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After graduating from high school in his native Hamburg, Germany, Carsten Fischer entered an apprenticeship program with hair products company Hans Schwartzkopf in 1979. Several years later, he enrolled at Hamburg University of Economics and Politics, attending classes during the day and working nights. Fischer graduated in 1989, and accepted a scholarship to study in Japan. Over the next several years, he moved between Japan and Germany. In 2003, he was executive vice president of America/Asia Pacific and global marketing for Wella in Germany. That same year, Procter & Gamble bought Wella. In 2004, Fischer became president of P&G’s professional care division. He joined Shiseido in 2006 and took the helm of its international business in 2007, as corporate senior executive officer.
Carsten Fischer’s Fast Track: 5 Key Points
The East Rises: Although Western ideals of beauty have historically predominated, the influence of the East is becoming much more pronounced.
Follow the Middle Class: The middle class is booming, not just in China, but in Indonesia, Malaysia and India. Their rise will help fuel growth.
Connect Online and Offline: While an online component is key, the offline retail experience must provide the emotional context for the brand.
Cross-Cultural Revolution: By working within the Japanese consensus culture but staying true to his direct nature, Fischer has been able to gain the trust of colleagues around the world.
Ear to the Ground: Don’t wait for people to come to you. Walk around the office if you really want to know what’s going on.