A lifetime of international travel combined with creativity and business acumen in Dan Bethelmy-Rada’s tenure with L’Oréal, and the young professional has spent over fifteen years developing products and expanding the global brand. In 2015, Bethelmy-Rada was appointed Global Brand President of Matrix and Biolage for the L’Oréal Professional Products Division, one of the youngest to ever hold such a prestigious title in the company’s history at only 36 years old. A true visionary in the field, Bethelmy-Rada defined a unique approach to brand marketing and digital strategy that has helped lead the world’s largest cosmetics company to global acclaim for over a decade; and he remains a constant source of creativity, dedication, and leadership for his teams around the world.
An advocate for inclusivity in the workplace, Dan Bethelmy-Rada is a member of OUT @ L’Oréal, leading the organization in celebrating diversity and championing the LBGTQ+ community; working in missions that expand entrepreneurial education and opportunities in the beauty industry around the world.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
From a really young age, my strengths and hobbies and passions led me to my chosen career. I grew up all around the world – I was born in Valencia, Venezuela, then moved with my family to the U.S. when I was five, to Oklahoma, and then D.C. Both of my parents were native-Venezuelan university professors and encouraged travel and continued education. When I was 16, I enrolled in a student exchange program through the American Field Service that genuinely changed my life. Through AFS, I gained credits through participating Venezuelan charities, then chose to study abroad in France. After high school, I stayed in Paris, studying Foreign Applied Languages and Economics at Paris XIII University, then moved to the Paris I Sorbonne Pantheon to study International Business. I later earned my Master’s in International Business from ESSEC Business School.
My parents always loved to travel and encouraged global studies. The excitement of new cultures and social settings really inspired me to pursue International Business, and I believe that my international background laid the foundation for my career path. From a young age, I was also really drawn to creative outlets – especially photography – and my work now is a combination of a creative field met with international business relations.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I make it a point to never be mediocre – everything I do will reflect the very best I can offer, as anything with my name on reflects my work, my abilities, and my values. I hold this expectation for any members on my team as well, and with this expectation in place as the standard, we push ourselves to reach higher and think bigger on every single project.
I think another step toward success lies in communication among all involved and constant benchmarking – setting our goals but checking in periodically along the way to make sure we’re all on the right track. If we keep communication flowing through all stages of a project, we can successfully create, research, develop, implement, market, brand and launch new products to the best of our abilities!
Personally, a huge factor in my success is my ability to set and maintain an orderly list and schedule of everything I want and need to do for every single day. Keeping a strict schedule and prioritizing its objectives keeps my head clear and lays the groundwork for daily success.
I also give great importance to listening and looking at others. An idea, an insight, can come from so many places, which is why I make it a point to meet new and different people.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
In 2015, I was named as Global Brand President of Matrix and Biolage for the L’Oréal Professional Products Division and am one of the youngest in the company to ever hold this title. It’s a tremendous honor and goes to show that hard work is always rewarded in time.
This has been the most exciting and challenging role of my career. Having a sense of what the goals are for our products is incredibly important, and my brands and division are all about helping others achieve their personal goals and giving them the skills to make their clients happy, ultimately leading to successful businesses.
At Matrix, we put a lot of effort in implementing our brand mission: to build and unite the largest and best educated global community of hairstylists, fueled by artistic inspiration, uncomplicated products, and services for all.
Where ever you are in the world, my team and I work hard to educate people on the beautiful craft of being a hairstylist. We work hard to inspire people with looks and the possibility of what GREAT could be. With our techniques and products, we strive to make the hairdresser’s life easier.
Our goal is to be the most diverse brand on the planet, not only concerning race but also body type, gender, age, sexual orientation, etc. We want to help build an inclusive world where everyone feels represented.
At Biolage, on top of everything we are doing for hairstylists, just like at Matrix, we are participating in building a sustainable world. In the past five years, we have reimagined all of our products to be more sustainable and cleaner for the environment. Our partnerships with 1% for the Planet and Conservation International show this.
What does the future hold for your industry?
For the beauty industry as a whole, we get to work on the frontlines of the global pulse – we are right at the heart of what’s current, new, now. The future for the industry holds new trends, exciting creativity, and infinite possibilities. We’ve seen the global market change just in the last decade with the onslaught of social media and its impact in developing brand strategy and changing the marketing landscape entirely. I’m excited to see how social media evolves as a go-to-market strategy as we continue to find new ways to employ these platforms for modern audiences, and especially excited to watch these platforms grow in their ability to make smart segmenting decisions that benefit both the buyer and the seller.
The professional beauty industry is and will remain, a very dynamic place because the perception of beauty is always changing. Our challenge is how to help stylists be the best, know the best, and give the best to their clients.
What does the future hold for L’Oréal? What are you most excited about?
For L’Oréal specifically, the future is here – the most significant challenge from consumers was the demand to move toward natural product offerings as savvy consumers expect options for natural and sustainable products that have a minimal environmental impact. Matrix has answered these calls with the formulation of R.A.W – our new line with a range of products that offer truly outstanding environmental credentials in every area – from formulation to manufacturing methods and packaging; along with natural, effective, and biodegradable ingredients, with no silicone, sulfates, or parabens. In conjunction with the new product line, we’ve taken the R.A.W. mission outside of L’Oréal and into salons across the country. We worked with stylists and hairdressers in hundreds of American salons on sustainable routines, monitoring water and product usage, and our @Biolage social accounts are packed with tips and tricks on employing easy sustainability methods into our daily lives.
I’m excited to be a part of an international team that is working tirelessly to uphold and further the legacy of the world’s greatest cosmetics company. Together, we continue to push the limits of what is possible from one product to another, building this brand that leads the industry. That is exciting and makes it a real thrill to get to come to work every day and be a part of a bigger picture.