(Speech of Mr. Paul Pollman in July 2010, Bangkok, below)
“Khun sood yod jing jing” You are truly outstanding!
Because Harish does not speak Thai, I go on English now. Otherwise I will do the whole speech in Thai. You believe me? Yes, you should.
Where is Jerry? Jerry, stand up. The best guy, alright. You saw the American show “who wants to be a millionaire?” Talk to Jerry, it is possible.
I’m so happy to be here and I was looking forward to this. When I came here last year, we have a little bit of time to look at the wonderful aviance brand that you have built and it’s one of the most recognized prestige brand in Thailand.
And you’ve done that. You’ve done that in 10 years only. That is a tremendous achievement that deserves a big round of applause. It is very important that we continue to build the aviance brand. It has much more potential, you know that better than I do. Till on the brand.
The other thing that is good is as a company globally, we have clearly set in our strategies, which we now call The Compass, that we want to grow our Personal Care Business. And to be very successful and to grow our Personal Care Business, we have to keep growing our aviance business. Because if we can win in the most demanding consumers with the best products then it gives me confidence that we can win everywhere.
So your success is not only your personal success as business associates; it’s not only your success of aviance, it’s the success of the total Unilever company. Absolutely.
And you have to promise me that you don’t let me down. Because if you don’t do it, I lose my job! I don’t earn as much as Jerry, but I would like to keep my job though. But soon he will earn more than I do. And then I will compete for his job, so make it successful.
The other thing that I like very much is how you go about it, because it’s all about the consumer. We only win if we are passionate about the consumer.
Feeling good, looking good, getting more out of life. And you make a major contribution to all the consumers. I saw some wonderful testimonies from people that are using aviance. An the confidence- even one of our business associates was here and said, “when I started using aviance I got that confidence to be myself to do more and to grow. And you do a lot of that in Thailand with all of the consumers -Feeling good, looking good, getting more out of life. You bring confidence. You bring harmony to the families. I’m sure you have rescued a lot of marriages by selling your aviance products and making the women look more beautiful so the men stay loyal. You see that is why all of you have such beautiful smiles.
I like the way you customize the products because you listen to the consumer and you see exactly what is needed. Different skin colors, different needs, you adapt. I like the way you interface, very fast and flexible. You listen again to the consumers’ needs and very quickly you are out there. And if you miss the right color or the right season, you miss a year. So you have to stay very close.
And I obviously like the way you bring this to market in an incredibly professional way. You are using expertise. The dermatologists, you are using expertise of all the business associates to provide high quality service.
Because of aviance, we put in our total company strategy for Unilever globally that we don’t only want to win with products but also with services. And it’s because you show us we can do it, another example on how you drive the overall company strategy.
I also think it is important to get increasingly into services. This world uses a lot of resources and we want to grow. We want to grow as a company you want us to grow. And if we can grow a little bit more by providing services and not only using resources, it is also good for the wealth. It is also a very sustainable model that you are doing. It’s a responsible business growth model that I like. So this passion for our products, the passion for the consumer, the passion for innovation are all things that you have in your DNA of the aviance model that we increasingly need in the total Unilever company to be successful long term
And the last thing is probably the most important thing, that you again have discovered and obviously understood better than anybody else- it’s about people. It’s about you.
The success is all about the recruitment of the right people that have the passion to make a difference. It’s all about the development of the people and the training, to invest in people. I’ve always found that if you invest in people, the results will come and you have seen that. And then it’s all obviously about the retention. The success of the business model makes the retention. So the passion that you have to invest in your own success, the success of your families, and the people, the business associates that work for you, is the same passion that we need in all of our businesses. So, you are a great role model.
We like to tell you more about the company itself because we learn a lot from you as I’ve said of the passion of the consumer, the passion for innovation, the passion for the people is exactly what we want to get in the total company. And that’s why I’m here again with Harish and Ian to learn about aviance, to learn from you.
I also know that you have a bright future. That there is much more potential for aviance, obviously here in Thailand, which is very important. But I also believe that there is a lot of potential in the rest of the world.
I don’t see any reason why if it works here, it could not work somewhere else.
And we have to think about how we can make it even bigger and grow our business so that many more consumers, not only the Thai consumers can benefit from the aviance model … and I know business associates like yourself it will happen before I retire.
I want to thank you for what you are doing. You are the heroes, you are the best entrepreneurs that we have in the company and that’s what make this world function. And if it weren’t for entrepreneurs or for people like yourself that have the responsibility and also take the accountability that have what I call ‘skin in the game’ that get the same benefits from the results. That is what makes the economy works. We talked a lot these last two days about Thailand and in improving consumers’ lives. About some of the pressures that are currently in the country but the best ways to solve this pressures is to be more entrepreneurial like you are, to grow the economy, to make more people improve their lives, and everybody would be much happier together.
So you also play a great role in providing harmony in Thailand by what you are doing. So I congratulate you for that. I just want to thank you once more for what you are doing for the company. I want to wish you success and prosperity. I simply want to say you are the best. Thank you.