immediate access to these resources, particularly our state-of-the-art test lab right here in Barcelona!
Quadpack: Please describe the industry sector in Spain.
MB: The Spanish cosmetics market is the fifth largest in Europe, valued at €0.85 billion. The personal care sector is largest, but fragrance, colour cosmetics and particularly cosmeceuticals are on the rise. The economic crisis has hit us hard, but it has also had a cleansing effect. Those companies who have weathered the storm have come out stronger and leaner and better able to service the market.
Quadpack: What’s the latest trend in the Spanish cosmetics market?
MB: I think the biggest trend in recent times is wellbeing. Spanish consumers are looking beyond the surface. Cosmetics alone is not enough; they want products and treatments that encompass their general health and happiness. We have all kinds of spas opening up in hotels, gyms and beauty centres. In terms of product, that translates into massage creams, aromatherapy oils and generally more natural, organic ranges.
Quadpack: You recently conducted a brand awareness survey. What were the results?
MB: It was very interesting. The survey revealed that existing clients identify us as a competent, technically-savvy company that offers good price/performance. Prospects, however, perceive us as high-priced, operating at the premium end of the skin care market. We need to address that misconception, as we also work in masstige and mass market. Not many prospects know we sell more than Yonwoo airless either, so there is another area we need to communicate more effectively. The survey also highlighted the need for us to streamline logistics to speed up delivery times. We’ll be making an announcement on that score very soon!
Quadpack: Tell us about your background.
MB: I am an economics graduate from the La Salle University. I joined Quadpack on a work placement in 2004 as part of my Masters in International Business and I’ve stayed here ever since! Over the past eight years, I have moved through various departments and, a year ago, I was offered the change to run the Spanish operation.
Quadpack: So what is it like to work at Quadpack?
MB: Quadpack offers an environment for self-development. It’s a company that invests in its people; where talent and hard work are rewarded. We have a busy, productive office here in Spain. There is a lot of action and something new to motivate you every day. Plus, there’s a kind of energy that comes from belonging to a young, multi-talented, multi-cultural organisation.
Quadpack: What are your plans for Quadpack Spain?
MB: In terms of market strategy, we are gearing up to target the cosmeceuticals sector. This growing area has its own particular needs and is governed by strict regulations. We already have several high-profile clients in the OTC market and we plan to expand this significantly over the next couple of years. In terms of offering, we will be launching a new design service this year to facilitate the development of new concepts and ideas. And we’ll be moving offices – we’re growing so fast we need more space to accommodate our clients and staff.