One of Peter Rigby’s defining characteristics is that he likes to build things. The general manager, beauty care retail ANZ, at Henkel enrolled in an architecture and technical design degree when he left school, switching to engineering and then visual arts. A background that he believes gives him a unique approach to the FMCG and beauty categories. “I am quick with numbers and have an analytical turn of mind, in addition to my creative side, and this combination certainly helps in such a fast-paced and dynamic industry”.
Before joining Henkel in July 2019, Rigby worked at Kimberly-Clark Australia in key positions including head of category development and national business manager, Woolworths. He joined Coty in 2011 as sales director – consumer products before becoming general manager, consumer beauty in 2016. “During the seven years I worked for Coty there was a lot of change and it was a very defining period for me”, he says. “In mature markets and categories, it can be challenging to grow, finding balance between the complexity of integration and staying focused on the customer and consumer is challenging but equally very rewarding”
70 PERCENT OF PRODUCTS AUSTRALIAN-MADE / GATEWAY TO ASIA
Henkel is at a very dynamic stage at the moment, says Rigby. “The success of any business is based on strong, fundamental management. The company has three business units globally – Adhesive Technologies, Laundry and Home Care and Beauty Care – including major brands such as Dynamo, Cold Power and Schwarzkopf, which is regularly voted as one of Australia’s most trusted haircare brands. Around 70 percent of the Beauty Care and Laundry Home Care products we sell are Australian-made, which gives us lots of opportunities to be closer to local consumers and meet their specific needs”. Henkel invests heavily, both globally and locally, in beauty and laundry and home care, says Rigby. “ANZ is seen as a strong and stable market and a gateway to Asia. China is a very sophisticated market and there is a huge opportunity for quality products with heritage backed by strong research and development from companies like Henkel”. Many Australian suppliers and retailers are achieving fantastic results on the back of local ingredients and being Australian made.
HUGE GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES IN HAIRCARE AND COLOURING
Schwarzkopf comes with a considerable amount of heritage. “The Extra Care range is renowned for quality and performance and is a mainstay of the ANZ haircare market, but there are still huge opportunities for growth”, says Rigby. “Many other brands have stepped up in terms of quality, yet Extra Care retains a consistent market-leading position with cutting-edge technology”. Every second more than 20 hair colourants from Henkel are sold worldwide. “We enjoy a consistently solid performance with the Brilliance, Colour Specialist, Live and Root Retoucher ranges. Consumers are not willing to compromise on quality in the Home Hair Colour Category. The unisex got2b styling lineup is youth-oriented for more individual and edgy looks and Fresh It Up dry shampoo is a prime competitor in the fast-growing dry shampoo market”.
One of the biggest growth areas in haircare is root cover, says Rigby. “Hair is the one thing that doesn’t stop growing with age and roots show through very quickly between colour applications. Schwarzkopf Root Retoucher has a strong fan base, but we are always looking for ways to improve our offer as the root touchup market continues to accelerate”.
PREMIUMISATION / SUSTAINABILITY LEADER
The ANZ retail and FMCG markets are tough with a strong focus on price and discounting and Rigby does not see conditions changing. “But we are seeing a strong trend to premiumisation and more consumers are looking for quality over quantity. In the overall beauty market, luxury and prestige will continue to drive much of the growth. While pharmacy and supermarket will also continue to offer more premium products, notably in haircare”. Henkel has set ambitious sustainability goals. The company is acknowledged as a global leader in the area, publishing its first Environment Report in 1992 and is a founding member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. By 2030, the multinational’s target is to triple the value created for the footprint made by its operations, products and services. By 2025, Henkel also aims to make its packaging 100 per cent recyclable, reusable or compostable. Globally and in Australia, Henkel is firmly focused on being more sustainable, says Rigby. “That’s a plus for the local market as Australia and New Zealand are leaders in sustainability and naturallyderived ingredients. The ball is rolling faster than ever and over the next five years huge strides will be made”.
GIVING BACK / STRONG LOCAL TEAM
Henkel operates in almost 80 countries worldwide and for decades has been deeply involved in corporate social responsibility efforts in the communities it is present in. In Australia, the company has been involved with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Schwarzkopf Million Chances award, Pink Ribbon Day and Shaping Futures, a program that involves ANZ employees from partner salons travelling to developing countries to teach young people basic hairdressing skills that will help them to create a livelihood. “Like sustainability, giving back has become a non-negotiable for today’s society”, says Rigby. “Large, companies have a responsibility and are in the position to make the biggest difference – environmentally and socially”.
In a world of increasing complexity and clutter of communication it is even more important to stay focused on how we can make a difference and genuinely connect with consumers, says Rigby. Fortunately, I have a great team who are passionate about the business, what we do and what we are striving to achieve. At the end of the day success will be measured by the love consumers have for our brands and how quickly we can deliver on their changing needs. At Henkel we have a global perspective and support but a local focus and stake in the future.
This article was first published in issue 63 of esprit.