Interview with Tomasz Schwarz
Country Manager of Beiersdorf Myanmar
Please introduce yourself and Beiersdorf to our readers.
I am Tomasz Schwarz from Poland. I am responsible for the Beiersdorf Myanmar and I am very happy to be in Yangon. I have been working with Beiersdorf for more than 20 years. And Beiersdorf is the producer of famous brands NIVEA and Hansaplast. They have been in Myanmar for more than 20 years.
When was your first trip to Myanmar and how has it changed since then?
I am very new to Myanmar, arriving just in July (last year). I feel very good here. Yangon is a green city and without motorbikes running in the streets. People are very friendly and humble. I would love to learn about Myanmar culture during my time here.
How did you end up in the current position?
I love NIVEA and Hansaplast brands. The reason why I am with Beiersdorf for so long is because I feel good in the organization and I have to identify the values of Beiersdorf with care, trust, simplicity and courage.
What might be your greatest challenge of expansion in a new country?
I think the biggest challenge is to continue the success of NIVEA and Hansaplast in Myanmar. This is an exciting time for us all. We have many big plans for the coming years and we are looking forward to establishing many more milestones. One of the milestones was NIVEA Deo Thanakha Roll-on. It is especially made for Myanmar consumers and was launched in February 2019. In the years to come NIVEA and Hansaplast will continue to grow their No 1 positions and invest in bringing the brand closer to more Myanmar men and women.
What are primary areas of focus here?
It is about people! We want to develop all our people, we want to have fun together and we want to achieve our dreams for NIVEA and Hansaplast in Myanmar.
How challenging was the Myanmar market for Beiersdorf and how did you overcome them?
NIVEA and Hansaplast are strong leaders in the categories. For that success we have been working with our partner – distributor DKSH many years. I think, that thanks to this very good cooperation between us we have managed all challenges on the market quite well so far.
Who are the target segments for Beiersdorf Myanmar?
NIVEA is a family brand, for both men and women. Our portfolio fulfils the needs of different consumers. The ultimate goal for us is to take care of our consumers’ skin to make it healthy and beautiful. And for Hansaplast as a first aid expert, we want to make our consumers happy and help them to take care of small injuries.
Can you tell us a little more about your famous brand, Nivea?
NIVEA is the first cream ever invented. It happened in 1911. In that context, NIVEA is mother of all creams in the world. NIVEA means in Latin, white as a snow.
Today, NIVEA is the biggest skin care brand in the world and number one brand in Myanmar.
I love about NIVEA this unique care for our skin, which is actually extended to bigger care, e.g. the care for many people through our NIVEA CSR programs around the globe, including Myanmar.
How does Nivea test its skin care products?
We, at Beiersdorf have big R&D Teams, located in few places in the world, the biggest in Hamburg in Germany. We are testing our products there, e.g. in vitro tests and asking volunteers to test our products on their skin. And we monitor closely all testing results to ensure all is checked, before product would be produced to consumers. We always launch the products with the highest quality only.
Can you share the success of how Nivea became a top brand in Myanmar?
In my opinion, it’s a mix of few factors: great Teams in different functions working towards common targets, high quality products developed for the consumers’ needs and of course, the brand values like care and trust. These make NIVEA and us, people working for NIVEA, very special. Working for NIVEA is a great privilege and honor for me. The values of NIVEA and Beiersdorf resonate very strong with our human personal values.
Who are your major competitors and how would you differentiate Nivea from them?
We have so many competitors. There are so many cosmetics we can find today. NIVEA’s ultimate goal is taking care of the skin of our consumers.
What are your future plans?
We have big dreams for NIVEA and Hansaplast in Myanmar. We want to make our consumers happy with our products and our activities.
What might be your opinion on Myanmar’s current economy?
I think it’s on good track. Myanmar is changing a lot these days. It is driven by openness of people to learn new things, by the will to improve the quality of live. And we all know, that digitalization is speeding all processes. I strongly believe that Myanmar will be very different place, much more modern and developed in the next few years.