Juan Manuel Perán Bazán has been Executive Chairman of the Pikolinos Group since June 2016, taking over from his father, Juan Perán, who led the company since it was founded in 1984. The second child of Juan Perán and Rosario Bazán, from a young age Juan Manuel showed an interest in business in particular and for the footwear industry in general. His creative and cosmopolitan spirit soon led him to pack his bags and train at footwear and commercial schools in Germany and Italy, also making the most of one of his other interests, languages. He speaks fluent English, German and Italian, something that has helped him a great deal in business as Pikolinos operates in over 60 countries and exports 80% of its production. After completing his training and working with creative teams at footwear firms in Italy, Juan Manuel joined Pikolinos and moved directly to the Design department. There, in charge of his own team, he was responsible for renewing the ladies’ and gents’ collection for the firm. His mentality of “there is always another way of doing things” enabled him to redefine all the processes and create work flows to make these collections more dynamic.
Juan Manuel Perán represents creativity, organisation, efficiency, the simplicity of things, but also consistency. It was that consistency at work, and his in-depth knowledge of every company process that led him to become Executive Deputy Chairman of Pikolinos Group and then, in 2016, to take over as Chairman, alongside his elder sister, Rosana Perán, Deputy Chairman and head of the financial department.
How important is the brand in the footwear sector?
It is definitely a fundamental part. In the footwear industry brand is an umbrella of support for customers and consumers, a guarantee of quality, service, and know-how. We must work towards having as consistent a sector as possible and that is why we need brands of international prestige. This is our best possible passport to overseas markets.
The Pikolinos values are constancy, creativity, naturalness, excellence and trust. How do you work to link these values to your brand?
At all our points of contact with customers. From the product, stores, to social media, websites, catalogues… We should be, and we try to be, consistent with our values. We show them and defend them in the knowledge that it is precisely these values that have brought us to where we are today.
You have opted for a traditional finish for your products as well as quality leather. Does this benefit you in terms of competition?
We believe it does, yes. The finish of our leather has always been the true star of our collections. It is our calling card to the world and we have always taken good care of it. Our collections have their own personality based on leather that we treat ourselves, at our own factory, in order to control the process and end quality at all times.
What are your goals for internationalisation?
We want to consolidate ourselves in our mature markets, mainly in Europe, the US and China. And also to continue our route into emerging markets where we have a lot to do; a challenge that we face with enthusiasm and great optimism. In this international drive, without a doubt, the development of our own store model plays a key role. Our flagship stores overseas in Paris, Kobe, Rome, Florence, Bruges and Brussels have paved the way for this.
What are the challenges facing the company over the next five years?
We want to grow as a brand. We want to do this in a sustainable way, with solid foundations that will help us to face the challenges that we set ourselves. Developing our product lines, developing our retail chain, facing entry into new markets and remaining constant in our drive with regard to the online sector. I think these are the foundations on which we need to continue building.
How important is the online sales channel for Pikolinos? What percentage does it contribute to the total sales of the brand?
It is on the increase. It is a window to the world. The best shop window one can have. Open 24 hours, where you can say what you are, however you want to say it. We live in a thrilling world, the digital world, and we are fully immersed in it. We hope to reap the benefits, not only in terms of turnover, but even more so in terms of brand recognition.