A profound knowledge of international markets combined with a clear and unconventional vision on the future of our industry are fundamental to the philosophy of Gianantonio Negretti, President of NG Group Universal.
NG Group Universal started as a family business over 50 years ago, since then a lot has happened: they have pioneered the industry focusing on innovation and respecting diversity of ideas. Their mission appeals to emotional and philosophic values – well set out in the following interview with Gianantonio Negretti, President of the Group.
What is the situation in your country and in your export markets at this point of the COVID-19 health crisis?
“The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic caused a sudden change in the economic order of world production. We are all concerned about the impact that a second wave of infections could have on the economy in our sector and in our country, both already badly affected during the lockdown. A second wave of the virus could definitely affect all those companies that, in recent months, have succeeded in coping with the crisis. This overview of unpredictability forces us to put ourselves in a state of emergency, acting with extraordinary measures and actions to cope with any scenario that might arise. Getting back to normal will be a very slow process. The scenario we observe is full of questions and is dominated by fears that, only a few months ago, were unthinkable. A Beauty Report by Cosmetica Italy forecasts a decline in revenues of between 30% to 40% and the only channel of growth during lockdown was e-commerce (+37%). Looking at the entire supply chain, numerous stores and beauty salons have closed during the emergency and those who have reopened are in difficulty, consequently, leading to a very sharp reduction in the passage of consumers and subsequently, the purchases of products and services provided in the professional sector. The spread of Covid-19 in the world has led to a domino effect in various countries, with the consequential closure of their borders which has caused orders to be cancelled and requests to defer payments.
We are trying to be close to our clients in every way we can, providing as much support as possible. Although the American market, one of our main reference markets, is still on lockdown, our efforts and energies are directed at our clients to offer them concrete solutions to deal with the economic and social consequences caused by Covid-19. We are also increasing our distribution presence in all those markets that have only been slightly affected by the pandemic and its consequences in terms of import restrictions, such as Canada, Australia, Peru and some countries in Northern Europe.”
How do you see the future development of the crisis for the cosmetics industry?
“I believe in a new Renaissance of Beauty through Humanistic Cosmetics, starting from the rediscovery of ethical and solid principles that must be shown in the essence of the commercial product.
“The health emergency has made us deeply reflect on the importance of relationships. The “Network” within the knowledge and the experience of others is the essential basis to create quality and to give answers to consumers and to professionals. Enhancing one’s relational capital therefore, becomes an instrument of innovation. I have always supported research inspired by the study of how the consumer really lives and dreams their experience of Beauty and Wellness and I am convinced that creating innovative and satisfying cosmetic solutions are a necessary exploration and mutual exchange. I think there will also be a redefinition of value that goes beyond the simple cost. The pandemic has done nothing but make our ecological precariousness more real. Self-care has become less selfish, because it is also attentive to the people around us, animals and the environment. New opportunities are opening up for companies to make real innovation. Fewer ingredients of animal origin, more of plant origin. Among consumers there is a widespread fear of animal-borne diseases and the instinct of self-preservation leads to preference for products of plant origin. The new Business is in the true ethical meeting between supply and demand: a sustainable business in humanistic, economic and environmental terms. With the purpose to really put the person in the middle, we have created an Anthropo-Relational Research Laboratory, an Agora that sees the dialogue as a social, ethical and scientific gift. Doctors, scientists, academics meet there to find solutions to overcome the challenges of industry individualism and to create a network of cutting-edge cultural relations that nourishes the inspiration and direction of the Research and Development Laboratory.”
Do you have any products that can be dedicated specifically to the COVID-19 period?
“Each product created in our laboratories is the result of the connection of scientific, technological, humanistic, socio-anthropological knowledge and the collaboration with many Italian and international universities and our research groups around the world. While on one hand, with the spread of the pandemic the feeling of anxiety and fear has grown, on the other hand, people have learned to appreciate the pleasure of taking care of themselves through healthier lifestyles, that also includes cosmetics, with the request that not only are they to be “Clean and Safe” but they also respect the person, the environment, animals and the entire planet. We created a brand in this regard, the “PROUD PRODUCT”, that identifies the pride of the company that wants to favour the human being, starting from integrity, ethics, truth and its customers, which creates the chain of awareness and consciousness.
It is not the product that creates the man, but it is the man who creates the product! This is HUMANISTIC COSMETICS.
The strong demand for transparency, high quality, effectiveness, safety, guarantee and sustainability has pushed us to invest more in Research and Development, despite the current level of investment in research and development in Italy is still lower than that of other EU countries, as evidenced by the Country report for Italy 2020 of the European Commission. The result of a synergic collaboration between our research and development laboratory and some prestigious Italian universities, are some of the revolutionary innovations able to cope with this particular historical moment that has seen the Beauty market change abruptly.
During the acute stage of the infections in our city, one of the problems we encountered due to the constant use of hand sanitizing gels based on alcohol, has been the damage to the natural protective barrier of our skin and the consequent dryness of the skin, and in those with more sensitive skin, Xerosis has also caused cuts and fissures, increasing the risk of exposure to the contagion of bacteria and viruses. WELLFARE SERUM MANI was formulated in response to these issues. The WELLFARE Serum in fact, moisturizes and nourishes the skin like a serum, but at the same time thanks to the Active Oxygen in the formula, it plays an intense Antibacterial, Purifying and Sanitizing action that is equal to hand gels containing 70% alcohol that are currently on the market, but without containing alcohol at all.
The first and only Vegan Antibacterial and Halal Friendly Certified formula, as it is alcohol-free. A perfect solution to sanitize your hands while taking care of them, keeping them soft and hydrated even in situations of frequent use. Its Lemon Flowers fragrance leaves your hands with a pleasant fresh feel and with a touch Mediterranean essence.