The relationship between cosmetics and fashion is one that is becoming increasingly close as the two support and complement one another. When the company CEO has a background in fashion clothing, that distinction is lesser as Mr Victor Wu, CEO of Yuga knows only too well. Sharing his professional knowledge about fashion and trends, Mr Wu explains how the requirement for immediate satisfaction is essential to Yuga's full-service growth in the cosmetic packaging industry.
Victor Wu, how are you leading Yuga forward?
I joined the company in 2016 as a board member and then in January of this year I started my new role as CEO of Yuga. Having been a board member I was familiar with the company's development and strategic planning, and I had some clear ideas about how I wanted to enhance Yuga's business model for the future to mature the company in a positive manner.
Much of my work is in close collaboration with the Senior Management Team in the management and development of Yuga's business. My base is Yuga's Suzhou facility, although I also travel to Shanghai on a regular basis for project management as well as meeting with clients.
As CEO, I find it beneficial to work closely with customers and be involved directly with the team as it ensures that I am at the forefront of trends and can make informed decisions for the best direction forward for the company.
How has Yuga's business plan developed since you became CEO?
As I mentioned previously, prior to my becoming CEO in January, I was a board member at Yuga and that provided me with the opportunity to see how the company could take better advantage of certain opportunities.
Since I became CEO, Yuga has been changing its direction in order to be a full-service provider of cosmetics packaging products. I have a clear direction on the company's positioning and the need to adjust our business model accordingly. Part of my responsibility as CEO is to organize internal management through external development.
A single packaging component is no longer a sufficient product offering for the current requirements of the market. Customers are looking for an all-inclusive option from a single packaging supplier, demanding that companies can adapt to fit their needs for an individual experience in terms of both the product and its development as well as customer service.
Based on how we saw the market shift during 2016 and 2017, as a company we have already shifted to this new direction and are continuing to develop further towards this end in order to provide complete solutions from initial product research, through packaging design and production capacity plan in order to match and surpass each individual customer's requirements and expectations.
Previously I worked in the fashion industry and from what I have observed, the fashion business is very similar to the cosmetics business. Both business deal with fashion, design and leading trends in the market, and it is a mixture of both science and arts.
The fashion industry used to have two launches each year - Spring & Summer, and Autumn & Winter. Now the Millennial generation is looking for new launches on a much higher frequency. This trend for fast movement is a consequence of the mobile internet boom and the impact of micro business and in order to stay profitable in business, companies need to match the new demand.
Like the fashion industry, frequent design changes for the cosmetics business are key to be successful. In China, as well as the rest of the world, there are many KOLs, bloggers, and vloggers, and it is their demands and opinions that are leading the trends.
Currently our principal focus is to keep up with the pace of these changes, to manage development ahead of time and create the possibility for customized design with the available production capacity. My role as the CEO of Yuga is to ensure that the company grows. Together with the senior management team, we are leading the company forward in its regeneration from producer of cosmetic packaging to a complete cosmetic packaging industry full service provider.
In 2017, Thomas Chen revealed how Yuga was expanding in terms of international exposure, facility upgrades and patent applications. How much has the company accomplished since then?
International promotion is something that we are still working very actively on as it is a long term strategy. This year we exhibited at Cosmoprof Worldwide in Bologna, Italy, and in July we will be exhibiting at Cosmoprof North America in Las Vegas.
To target the Asian market, we have recently been to the China Beauty Expo in Shanghai, and will be at Cosmoprof Asia in Hong Kong later in the year.
We plan to attend more exhibitions that are strategically aligned with the company's new business model and will also be doing road trips alongside visits to potential customers to achieve a greater awareness of the company's new direction as well as generate new sales.
At present, Yuga has the facilities to produce both plastic and aluminium components. Aluminium anodizing, plastic metallization, over spraying, coating, assembly and technical support are all available in house. For the company to grow and have the potential to extend even further in the future, we have recognized the need to expand our capacity on a large scale. Working to this end, we have already purchased new land and we are working on the design plans for a new facility. We can then apply for government approval and start construction.
