QX: After leading the management of Villeroy & Boch successfully you are now the Country Manager of Aesop Germany. How did you change your view about the difference of the business sector?
Ralph: Although the two areas are not really alike, the major difference lies in the attitude and approach. At V&B I was working in a very conservative and mature environment with many limitations and restrictions, at Aesop simply anything seems possible. Our main values are intelligence, respect and out of the box creativity and we really live that. Finally I believe, that we (in the retail industry) are spending far too much time and effort to think about mechanisms of sectors, developments, threats and just loose sight of the most important factor: customers and their needs.
QX: Aesop is one of the leading sustainable companies in the world. Is Green Business the essential key factor for success nowadays?
Ralph: This is a really interesting question to ask. We like to describe ourselves as a thinking peoples’ brand and we are trying to be as sustainable as possible because we truly and honestly believe that this is the only way to do business – we are driven by our conscience there. There fore we do not act like this due to extrinsic factors but because of an intrinsic motivation. The only success factors that we believe in are quality, authenticity and passion.
QX: In Business decisions which adjective describes you most - being sustainable or spontaene?
Ralph: Neither nor, authentic and attentive are the best adjectives here.
QX: Since December 2014 Aesop is one of our Lifestyle Partners at the QX-Manor. The feedback from our manor residents using your products has been tremendous so far.
Ralph: Great! We always let the product speak for itself - just come together, wash your hands. :-)
QX: You are passionate about singing. Is there a favorite artist you would like to sing with on a stage?
Ralph: There are quite a number of people I would like to sing with – always depending on the mood I am in. Sarah Cracknell from Saint Etienne for example, the wonderful Alison Moyet or Yma Sumac……
QX: What is your vanity?
Ralph: Shoes, I would say. In my teens my dad used to call me Imelda….