Since 1991, Andy Gatesy has channelled his vast experience and knowledge of the cosmetic packaging business to evolve the Toly Group into a world-leading supplier with manufacturing plants in Europe and Asia. It now boasts an international network of sales offices and global partnerships, as well as a diversified product portfolio.
“I took over as Chairman and CEO when my father died, so I have been running this business for more than 30 years – and the world has changed in that time,” Andy attests. “We have increased from around €6 million to over €100 million in sales and continue to be ambitious with a strong growth plan.”
Andy explains that Toly is disrupting the world of beauty packaging by evolving from a purely industrial player to become a global beauty development platform. “We want Toly to be the Uber of the beauty industry, connecting our customers to a range of different services in an ecosystem of internal capabilities and external partners,” he says. “In this journey, we need different skills and resources – and the people around you need to grow with the company and take it to the next level.”
As CEO, he goes on, he must both embrace the future and represent the past. “For me, the key to success is to keep learning and evolving as a leader. Staying in this leading role for so many years gives me the advantage of knowing the history and understanding where we came from, yes. But I also know I must have a sponge between my ears instead of a rock, so I can keep reinventing the business model and stay relevant and ahead of our competitors. To continue in the role, I must not become complacent but remain humble, determined and committed to a better future.”
Toly’s core values also play a key role in this equation – as does nurturing its people to become the leaders of tomorrow. “As a privately owned business, we have a long-term vision built around investing in people, customers and creativity,” Andy says. “True leaders should be measured by the talent they build and the legacy they leave behind. If we don’t take the time to develop the next set of leaders, we will leave the company in a worse place. We must mentor and coach the next generation to succeed us. Everybody has their own destiny, but not everybody has the courage to follow it. At Toly we will because we know the future is now.”
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