Ivan Levy is a retail entrepreneur best known for establishing and building “The Body Shop” brand in Switzerland. Last week I organized a conference with him at ESERP business school in Mallorca.
Ivan successfully sold “the body shop” to COOP in June 2010 and continues to lead the business, having been appointed as CEO by COOP. Ivan was also the Body Shop International CEO, and has led a number of other retail operations and consultancy programmes… After this year he founded a little company called the Knowledge Bank and he also joined Earthchild as a Director/Mentor. This company uses organic cottons and they work with social responsibility.
Ivan was the Chairman of Magic Bus UK Charity (up to 2006), a Member of The Dean’s Global Advisory Board Council for Harvard University, and Executive Chairman o Q Garden Company (until 2006).
As well that, Mr. Levy is the kind of person who really loves the island of Mallorca and we had the opportunity lo learn from him. The following are some of his ideas of the conference:
* First of all the companies need to create a brand with honesty, empathy, generosity, humility, humor and daring… also some character and humanity.
* The companies need to have a true policy of Social Responsability
*We can earn money taking care of our planet.
* You have to return your benefits to the planet with actions, with good benefits, in reference to this he explains: “After all my career I feel the obligation to return to society all that I have received. I’m worried about how the world will be in the future and I feel that we can do something”.
*The last project with “dignitat i feina” is not to do charity but to create a good product and to create jobs making a good “turron” called “turro artesa d’ametla”.
He has helped the Franciscans from Artà, Dignitat i Feina associació, with the packaging of a new turron and also to increase their sales that are helping people who are in need. In addition to it, they have created some alternative products directed to people who don’t want to eat calories such as t-shirts, aprons to help to the Franciscans.
He shared with the students of ESERP and they enjoyed a lot.
Nowadays he is doing really interesting work in the heart of Mallorca in Son Naava, close to Montuïri with the only biodynamic olive grove in Mallorca.
To sum up the customers don’t expect perfect brands. They will embrace brands that are honest, show empathy, generosity, humility, humor and daring… also some character and humanity.