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Date of publication: Oct 7, 2019

Gaetane Baudry

General Manager Armani Beauty
L’Oreal Japan
www.loreal.com

Hometown: Paris

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 3 (as of October 2019)

Gaetane Baudry
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I have several “first times” in Japan. I actually briefly relocated here when I was just a toddler, accompanying my parents for a mission in Osaka; the impactful memories I have are earthquakes shaking my bedroom lamp, and the holes I was regularly making in the rice paper walls of our home! More than 30 years later, back to Japan, I am rediscovering this amazing country.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

My motto is “Enjoy.” It is simple, yet it truly defines the way I live, finding interest in what I do, enjoying the people I am with, and appreciating what life is giving. My positivity, drive and curiosity come from this simple filter. At work, my colleagues systematically notice my laugh. Enjoying the moment allows me to be authentic and upbeat — a great way to reach full efficiency in what I do.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

What I am most proud of is my dedicated contribution on different levels:
First, to all my team members, accompanying them to grow, and still coaching many of them today.
Secondly, to the brands I worked on, leading innovation and strategic directions.
Finally, to the customers engaging with the brand I am working for — I always appreciate reading positive customer reviews on the services or products we so passionately worked on!

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

In terms of management, adjusting my skills to gain legitimacy, while keeping my authenticity as a manager (and Mediterranean at heart!) is important to me.
Business-wise, my mission is to develop Armani Beauty sustainably in a highly competitive beauty market. The brand has true legitimacy in Japan, thanks to Mr. Armani’s passion for the Far East, as well as the beautiful quality of its products and services.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

My husband regularly reminds me, “You will not change Japan — Japan will change you.”
While I admit the process can sometimes be a little painful, I think it is important to develop in observation, flexibility and patience for things to happen. Not imposing your ways, but rather showing generosity and efforts to adapt, is an attitude that is appreciated and valued in Japan.
But this does not mean we should try to become what we are not. I think it is a positive thing to keep our specifications as foreigners. Being agile in showing and considering some different points of views or ways of working can be enriching for both Japanese locals and expatriates, as long as it is done with respect and goodwill.
I am still very far from fully understanding such a complex culture, but I try every day and smile on the mistakes I can still make.

Last updated: Oct 7, 2019