The two companies will work closely together in the future when it comes to raw materials. “We’ve had perfumers from both companies analyze the portfolio,” Gabriel Ramos informs. Like Yann Mabille, he is responsible for sales, but in Asia and the Middle East, which are the areas his colleague does not cover. They and other staff form the team that should bring the former competitors closer together. “When it comes to purchasing, we’ll rely on the same raw material suppliers wherever possible. At the same time, we’ll allow the employees to use the specialties they need for their compositions,” Gabriel Ramos says.
SFA Romani primarily served niche markets that prioritize quality and creativity, with fine fragrances accounting for 80 % of its sales. “We were never willing to compromise,” says Yann Mabille, describing their approach. To reach customers, the company developed a sales network in 80 countries around the world. So even though it was a comparably small company, it began appearing at international trade shows early on. Groupe Néroli, on the other hand, specialized in larger volumes. What set the company apart were its very short reaction times to customer requests. “We can also learn a lot in terms of the work done in the labs,” Yann Mabille says.
In the future, those involved plan to take advantage of these differences in their collaboration. “Now we can supply customers of all sizes, from small customers to the world’s largest groups, with quantities ranging from few kilograms of a perfume to several tons,” Gabriel Ramos explains. It goes without saying that it is primarily the larger projects that are responsible for profitable growth, but even smaller, innovative ideas can achieve great things, as both managers are quick to point out.
Like the new partners, Symrise will also benefit from the acquisition. The connection to the cradle of perfumery in Grasse with the corresponding expertise, the many raw materials and access to fragrance compositions and customers worldwide all fit in well with the Group’s strategy, which is a diverse portfolio of local, regional and global customers around the world. “At the same time, Symrise is also reinforcing the trust that we’ve developed here in France,” Yann Mabille says. As members of the large Group, the two former competitors now have new opportunities, he comments. “For example, we benefit from the size of Symrise which provides us with better access to suppliers.”
In addition to the raw materials produced by Symrise, SFA Néroli employees can also directly access captives which are the patented components that make perfume compositions unique. “This also means we have an increased level of diversity and it secures our supply, because our close connection to Symrise means we will always have access to raw materials,” Yann Mabille says. The efficiency of the new parent company will also have a positive impact. “Being a part of Symrise comes with prestige,” he explains. “Customers are very happy about that. At the same time, we all work together to increase diversity and plurality in the Group. That can only nurture our creativity.”