Corporacion Puig

Founded 1914
Barcelona, Spain

Long viewed as a prestigious company, the Barcelona-based Corporacion Puig is one of the few remaining family-owned perfume and fashion houses. Its various activities range from mass market products such as Aqua Brava and Quorum, to world-renowned brands such as Carolina Herrera, Paco Rabanne and Nina Ricci. With growth rates of 15% in the 1990s, Corporacion Puig regularly increased its market position, thanks to the development of prestigious branded products and remarkable geographic expansion.

Corporacion Puig was founded at the turn of the 20th century when Antonio Puig established a small perfumery company. Later he caused something of a social outcry when he became the first Spanish lipstick manufacturer. According to family legend, in making lipstick, Antonio Puig encountered problems with the packaging – so he acquired his supplier’s entire plant. This purchase launched a series of acquisitions that ultimately brought the company from a niche market player to a leading position in the fashion industry.

In July 1998, the second generation – Antonio Jr. and Mariano – officially retired from the operational business. The hand-over of control from the second to the third generation was staged as a formal event. Executive power passed to a new executive committee of three family members and one non-family manager.

Best Family Business practices from the Corporacion Puig

  • Each generation develops the business in its own entrepreneurial way.
  • The founding generation had a single leader; the second generation successfully grew the business as a harmonious team of four brothers with distinctive functional responsibilities.
  • The third generation continues the team leadership concept and adds a non family senior manager, further professionalizing the top level.
  • Maximizing formal and informal communication amongst the management team by using the latest technology (video telephone, video conferences, e-mail).
  • Creating a strong Advisory Board: four family members, four non family members, with the family willing to be overridden.
  • The succession planning process between the second and third generation lasted over six years.
  • The hand-over of control from the second to the third generation was staged as a formal event, with multiple stakeholders present.
  • Definition and publication of the business values of the family.
  • Prudent financial management to reduce dependence on outside finance and banks.
  • Early internationalization as a growth strategy within a well defined market niche.