L'Oréal technology incubator's Guive Balooch on marrying beauty and tech
Though a 15-year-veteran in beauty, Guive Balooch, head of L'Oréal's technology incubator, considers his outsider-turned-insider perspective a skill. Balooch started his professional career as an instructor at the University of California, Berkeley before working in pharmaceuticals.
"I spent almost half of my life really focused on academia and science," he said on the most recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. "I fell upon this job in L'Oréal, because I was moving to Chicago for family reasons .. I didn't know anything about the company. I will say that I did like fashion and beauty, in general, even before joining L'Oreal, but I didn't really know much. I discovered this incredible industry ... I feel like if I didn't grow up in an academic family that I probably would have ended up being a marketer, because I really like business and product and consumers. At the same time, I feel a bit lucky because I have this fundamental science background, and I used my experience of being at L'Oréal almost 15 years to learn the marketing and the consumer part."
In the early to mid 2000's L'Oréal's technology and digital ambitions were just getting started. Balooch found his footing in the now timely skin and hair sectors, but he knew technology had the power to transform the beauty industry, even back then. "The idea that we've have had from day one on my team has been: How can we really elevate the beauty experience for people around the world by using tech?"