Multiplex Group stands as a testament to the extraordinary journey of growth and success within the beauty and cosmetics industry. Celebrating an impressive 30 years of accomplishments, the trajectory of Multiplex International from its modest inception to a dominant force is nothing short of phenomenal. Over the last three decades, the company’s evolution as a distributor has been marked by unparalleled achievements. The initial stages from 1993 to 2003 saw the representation of a few brands, but it was the golden era between 2003 and 2013 that propelled Multiplex into a league of its own.
The company expanded its portfolio, opening larger offices and establishing its own retail arm, Exquisite Trading LLC, thereby strengthening its team to a remarkable 300 employees. From this pivotal point, Multiplex continued its upward trajectory, emerging as the go-to distribution partner for brands in the UAE. Managing an impressive portfolio of 60+ brands with a workforce of 600 employees across the UAE, Oman, and Qatar, Multiplex International is poised for further success with upcoming operations in KSA and Bahrain.
Congratulations on 30 successful years of growth and progress! In your capacity as Founder, MD and CEO of the Multiplex Group, how do you see the growth of your brand over these last three decades?
The growth of Multiplex International as a distributor in the past three decades has been phenomenal. From 1993 to 2003, the company was in the initial stage of representing few brands: the portfolio was much smaller with not too many well-known brands. The second decade (2003–2013) was our golden era, where we saw an amazing growth.
Indeed, Multiplex started to distribute well-known brands, opened bigger offices and launched its own retail arm, Exquisite Trading LLC. Due to the expansion, the company was able to strengthen the team, growing up to 300 employees. From here there was no looking back and Multiplex continued to grow and become the best distribution partner for the brands in the UAE. Today the company manages 60+ brands, with 600 employees across the UAE, Oman and Qatar. The success will continue with starting operations soon in KSA and Bahrain.
How does Multiplex International balance short-term objectives with a vision for sustained success?
Our short-term objectives lead us to long-term success. The rationale behind this approach lies in the idea that accomplishing smaller milestones incrementally contributes to the achievement of larger, more ambitious objectives. Hence, a two-year and a five-year plan to achieve the bigger target provided us a clearer understanding of progress and challenges, enabling more effective decision-making throughout the entire process.
In family-owned businesses, a strong sense of values and culture is cultivated. How does Multiplex International foster a family-like atmosphere within the company, and how do these values contribute to the overall success and cohesion of the organisation?
As a family owned business, we treat all our colleagues as family. We celebrate our success together and are responsible for our projects as a team. With the culture of belongingness, we can see our employees are with the company for as many as 25 years enjoying their long career with us. We are proud to share that almost 40 per cent of the employees, who are with Multiplex can count more than five years of collaboration. This shows the strength of our company and contributes heavily towards our success.
Global partnerships with established brands have been the cornerstone for the success envisaged by the Multiplex Group. In this regard, could you share the origin story behind the partnership with Markwins Beauty Brands International and how Multiplex International has navigated the dynamics of owning and distributing well-established beauty brands like Lip Smacker and wet n wild? Additionally, how does Multiplex International demonstrate its genuine passion for and dedicated attention to the beauty sector through its involvement with these iconic cosmetic brands?
With Markwins Beauty Brands, the journey has been amazing. The contribution of Giancarlo Di Majo, the group Managing Director of International has been fundamental. He contacted Multiplex almost twelve years ago to start the distribution of the cosmetic brand wet n wild.
With our expertise and the brand’s support, we could penetrate the UAE market with ease and got into all major retailers such as Carrefour, Lifestyle, Lulu and other key players. The brand has consistently shown growth and it is loved by young make-up enthusiasts. wet n wild continues to add freshness to its portfolio with exciting and trendsetting new launches at an affordable pricing, making it our favourite brand to work with.
After the success of wet n wild, we started the distribution of Lip Smacker, the flavoured lip balms brand that showed amazing results across key retail outlets. We are now the leading distributor for the cosmetic FMCG in the Middle East with an expert team of sales and marketing for the brands with valued relationships with key retailers.
You have enjoyed a broad, bird’s eye perspective of the beauty, cosmetics and lifestyle market in your capacity as the founder of one of the UAE’s most well-known cosmetics brands. How do you see the market evolving over the next decade, and what are the possible future trends in the cosmetics and beauty business?
The cosmetic market has seen a huge impact during the pandemic and post pandemic time: for that period, we had to change our focus to household products particularly sanitisers, masks and disinfectants.
E-commerce was another strategic area we increased our focus onto. We channelised our distribution and supply management to the key marketplaces such as Amazon, Noon, and Namshi to reach out to our audiences. Today our e-commerce sales are giving close completion to our offline stores, and we are working towards its growth. We are continuously working with the objective of expanding the product portfolio and in the years to come we look forward to an even brighter future.