50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2021
The Silicon Review
The beauty industry is starting to bounce back after the pandemic dealt it with a severe blow last year. As digitization extends to this industry, the beauty industry continues its growth in Greater Asia. One of the major distributors in this area is Hong Kong-based Bright Diva International, making international brands accessible to consumers across all key markets in Greater Asia.
Founded in 2015, Bright Diva is a well-established and the fastest growing distributor in the field of cosmetics, beauty care, personal care, perfumes & FMCG products head-quartered in Hong Kong. The company’s mission is to provide consumers with precisely based, high-quality products and treatments to satisfy their head-to-toe beauty needs.
Bright Diva International is led from the front by Director Anup Agarwal, who has a brilliant vision for the future. The company is in a highly competitive and growing market, but its presence in 9 countries, augmented by a strong sales team, gives it a strong advantage over others in this space.
In a brief interview, Anup Agrawal talked to us about how Bright Diva is becoming a trailblazer in the beauty industry and his approach towards leadership, which is hands-on. Read on for the excerpts from the interview.
Q. Bright Diva is a well-established and the fastest-growing distributor in cosmetics, beauty care, personal care, perfumes, and FMCG products in Hong Kong, China, and Macau. How have you achieved this impressive feat?
Bright Diva has been led by founders with rich and extensive years of experience in distribution and with the know-how of balancing strategies. It has elevated the company to reach greater heights, resulted in nine branch offices across continents, with a workforce of 250, within a short time.
Our core belief in “No single strategy fits all.” It has enabled us to build custom strategies with our partners, customer and industry. Bright Diva is a considerate distributor, working closely with principles and adding value to distribution channels. The collective experience of market awareness and professional expertise of the company’s team adds value to brands seeking to expand into these markets. Bright Diva embraces and drives change and moves faster.
Q. Could you tell us about your leadership style and your approach to leadership every day?
I believe in creating an environment where a leader is highly accessible by employees, colleagues, and partners. Innovative leaders initiate a warm and collaborative relationship with employees to ensure a smooth road to the targeted goals.
As a leader, I continuously strive to motivate my employees by :
Persuasion: Ideas and goals should be conveyed to the team with enthusiasm and conviction. Leaders should be highly effective in getting others to accept the ideas instead of enforcing their ideas onto their teams.
Upward Communication: Leaders should believe that the best and most innovative solutions and ideas bubble up from underneath and must strive to create a culture that allows good ideas to flourish from the organization’s bottom line to the top.
Q. What is your opinion on a hands-on managing style?
Integrity and Innovation are the key pillars to building a successful organization. Hands-on managing style is about fostering a culture of Integrity and Innovation.
Q. How can companies stand out in their space?
Harnessing Technology to Stay Germane and Competitive
I believe that traditional business models are increasingly turning around potentially disruptive digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence and big data, which are becoming the driving force behind the success of online business giants and the new crops of start-ups.
As a leader of any organization, it is incumbent upon you to recognize the need to embrace digitization and be technologically sound. However, there are also some challenges in recruiting the right talent, making the right digital endeavour with existing business models, systems, and processes, and be effective and efficient that slow down the move to the era of AI and big data. He also feels that a leader must be flexible and at the forefront of examining the practicality and feasibility of disruptive technologies within the existing business model and engage the best talents, technologies, and processes to stay competitive.
Q. What’s the most essential trait a new team member should possess, and why? How can a hands-on manager help new recruits?
A hunger to learn, grow and improve are the most essential traits a new member should possess. It is incumbent upon the manager to create a culture of openness, accessibility, and innovation.
Q. How has Bright Diva evolved since the onset of the pandemic?
The pandemic has hit the normal human lives and businesses worldwide really hard. Staying relative to the market needs and approaching the unexpected snags from a new approach has kept the industry afloat. The FMCG industry and Bright Diva will be expanding at a faster pace as the global lockdown brings about digitization to the last remnants of traditional business aspects. Remote teams to online conferences and even digital expos are the new norm; where in the past the reach was limited to the physical presence has now been expanded to everything digital in the grasp of a human’s palm.
Q. Every leader has a unique definition of success. Tell us about your thoughts about success and why do you feel that?
Many people have inspired me in my life. That said, after all these years, the most important thing that I have learned is to ‘believe in yourself’ and respect every work. I learned that one needs to have the three basic qualities to grow in life – trust yourself, ownership of responsibility, and passion in your work (T.O.P.).
Q. What are the growth strategies that you implemented for the expansion of the company?
We believe that one strategy does not fit all. Therefore, bright Diva constantly strives to offer bespoke and curated solutions to partners, customers, vendors, and even address employees’ basic needs.
We present an environment of integrity and inclusivity, which help strengthen relationships with our esteemed partners and employees.
Bright Diva’s uniqueness lies in extending end-to-end solutions to the business partners’ covering various aspects of business such as:
Distribution is all about synchronizing the objective and vision of brand owners with retailers and meeting the requirements of end-users.
Experience from the electronic business truly helped Bright Diva to recognize the significance of inventory management and deliveries. As a result, it has helped make its business model distinctive as it assures customers with ready stock and same-day deliveries.
Q. How has Bright Diva International influenced the industry with innovative ideas?
We are incredibly agile in spotting newer trends in the beauty industry which helped us become the leading distributor of K-Beauty brands in Hong Kong in seven years since the establishment of the division in 2015.
Our deep knowledge of various distribution channels empowers us to choose the most appropriate channel for the brand, which helps discover the true business potential within the region.
Q. What has been the best recognition that the company received? Tell us about the best client feedback you received that made you proud as a leader.
There has been a lot of recognition that the company has already received, including the latest one from Alibaba (Tmall Global); out of all the suppliers of Alibaba direct buying model, only eight suppliers were recognized, and Bright Diva was proudly one of them. But the one client feedback that, as a leader, I am proud of is during the peak of Covid-19 last year in February when there was a huge shortage of masks in Hong Kong, we sourced close to half a million masks using our network and supplied them to our key customers at our cost prices and also agreeing with them to sell out to consumers at very low retail pricing thus by increasing the availability to consumers when there was no supply at all. So these customers appreciated our help and the way we think about helping the community.
The Leader Upfront
Anup Agarwal, Director: He is the Director of Bright Diva International. He was born and brought up in Kathmandu, Nepal. Anup started his professional career at the early age of 19, he got an opportunity to work for a trading company based in Guangzhou, China, when he was 20. He managed business development for them. Within two years, Anup got promoted to the company’s headquarters based in Hong Kong, where he worked as a Sales Manager. In 2013, he quit the job as Head of Greater China Business to embark on his journey as an entrepreneur. He co-founded Diva Communications Limited, which was trading in mobile phones, as well as co-founded Bright Diva International with Mr. Xu Chun He and Mr. Deepak Agarwal.