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Tuesday 16.01.2018 | Name days: Lida, Lidija

MADARA Cosmetics: business fraudster image haunts the minds of many SRS officials

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUEveryone should cooperate in order to create an environment in Latvia that motivates residents and businessmen to pay taxes and do their best to help develop the country economically. It is essential to help residents let go of the stereotype that all businessmen are fraudsters. This would only improve cooperation between Latvian entrepreneurs and the State Revenue Service, which is currently considered to be repressive and aggressive, said Director of MADARA Cosmetics Uldis Iltners and Board Chairwoman and author of products and brands Lotte Tisenkopfa-Iltnere in their interview to BNN.

What are the most important events to take place in your industry?

Demand for natural cosmetics continues to grow in Europe. For example, data of the German market suggest that turnover of traders who deal in natural cosmetics shows signs of growing. Unfortunately, this growth is made up of products manufactured by large cosmetics production enterprises. This also applies to products that are marketed as natural but nonetheless are synthetic and private labels (mostly in lower price category and with synthetic contents). This trend clearly shows that customers are prepared to buy safe and natural cosmetics. However, they lack the knowledge to be able to differentiate natural products from conventional ones. In spite of worldwide trends to choose ‘greener’ and more sustainable products, Europe’s cosmetics regulations, unlike its agriculture regulations, do not define words like natural, biological and ecological in terms of contents. The only way to differentiate natural cosmetics from conventional is the presence of special certificates (ECOCERT and Soil Association).

The trends that demonstrate the application of cosmetics around the world and customers habits often change manufacturers’ assortment of goods. The most notable trend of multi-functionality, which came from Asia, has created new categories of products. In response, MADARA produced DAILY DEFENCE – multi-functional protective and nourishing balsam that can be used for eight different purposes.

Beauty bloggers have started playing a major role in consumers’ choice of products. They can easily inform buyers about the latest trends and products a lot faster than traditional media and beauty magazines. It should be said that numbers of Latvian beauty bloggers continue to grow. In Finland, Denmark and Germany, many bloggers have developed strong opinions people listen to. In Finland, MADARA launched cooperation with a leading beauty and natural lifestyle blogger-journalist-book writer Noora Shingler when launching MADARA BY NOORA SHINGLER line of products there in 2013.

There are also some strong growth indexes in Asian markets and internet space in Europe. Both continue to grow progressively in comparison with the slightly stagnating retail trade. It is noted in some countries, but not all. There are some changes in Latvia, but nothing significant. Northern Europe balances between development and recession.

How would you describe the government’s economy policy in its attempts to improve the economic situation in the country?

We praise our country’s and European Union’s support for the Chemical industry expertise centre, which allows the increase of competitiveness through the introduction of new technologies and resulting production of innovative products on the market. We also praise the programme for investment products with high added value.

How is your business impacted by Latvia’s policy? What changes would you like to see in Latvia’s legislation? What contributes to your business? What complicates things for you?

I would like for us, together with the country, to create an environment in which resident and businessmen would be motivated to pay taxes and develop the country together. In order to achieve this, the government, businessmen and municipalities have to work more professionally, more effectively and more transparently so that businessmen and residents have no doubts about where their taxes are used. Corruption, unprofessionalism and ulterior motivation need to be pushed out of municipal and state governments. The government and residents have to believe – businessmen are not fraudsters. Businessmen sacrifice their energy to bring their vision to life, create jobs and make money. This is admirable and should be welcome by the state, because they are the ones who form the country’s future economic development. Businessmen should not be automatically branded as fraudsters who only wish to steal from the state. The belief that all businessmen are fraudsters haunts the minds of many SRS officials. This makes the work of SRS more repressive and aggressive. It is not focused on cooperation and common goal – welfare of the country.

What is your industry’s ‘trump card’? What is the ‘Achilles heel’?

Our trump card is the cooperation with Latvia’s science in the development of new technologies, which forms the foundation of our new products and their realization in the world. Our Achilles’ heel is the lack of actual communication between businessmen and scientists – often they do not meet at all. They do not understand each other; do not know what they can give each other. MADARA Cosmetics successfully cooperates with scientists of the University of Latvia and Riga Technical University.

Do you feel any lack of skilled workers?

Mostly, yes. Our workers are not trained in Latvia. We train them in the company. We also have people from France working for us.

What do you predict for the next five years? Will the economic situation in the industry improve, worsen or remain the same?

Improvements and sharp falls in the cosmetics markets depend on the development of countries and regions. Latvia’s situation will improve. The situation in Europe will either improve slightly or stagnate. The situation in Asia and USA may experience high economic growth.


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