Frederic Cassin, Founder and Chairman BestinBrands Pte Ltd

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Please let us know your childhood including academic background.
Frederic Cassin: I’ve passed my childhood in the capital of France and moved to Paris at the age of five. And Paris is the capital of fashion entrepreneur of the world. So I was raising in the right place. I was exposed to perfume for the first time when my father involved to wine business. At one point he took side business of cosmetics and perfume “…………………..”. It was in the top sale position in 70s. He was in another business and formed a company of skin care treatment. He continued this business for ten years. He sold this business before I completed my studies.

I took a bachelor degree in Marketing and I completed MBA from USA. I also studied finance in Arizona. After completing my education, I set up my own business and moved to Canada for six months and then Brazil. I wasn’t so successful and back to France after two years. I got a job in “………………………” and serve for twelve years. Then I moved to export business as I knew few languages. They gave me an opportunity to become GM for Asia Pacific. In 1998, I came in Bangladesh to check the market. I got here huge opportunity to run business. In 2000, I open a wing of my company known as “…………………………” leaving my job. I also had an operation in India and Taiwan. Then I moved to Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong. In 2013, I sold my company to Kochi, a big perfume group except Bangladesh because it is my first operation. So basically that is my story.

Why did you become a distributor instead of manufacturer?
Frederic Cassin: I worked in manufacturer whore for twelve years then I become a distributor. Now I’m both a manufacturer at the same time a distributor. I manufacture two brands “………………………..” which I got license two distribute globally.

What is your evaluation about Perfume Industry of Bangladesh?
Frederic Cassin: when I started here, the business was very small but it was raising tremendously. Even I can’t calculate it in percentage. It would be thousand times more. Every year more people can afford to buy perfume. Now it is a big industry since my starting point. But the people of Bangladesh loves perfume. It can be perfume deodorants, it can be cheap perfume, and it can be men’s perfume or female perfume.

What is the market size of this industry and what portion does our local companies dominate?
Frederic Cassin: basically in the prestige business, the market is dominated by two companies one is Prestige Bengal and another is BestinBrands. However, the market is also dominated by Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong even by America. A lot of products are coming from outside that we do not control. The middle class people in Bangladesh is growing year after year. We don’t have exact numbers, exact numbers coming from the customers. There are huge number of products are coming in Bangladesh by luggage that we don’t know the exact quantity. But we can say it is quite big.

Do you have any plan setting up a perfume manufacturer plant?
Frederic Cassin: this is not my business as I’m not a Bangladeshi. There are so many manufacturing hub in Bangladesh and the people of Bangladesh are also manufacturing lots of products. They are so experienced in this sector but this is not my business.

Why do our local products not getting international recognition?
Frederic Cassin: well, perfume is a dream. When you buy a perfume, you buy a dream. You’re buying beauty, you’re buying experience of very high standards. You’ve USA products, you’ve Italian products and so on. You can compare with every products. I hope Bangladeshi brands will lead this continent soon.

You’re importing top international brands of perfume in Bangladesh, who are the target customers of you and what policy do you adopt in branding to reach your products to the customers doorstep?
Frederic Cassin: first of all, to sell we need to ensure proper distribution. So what do we do first? We build luxury arrangement in “……………….” sports. Then we present our products in most beautiful and professional way as we can. We trained people how do they sell products. What perfume can answer their needs? We’ve to know what is inside. What you need, we’ve different kinds of products according to your test. We’ve also perfume for different time of the day based on your mood like “……………………………………………………….”. We advertise our products in different way like your magazine and by other means. We hold launching program in big hotels. Everything is important to us in marketing.

BestinBrands always sell costly products and your products are out of the grief of mass people. Do you have any plan to connect mass people in your customer line?
Frederic Cassin: BestinBrands connects rich people, middle class people and poor people. We do have products in line for retailing from 2$ to 200$. So we do covered all types of customers. We sale deodorants in 200$ which few of them can afford and truly its costly.

What are the upcoming products of you and your future plan?
Frederic Cassin: every year we’re bringing many original products in our distribution line. Whenever I get any good product, I visit USA, France and Italy to bring that product. So basically all the time we’re bringing new products like “…………………………”. If anyone wants to manufacture products in Bangladesh, we’ll help them. There are huge population in Bangladesh. So we want to sell our products to all of them both rich and poor. Bangladesh is a country which have 6/7% growth in last 20 years almost. It is improving very rapidly. We’re also managing some CSR activities “……………………” in Bangladesh.

Your message for the new comers who’re interested to import perfume.
Frederic Cassin: welcome and good luck. If you want to come, you need to be younger. You need to have lot of energy to overcome all the barriers import barriers and custom duties etc.

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