Published on: 14-Nov-2019
It was an honour for Nanyang Business School (NBS) as we welcomed Mr François-Henry Bennahmias, CEO of Audemars Piguet, as Dean’s Distinguished Speaker to give a talk on “Fostering Human Talents to Create the Extraordinary” on 8 October 2019. Mr Bennahmias, a strong advocate for education, shared his leadership experiences and invaluable advice with more than 80 NBS students, alumni, faculty and staff.
At the event, Mr Bennahmias shared about Audemars Piguet’s journey over the past 144 years and how the company remained strong in the luxury watch sector, despite facing competition from smart watches and changes in consumer tastes and preferences.
“Being agile and adapting to the times is the key. We often ask ourselves what we can do differently and the ‘what if’s”, said Mr Bennahmias.
Another crucial factor in the growth of the company and brand is human connections – the clients and employees. Understanding that luxury watch purchases are made based on emotions, the company strives to give clients and employees a sense of belonging. “We create human connections through our ambassadors – our clients and employees,” shared Mr Bennahmias.
As a leader, Mr Bennahmias sees the importance of empowering his employees and promoting wellness and wellbeing. The company has a GenY project to allow young employees to express and experiment with their ideas, with the support of the company.
He also emphasised the need for a culture that is tolerant towards mistakes. “We should not allow mistakes to crush people. Instead, we encourage our employees to learn from their mistakes and we are always willing to help them improve,” said Mr Bennahmias.
Seeing himself as an “orchestra leader”, Mr Bennahmias added that his biggest achievement over his eight years of leadership is “to bring people together to play good music”.
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