Dario Ferrari is the President and Founder of “Intercos Spa”, the world leading supplier and strategic innovation partner to the cosmetics and skincare industry, with research centers, production sites and marketing offices in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Born in Milan, Dario Ferrari carried out engineering studies. In 1972, he began producing and marketing cosmetic products, establishing the company “B.B.C. S.r.l”. Faced with a growing demand for products in the branded cosmetic industry, the Group began producing cosmetics for third parties, and evolve into the “Intercos Spa”. During the following years, the Intercos Group began evolving from a manufacturing company operating on behalf of third parties, into a strategic partner of key clients of the branded cosmetics industry. From a traditional subcontractor, it evolved into an operator specialised in the creation, development and production of cosmetics products. During these same years, the business also grew geographically, successfully penetrating markets that had previously been unexplored, thanks to original, innovative technology products. Season after season, Intercos interprets beauty, creating lines of products from brands in every corner of the globe. Dario Ferrari has been included, by Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) sector magazine, as among the top 50 most influential people in the world of beauty internationally. His passions are car racing, art and sailing.
What is your motto?
“Memento audere semper” (“remember to always dare”, a latin motto created in 1910 by the italian poet and patriot Gabriele D’Annunzio). More than my motto, I want to share my own way of thinking that is “I believe in change”. Change is essential for your growth and development. Without change, you are assured of staying just the way you are and doing things just the way you have always done them. Instead it’s really important to navigate change, to look ahead and to anticipate the future. To stand out you have to be willing to constantly change and to do things differently.
What are three words to describe yourself?
–An individual with strong people skills. Since I embrace change, I had to developed interpersonal skills. It’s quite challenging to manage your team through change. Most people resist change, they like routine and predictability. Change creates stress and tension in an organization. Change is painful. I’ve recently read a book, on business strategy, and I’ve been so impressed with the author comparing “the pain of change”, with “the pain of undergoing an operation surgery without anesthesia”! However, all growth depends upon change. Good leaders are able to embrace change and know to lead their team members well. I’ve been running this company for forty seven years and I wouldn’t have achieved any result without constant change. I’ve put myself out there and I’ve risked.
What is the best part about your job?
To innovate successfully. Lots of business leaders recognise the need to innovate, but too many focus on the wrong things and fail. Intercos is all about innovation and we are very good at it! I’ve disrupted the cosmetic industry by building the first company ever that was offering complete, customized services. If you wanted to manufacture cosmetics before Intercos was built, you had to own your own factory. I had this vision of creating a cutting-edge service that was providing clients with the ideal cosmetic range, freeing them from having to fabricate it.
What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done – your greates challenge?
I’ve faced different challenges while I was growing my business but I consider them as routine. As an entrepreneur, I constantly make decision and solve problems. I cannot think of anything in particular that has been “the greatest challenge”. However, generally speaking, I think that people’s main problem is the inability to make decisions. Many people agonize over decisions; they are fearful of making mistakes hoping the change will work itself out. However, if you don’t make decisions, you won’t move forward. A bad decision is better than no decision at all. It is fundamental to move forward quickly.
How to you define success?
Success is always what will be happening tomorrow. The moment you start to feel successful, is the moment you fail. Success is always tomorrow.
What are you working on now that you are excited about?
I’m looking forward to hand over the reins of my business to the new generations of leaders: my children.
What are you grateful for?
I’m grateful for having had the chance to enjoy life and have fun for a long period of time before settling down around the age of 36-37! I’ve been into car racing and polo for many years…I’ve felt like no one was believing in me. At a ceratin point of my life I decided to focus and work hard and I proved them wrong!
What is your bad day backup plan?
I play chess, it brings the mind to temporary halts.
What advice would you give someone with a broken heart?
I’m lucky, I’ve never been through a heartbreak. However, I would suggest… to find someone else!
What gives you goose bump?
Racing cars. Facing danger -and facing fears- gives me goose bump.
What is a rule that is made to be broken?
How did you come up with this question?! If it’s a rule, by definition, it doesn’t have to be broken…maybe there is, but I don’t have an answer!
What woman has inspired you the most and why?
My mother. She has been my inspiration: she was a chemist and the founder of a successful Swiss skin care company. She is the one who introduced me the cosmetic industry. However, the relationship with her has always been difficult.
PERSONAL HEALTHY LONGEVITY PROGRAM
- EXERCISE: I travel extensively and I don’t work out during my travels. However, when I am in Milan, I work out every day, for 1 hour and a half, with a personal trainer. I do resistance training through weights, cardiovascular exercise and pilates.
- MENTAL EXERCISE: all day long, through my job.
- DAILY SUPPLEMENTS: omega 3 and anti-cholesterol.
- DIETARY PROTOCOL: Mediterranean diet, rich in fish and poor in meat. I have a personal nutritionist who is in charge of my diet.
- SLEEP: 7 hours, but I can also sleep longer.
- RELAXATION AND STRESS RELIEF: I play chess.
- BEST HABIT TO CULTIVATE: I’m not patient and I think few people are. However, we should all learn how to become more patient, especially with others. People want to be fully listened to. They don’t necessarily need answers, action or problem-solving; the process of being heard is highly validating and trust-building and can often lead to people working things out for themselves.
- PERSONAL SECRET: Energy and passion. You can be successful in any field if you approach it with energy and passion!