We caught up with Global Executive MBA Alumna Lucyanna Barbosa from the class of 2015 to find out how she has developed her purpose since graduation. Lucyanna is currently the Co-Founder & CEO of Bicosome, which is a start-up company that develops and commercialises advanced skin care technologies using a proprietary platform. In the following interview, she tells us about changing the world through innovation and responsible leadership.
What is your purpose in life and how is it linked to your business here at Bicosome?
I have been passionate about science and leading a healthy natural lifestyle since I was young and at university I was always involved with different projects. I think my purpose is related to the use my scientific knowledge to create solutions and products that really improve people’s quality of life.
What is your commitment to contributing to a better world with your business project?
I think that the great advantage of our company is that we have managed to build a business around advanced technology, which also respects the environment, making it a sustainable project from the beginning. This is one of our greatest achievements to date and it shows our commitment to keep working in different ways and in different areas.
Could you explain your business project?
Our company was founded in Barcelona at the Institute of Advanced Chemistry. Our team, made up of four female research scientists, works with different companies in the area of dermatology and skincare. We developed technology that could interact with the skin and behave like skin components in a very natural way in order to deliver the product. This technology is sustainable as it is made of natural products which mimic the organelles of the skin and we use it to make skin products for different companies.
What need did you detect to be able to launch this business?
Our skin is our biggest organ but it also has the function of acting as a very tough barrier to stop anything entering our body. When we use a skin product and we think it does not work, it is because your skin is performing its barrier function. There is a lot of difficulty in the formulation of skin products, because they cannot penetrate this barrier. As a result, aggressive chemicals are incorporated into the product to make it work but this also causes damage to the skin. The idea behind our technology was to start to understand how the biology of the skin works, how transport occurs inside the skin cells and mimic this process in a very natural way.
What sparked your interest in this field?
It is a passion that comes naturally. I am passionate about science and the skin because it is amazing how our own nature works to protect us and to provide us with everything we need.
How did the GEMBA at EADA help you to develop this business project?
My background is in research. At the beginning, when we came up with this technology, we knew that it could be useful for people, but we didn’t know how to move forward. When I started the GEMBA, my goal was to obtain knowledge about a company, how to run it and to have decision-making criteria. I gained this knowledge, but I always say that EADA gave me much more than that. I think EADA’s humanistic approach is something that has definitely influenced my leadership style.
What message would you give to current and future professionals in the business world to develop their work with purpose?
The first thing is to know yourself very well, identify your talents, capabilities and passions to be able to set up your own company or search for a company that is aligned with all of these factors. I would say be loyal to your values and yourself and work to serve, wherever you are.
In your opinion, what is a professional or manager with purpose?
I think a manager with a purpose is someone that is coherent about themselves and their values and understands the purpose of the company they are working for and is aligned with it to reach a common goal.
What are the main social, economic, and environmental challenges that organisations need to face nowadays?
I think the most urgent issues are the environment and sustainability. Companies have a great responsibility because a company’s decisions create an impact not only on the clients or the team, but on the whole value chain of the business.
For example, incorporating corporate social responsibility procedures in all areas of the company and in the relationships with stakeholders is very important and can produce a domino effect in other businesses all over the world. I also think circular economy is an urgent issue which requires us to change the ways that we consume, find creative ways to be avoid overconsumption and use soft skills such as creativity and an innovative mindset to do this effectively.
What footprint would you like your company to leave on society in the future?I believe that our contribution is to show that it is possible to have an effective product which is economical, feasible and environmentally friendly. I would like our company to be one of those great companies that shows that it is possible and to inspire other companies to start to change.
What are the next steps for your company?In our company, we are currently engaged in corporate social responsibility procedures. We are trying to analyse our impact in all the financial, environmental and social aspects and to have a plan for continuous improvement. This is not easy to achieve because it is not only about our company but also all the stakeholder relationships we have. This is a big challenge for a small company as we have less power to influence.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?I see myself doing the same thing but on a bigger scale. In terms of product and service, we are now working with skincare, but we would also like to expand its application to nutrition in order to promote a healthy lifestyle in society. In terms of management, our aim is to have a flatter, more interactive organisation with people aligned with our purpose. Our goal is also to have a growth culture where people can develop themselves not only in a professional way but also as human beings. This is the dream we pursue.