Interview With Nicholas Baudonnet - Luxezine

Shiseido Asia Pacific Vice President Mr. Nicolas Baudonnet On The Future Of Beauty In India

Over the last 20+ years, Nicolas Baudonnet has climbed the corporate ladder to become the Vice President Cosmetics Fragrance Personal Care of Shiseido Asia Pacific. The beauty industry insider has worked on an extensive portfolio of brands under the Shiseido umbrella, the likes of which include: Serge Lutens, Issey Miyake, Narciso Rodriguez, & Tory Burch, to name a few. Keep reading to get an insider view into Mr. Baudonnet’s career and Shiseido’s ambitious future plans in the Indian market.

The Start Of Mr. Baudonnet’s Journey in Beauty

I was studying corporate finance & banking in Paris, and I was approached by Shiseido group for an internship position in pricing & commercial strategy. I started getting more missions & I felt this beauty world was fascinating because it’s a fine mix between telling beautiful stories, bringing excellent products to consumers while navigating through a lot of data and numbers. I was later hired as an Area Manager and sent to Singapore, 20 years ago, to continue developing the group fragrances in Asia, where I gradually expanded my portfolio within Shiseido.

From Childhood Dream to Reality

This is a very unique story. When I was a young kid, aged 11 years old, I was passionate about Japanese cartoons, and I dreamt of travelling to Tokyo. At that time, there were big headlines in France of the signing of a joint venture between a major beauty pharma company (Pierre Fabre) and the Japanese Beauty Giant (Shiseido). I wrote a letter to my 20 year old self, as a school project, mentioning that one day I would live in Japan and work for Shiseido. I then forgot about that letter but my parents found it shortly after I landed in Asia – it felt like it was my destiny more than a mere coincidence.

Shiseido’s History In The Indian Market

Shiseido is committed to bringing the best of our brands and products to consumers in India. We launched in India in 2001, which has allowed us to understand the evolving consumer needs in terms of skincare routines. Our ambition is to create awareness on all the skincare benefits Shiseido has to offer through years of research and development, and the benefits of investing in a healthy skincare routine across age groups. India is a very complex market with a vast geography and plethorically diverse, hence we will need to adapt our omni-channel distribution strategy to offer the best quality of service and brand experience to our consumers, which we call Omotenashi in Japanese (a combination of Hospitality and Mindfulness).

How Shiseido Balances Core Brand Values While Embracing Change

Shiseido has a 150-year heritage of blending art and science and timeless Japanese beauty principles with advanced innovations. We are a recognized global authority on skin and skincare and a leader in dermatology research, which sets us apart from other beauty brands. Through our approach towards innovation, we develop new technologies, textures, and formulations, and bring the promise of exceptional skincare, synonymous with Japanese Beauty to our consumers.

To give you an example of these values – Eudermine, the iconic Shiseido lotion created 126 years ago is now relaunched with a more effective and modernized formula and dressed in a new eco-friendly & refillable packaging. The result is skincare that not only softens and brightens the skin but also strengthens and protects.

On Shiseido’s New India Brand Ambassador, Tamannaah Bhatia

Shiseido just announced Indian movie celebrity Tamannaah Bhatia as the ambassador for Shiseido skincare in India. Tamannaah’s natural beauty, combined with her ability to effortlessly adapt to various roles and styles, makes her an ideal choice as Shiseido’s brand ambassador.  We look forward to working closely with Tamannaah and believe that her association with our brand will help us connect with our consumers on a deeper level.

Tamannah Bhatia Shiseido Brand Ambassador

Why Shiseido Has A Lasting Appeal

Innovation and Technology is at the heart of Shiseido’s core values. Shiseido group has won the most beauty innovation awards in the beauty industry in the last 20 years. Shiseido places more emphasis on a lasting sense of beauty, which reflects across our products as well, with a strong focus on providing exceptional skincare to our consumers.  As the skincare industry has begun to focus less on air-brushed perfect skin and more on skin that’s truly healthy, the soothing botanicals and ritual-like steps of Shiseido skincare have become mainstays in an anti-blemish or anti-aging routine.

Insights On The Brand’s Post-Covid Strategy Pivot

The beauty market in India has gone through a significant evolution especially post pandemic where consumers are returning to physical stores to try out products while continuing to shop online. The opening of Shiseido’s first stand-alone boutique at Inorbit Mall, Malad in Mumbai aims to give our consumers an elevated omnichannel experience by expanding availability across e-commerce platforms, retail outlets and the brand boutique. With the increase in demand for prestige skincare and elevated selfcare and skincare related services among discerning Indian consumers, the time is right to open stand-alone boutiques in India, in order to provide the consumer with a more engaging and holistic experience of the brand.

Shiseido TechnoSatin Lipstick

What The Next Year Has In Store For Shiseido

Make up is a part of Shiseido Skin Beauty principle. Shiseido makeup is developed with the skin in mind, with top favourites in the complexion & lip categories. The Synchro-skin foundation series features innovative Light-Adjusting Technology that addresses the major obstacles that impede radiance: fine lines and wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and loss of hydration. With the TechnoSatin Gel Lipstick, it offers an ultra-comfortable formula that envelops lips in long-lasting colour and hydration with a satin finish, with 20 shades to suit every need. Early next year, we will be launching RevitalEssence Glow Foundation in India, which is a serum-like foundation powered by Fermented Kefir+ and Niacinamide, two prebiotics that fuel the ability to maintain a healthy microbiome. Imagine, the ultimate skincare benefits can be enjoyed via Shiseido’s makeup too!

The Future Of The Skincare Industry

Consumers are looking for products that have high efficacy and provide visible results quickly.  There is also a growing demand of prestige beauty products and skincare in the market. The future of beauty especially in skincare would be geared towards providing more personalized skincare routines, which could become even more sophisticated to create highly individualized products to meet their unique beauty and skincare needs. Consumers may also shift focus to more preventive skincare routines, focusing on protecting the skin from environmental pollutants and external stressors.