The first thing you ask yourself when you meet Raphael le Masne de Chermont, is how a Frenchman ended up heading Shanghai Tang, an iconic chinese brand.
First of all, his name proves to be a challenge for any native Chinese speaker. But I soon learnt fast enough that despite his thick french accent, Le Masne is as qualified as they come in the luxury brand industry.
Having worked with Richemont, the Swiss luxury goods company for many years, Le Masne is very clear about where he wants to take the Shanghai Tang brand. You can tell he is extremely passionate about his job, going to great lengths to explain his vision in detail.
After meeting Le Masne, you would agree with me he comes across as being more Chinese than a Chinese. He's definitely the first Frenchman we've had on the show, wearing a mandarin collar and talking about Feng Shui.
Catch Managing Asia on CNBC this weekend. First broadcast: Friday @ 6.30pm HK/SIN
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