Tuesday 20 October 2015

4 Inspiring Insights from Antonio Belloni, N°2 at LVMH

Article by Lucia Casagranda
International Student Ambassador
MSc in Management – Grande Ecole

One of the qualities that I admire the most of leaders is their ability to inspire people. Antonio Belloni, General Managing Director at Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, is certainly a leader who demonstrates this feature. His fascinating speech on LVMH, on the luxury business and on today’s globalized world engaged more than 400 ESSEC students who were attending the conference on October 7th, 2015 at ESSEC.

L-R: Sonia Prokopec, Antonio Belloni and Jean-Michel Blanquer
Photo courtesy of LVMH on LinkedIn

Here you are 4 inspirational insights that the Italian businessman gave to ESSEC students on that occasion.

#1: “Strategy is the way you surf the wave”
Whether you want to work in the luxury or in the aerospace industry, you will always have to face a dynamic, fast-changing environment. The road is not linear and strategy, as a consequence, does not follow train tracks. Strategy is rather the way you surf. While surfing, you can see your final objective: the shore. However, you do not know exactly how you will arrive there, as you constantly have to adapt to an environment that keeps changing. You just have to try to stay on the surfboard, and while doing it “always try to look elegant” in order to out-compete the others.

#2: “Creativity is the fuel of growth” 
Albert Einstein once said: “Logic takes you from A to B. Imagination takes you everywhere”. Belloni agrees with this view while claiming that creativity is the fuel of growth. Although creativity has become a buzzword nowadays - have you ever heard the saying “think outside of the box”? – it is important to follow your ideas and imagination while approaching problems. By doing this, you would have the chance to step into a brand new world of opportunities.

#3: “Well is not enough”
Belloni provided a straightforward answer to the question “How do you win in luxury?” and that was “by being exceptional”. Exceptional product, image and experience are the keys to succeed in luxury. However, being an exceptional student, learner and sharer is what will make you win in life. You should always try to reach out the best of you as “well is not enough”.

#4: “Be obsessed, be obsessed, be obsessed”
The Italian businessman argued that at LVMH individuals are the ones who make the difference and underlined that what leaded them to their position in the firm was their obsession with the world of luxury. Of course, this thought applies to all the other industries too and the suggestion that he gave to students was clear and direct: “There are three elements that will bring you wherever you want. The first is being obsessed. The second is being obsessed. The third is being obsessed.”

Italian businessman Antonio Belloni is General Managing Director at LVMH, the largest luxury goods company in the world. Previously, he was the Chairman of Procter&Gamble from 1999 to 2001.

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