Interview with David Robinson

Face2Face
David Robinson
David Robinson
President
Speedo International
Speedo International

...we still choose solutions that do not require nanotechnology.

David Robinson, President of Speedo International is associated with this premium swimwear company since last 18 years and helped the company achieve new heights. He tells that swimwear markets are similar to all markets to Fibre2Fashion Correspondent Manushi Gandhi. Synopsis: Speedo International is a leading manufacturer of swimwear and other related accessories. Its parent company is Pentland Group Plc. The company is spread over in 177 countries and earns total revenue of over $ 500 million. It was founded by Alexander MacRae in Sydney, Australia in 1928. Speedo also offers a range of sportswear, footwear, and accessories ranging from swim goggles to electronics. David Robinson is the President of Speedo since 2008. David had joined the company as a sales person and later became the UK Country Manager in 1999. He was as the Senior Vice President (Global Product and Marketing) of the company in the year 2005. He has a very energetic and enthusiastic personality that helps him to associate with the brand. Excerpts:

Since how long have you been associated with Speedo? What makes you relate to the brand?

I have worked at Speedo for over 18 years starting as a member of the UK sales team in 1995. I became UK Country Manager in 1999 and then General Manager of the Equipment and Footwear division in 2001. Following this I became Senior Vice President, responsible for Global Product and Marketing in 2005 and was appointed Co-President in 2006, before taking my current position as President in 2008. At Speedo we are passionate about inspiring people to swim and so am I. Swimming is a fantastic way to keep fit and healthy and also a great way to have fun with friends and family. I believe swimming is a life skill that everybody should possess. Speedo is full of talented people committed to achieving great things around the world. I find this very easy to relate to.

Do you feel that swimwear demand is restricted to only few regions in the world?

There are regions with higher demand over others due to climate, culture, infrastructure and natural interest in swimming. Speedo is a global brand present in 177 countries around the world and is represented across every continent. We are enjoying strong growth in many of these markets, particularly in Asia.

What raw materials are required to make a best quality swimwear? Do you feel that they are very less in supply?

The most widely used materials are Nylon, polyester and elastane due to their fitting and handle characteristics. We are conscious of being as efficient as possible with raw materials; therefore we are constantly researching new innovations and sustainable solutions. One example of such innovation is our endurance range of fabrics which are engineered to provide 100% chlorine resistance, meaning the fabric lasts up to 20 times longer than conventional elastane swimwear, providing a benefit to the consumer and making the most of the raw materials used in the product.

People like to go sea shores and beaches for holidays. Is there any particular season when you see a hike in demand and sales of swimming costumes?

We see increases at summer peaks which vary country by country. There are a few exceptions; in particular, southern Asia markets tend to be less seasonal.

Except for professionals, swimwear has very low utility for general people. Why should a person buy an expensive piece of swimwear?

Through in depth consumer insight we understand the different reasons why people swim and what their swimwear requirements are, whether that is for racing, training, keeping fit or just for fun. Whatever your reason for swimming it is important to invest in quality swimwear that is durable and comfortable. If swimwear is well-fitted, stylish and fit for purpose it will make you feel more confident in and out of the water and make swimming more enjoyable. Our brand has been at the forefront of swimwear technology (and research & development) for 85 years which means we understand better than anyone else how the human body and materials behave together in water. This understanding allows us to ensure that we are producing the most innovative and best swimwear and equipment for everyone however often they swim, and so that they have the best swimming experience they can.
Published on: 26/04/2013

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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