Does the company foresee any further changes?
CSR, — Corporate Social Responsibility — is one of our development targets and our current facility is already ISO 9001 and SA 8000 certified, and is under assessment for ISO 14001.
As a business we want to protect the environment and give back to the society, as well as enhance opportunities for our team of staff. The impact on the environment due to industrialization is of global concern and in China the government has flagged strict standards and controls for waste water treatment, air pollution and other regulations of which Yuga complies with. We are also working on projects to adopt new materials that are eco-friendly as well as charity programs to help students in rural areas with financial needs. We need to share this information so that people know what we have done and what we are doing as we go forward and develop.
The combination of these changes is testimony to the steps that Yuga is taking in moving towards being a sustainable company - improving our service for customers as well as achieving win-win with consumers for a better tomorrow.
What defines innovation at Yuga?
At Yuga, we look at innovation from two different viewpoints: Technical Engineering (science) and Aesthetic Design Assessment (arts).
Technical engineering is effectively the functionality of the packaging. Functionality is essential for the consumer to have a good user-experience with the product throughout its usage. For a long time technical engineers led the cosmetic packaging industry, but as beauty and cosmetics have become more integrated into the fashion business, the appearance and design now require more attention than ever before which leads us to the second aspect of innovation.
Aesthetic Design Assessment is the process by which Yuga's designers create packaging with novel designs together with the technical engineering team to constantly improve the user experience and stay at the forefront of trends. We also work with external partners in order to create designs that are close to the market. In the cosmetic packaging industry both of these innovation aspects work together hand-in-hand are of equal importance.
Last year we obtained several utility model patents for improvements to packaging mechanisms, and we still have a number of other designs which are currently in the process of patent application.
New and improved Yuga cosmetic packaging product designs can be expected and will be introduced as soon as they are ready!
How does Yuga keep up with the cosmetic industry's fast progress and feed its appetite for innovations in the rapidly changing market?
We source a lot of information from the market from a variety of sources from our clients to our business competitors. Our clients include brands, trading companies OEM and ODM manufacturers and our ability to anticipate their moves and requirements makes our company an important reference in the cosmetic packaging marketplace.
Worldwide exhibitions also provide an opportunity for inspiration, and it's not just beauty and cosmetic exhibitions. As the industry is so closely linked to the fashion industry, we visit fashion and clothing exhibitions to get indications for new fashion trends. I personally believe that the fashion industry leads the trends that the cosmetics industry follows, or sometimes vice versa.
We also study industrial investment news to see which brands and companies have merged or taken towards new directions as this can indicate potential changes too. Being aware of the smallest changes ensures that we are at the forefront of new trends and directions.
As a professional cosmetic packaging supplier in China, how will Yuga maintain its company growth?
The company is made up of a team of people and we value every member of our team at Yuga. We focus a lot on team management as a sustainable business needs to be supported by a strong work force in order to keep on growing.
Every member of the professional team at Yuga plays an integral role to look after product quality and production lead time. There are many details which need to be organized and coordinated in order for projects to happen according to plan. Whether it is material purchase, production capacity or quality assurance, our team has excellent control and management skill.
We also believe training and professional development are crucial for our staffs and going forward more attentions and efforts will be put in this aspect.
The senior management team is working hard to ensure our team is continually developing its professional skills for the highest standards of management/ techniciality and nurturing a positive working environment for everyone at Yuga.
What is the timescale for Yuga's full-service provider business transformation?
Much of the transformation is already underway. Obtaining product patents is on ongoing project and the updates to our facilities whereby we will be incorporating many sustainable business practices and fulfilling environmental regulations will be achieved within a period of 3 to 5 years.
Other targets have already been achieved as Yuga offers its customers a One-Stop-Shop Service in color cosmetics packaging, focusing on lipsticks, lip balms, make-up compacts as well as caps and jars in both plastics and aluminium.
It is an exciting time for the company as we fully realize the transformation and I am proud to be part of the team as we are moving forward in order to achieve our goals.