Why Advancing Leaders Never Settle, Learn From Ferhat

You have met these leaders already. The curious ones. The restless ones. The leaders that never seem to settle down and enjoy what they have accomplished for long before they are back on the discovery track for their next big thing. The never-settling leaders seem to possess a continuous drive, which fuels them for their pursuit — like the one Ferhat, Consumer Products Division Turkey Make-up Director has.

Until L’Oréal the beauty industry to Ferhat was all lipsticks and mascaras, less innovation, creativity and amazing people. On joining L’Oréal Ferhat figured he was in just the right place, a place where he could challenge himself to be the best version of himself he could be. Follow Ferhat’s story, as he achieves goals that without his drive and the support of the amazing teams may not have been possible.

Give me an outlandish fact about yourself that others might not know?

I used to play the guitar in a death metal band. Whenever I listen to our records, I always ask myself the same question: Why?!. It is not that I do not like that kind of music, but to be honest we were so, so bad :D

Tell us more about your journey at L’Oréal?

With a background in some giant FMCG companies, I started my career in L’Oréal Consumer Division as Trade Category Manager. I was looking for a new challenge and to me L’Oréal was a place where I knew I would be challenged, while working tirelessly to evolve and improve year on year.

A year after joining L’Oréal, I started a new role, building the Revenue Management department from scratch. There a few projects that I am proud of during my career in L’Oréal but I think building revenue growth management in Turkey, having fantastic results for 2 consecutive years and cooperating with other countries to deploy the initiative in other markets is something that I really cherish.

Not long after I became Trade Marketing & Revenue Management Head in Consumer Division. Eventually, I managed Drugstore and E-commerce channels and recently I got promoted to Consumer Products Division Turkey Make-up Director.

How did you feel when your first heard about your new role as Make-up Director?

With ten plus years experience in Category Management and Sales, I was quite confident in my strong sales muscles. However, keeping in mind that I had not used any makeup products myself, it was the biggest challenge in my career for sure - one that made me step out of my comfort zone. I started the new role as a beginner on the marketing side but experienced in commercial and category management.

What I love most about L’Oréal is that you get to learn, improve and evolve continuously. Your background is never seen as a limitation, but an advantage — a fresh view that can come up with something different & innovative.

So how was your transition from sales to a Make-Up Director?

Whilst I was familiar with the executional part of the makeup category, marketing was completely new to me. With a great team behind me acting as a fountain of knowledge, I was loaded with product information and marketing expertise. We have a great team dynamic that enables us to learn from each other, have fun together and build a strong & talented L’Oréal family. This made my transition all the more smooth!

Today, while I may not be wearing any lipstick or mascara, I can easily say that I feel confident talking about trends, colors and textures. I have even started making comments and give some tips to my friends. Now they are even used to seeing some color swatches on my arm when I join them after work :)

What’s that thing that keeps you energized in your current job?

First of all, we have 36 iconic brands. The heritage of L’Oréal Paris, endless dynamism of Maybelline New York and last but not least, the irresistible energy of the colour powerhouse that is NYX keep me excited every day.

“It’s an honor and privilege to have a positive effect on men and women globally. Beauty products allow you to be the best version of you. It’s about expressing yourself allowing you to feel like yourself. It’s something to be celebrated.”

On top of that, the make-up category is aggressively growing in Turkey. Consumers are welcoming new brands and retail concepts, highly influenced by international and local vloggers/youtubers. In this environment, news about new products or brand challengers spreads like wildfire. That’s why, as leader of the category, we work hard to offer first class products and services, we’re constantly on the look out for the next great thing in terms of global trends, concepts, product ideas and campaigns. Innovation is key!

33 years old and a member of Management Committee… Tell us more!

There are certain decisions in my life that I believe to be game changers, joining L’Oréal is definitely one of these decisions. Unlike many other corporate giants, L’Oréal really believes in people’s potential. Taboos regarding your diverse professional background, age, gender, language and location simply do not exist. Having a seat in the Management Committee at just 33 has been a great experience for me. Concrete proof that L’Oréal is capable of trusting and empowering young leaders.

We all have times that we criticize the decisions taken by the Management Committees. But being part of this team has helped me to learn about the priorities of other teams, exploring many different point of views that have to be taken into consideration. This experience has made me understand the complexity of the collective decision taking. Criticizing during the coffee breaks is easy but now I am much more careful while talking about collective decisions :D Being part of the Management Committee is full of business and people related learnings and I really enjoy being a part of the committee with inspiring leaders around.

If Ferhat’s story has inspired you to envision yourself as an Advancing Leader, pursuing a purpose and experiencing even more meaning in what you do for a living, then check out our careers site. Here you’ll find everything careers oriented from jobs available to a Coaching Centre where we give you some tips on getting your foot in the door!

If you’re an impact seeking inventor, a driver of disruption, join us to lead the Beauty innovation to the next level www.careers.loreal.com

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