Fabrizio Freda, president and CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies, discussed the challenges of leading a global cosmetics brand during an event hosted by the Georgetown Retail & Luxury Association (GRLA) and the Global Business Initiative (GBI) at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business on April 8.

Freda, who joined The Estée Lauder Companies in 2008 after a 20-year career at Procter & Gamble, discussed how a brand born in the 1940s can still be appealing to newer generations of beauty products consumers.

“A traditional, historical 70-year-old brand can keep playing the game through creativity and technology,” he said.

Freda mentioned how the company pays attention to the specificities of every international market.

“We analyze every population and market of the world carefully,” he said. “For instance, in skincare, we believe that once we can meet the demands of our Japanese consumers, we are better equipped for addressing the needs of other markets in that segment.”

He also discussed the changes in the beauty industry, especially with the growth of the middle class and tourism worldwide.

“The world of travel has changed,” said Freda. “Many more people go abroad and spend more time in airports, which also has revolutionized the beauty industry through increased sales in travel retail.”

Finally, Freda shared some words of wisdom with students.

“You are the future business leaders of the world,” he said. “Look for the fastest-growing global opportunities and address them with a strategic vision and focused planning.”

During the event, representatives from Estée Lauder announced Ratna Adhikari (BSBA’20) as the undergraduate student who obtained an internship in the company’s headquarters in New York this summer.