Edwin Bessant is the founder and CEO of Ceuta Group.
Ceuta Group is a global provider of Brand Building and Route to Market solutions for consumer-led manufacturers and retailers in the Health & Personal Care and Food & Drink industries. From brand strategy development and creative design to channel sales and distribution, right through to influencing consumers and shoppers’ purchase decisions, Ceuta Group helps brands/businesses around the world unlock opportunities and deliver sustainable growth.
Edwin has pioneered and cultivated Ceuta Group from seed to the leading global business it is today. What started with an idea in 1994 with founding partner Annette D’Abreo, has blossomed into a company with a unique position and a collective turnover of £300m+.
The rewards of running a successful business
Edwin’s greatest reward from leading a highly successful business is undoubtedly the satisfaction that comes from delivering exceptional results to Ceuta Group’s clients, partners, shareholders and of course his 350+ employees; supporting their career development and making the office and field work environment a place where culture, values and collaboration are created. Edwin believes that for many organisations this cannot be achieved by working from home in isolation.
Ceuta Group is a global provider of sales, marketing, branding and distribution services to the Health & Personal Care and Food & Drink industries. As an example, Ceuta Group is responsible for the management and development of Breathe Right (a leading OTC brand owned by a PE-backed consumer business in the USA) in 22 countries. The team delivers services ranging from strategy, regulatory, sales and distribution to logistics and marketing, in markets which include Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Canada, Africa & MENASA. Via Ceuta Group, the team at Breathe Right have access to 22 international markets through one point of contact.
This puts Ceuta in the unique position of driving growth for brands on a global scale without them having to invest in retail bricks or headcount, creating tangible solutions and sustainable growth for its clients. “Hearing from a client how we have delivered a positive impact to their business, gives us all exceptional satisfaction in knowing
that we have made a difference,” says Edwin.
Doing it differently?
Edwin always looks 3 years ahead to ensure that Ceuta Group remains relevant and fit for tomorrow’s marketplace and their client base. Edwin never looks back unless there is a learning. This approach has underpinned the consistent growth and success of the business over the past 28 years and ensures that the company’s fully prepared for the future, protecting the business, its people, and its clients. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it’s experience and a decisive mind that truly create wisdom and clear direction for the future of a business.
Edwin’s greatest achievement
In 1994, Edwin started the business from seed from his home in Bournemouth with an outstanding and supportive partner, Annette D’Abreo. At that time, he had nothing but a pioneering idea after identifying a gap in the market. Edwin was a market analyst and strategist with Pfizer Consumer and had just completed a European fast-track programme in the world’s largest healthcare company where he was Director of Trade Marketing. It was an extremely brave move to turn his back on an ascendant career, but 28 years later Edwin has pioneered and built a successful global business with offices in the UK, Ireland, New York, Amsterdam and Singapore. Today, Ceuta Group’s unique ‘Brand Fostering’ model is operating across 107+ markets delivering outstanding value and results to businesses around the world across three key pillars of expertise:
• Business Intelligence
• Marketing Services
• Omnichannel Market Execution
Ceuta Group has received a lot of recognition over the years and was recently featured in Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday Book ‘Our Future King’, which highlights the UK’s most inspirational businesses. Edwin has also gained three Fellowships, which include: Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and Fellow of the Prince’s Enterprise Trust.
What is the most important asset when running a business?
People. People. People.
For Edwin, “there is no point in taking your business forward if you don’t take your people with you. Our people and our values have been the backbone of our business from day one, allowing us to develop a winning culture based on our passion for the brands we support and our commitment to achieving nothing less than the best for our clients.”
Ceuta is a fast-growing business and has acquired several companies over the past few years therefore effective integration and decisive leadership have been essential in building out and embedding Edwin’s strategy, vision, and culture across Ceuta Group.
Motivated and inspired by his employees and highly tenacious in his approach Edwin always ensures he is delivering back to the company’s stakeholders, clients and shareholders. He has a strong leadership style and empowers his management team to initiate and act with expediency thanks to his very open and inclusive management style.
What are your plans for the next 12 months?
Ceuta Group is ideally positioned to continue to succeed and further build out its global footprint. Edwin has a strong 3–5-year strategy both for organic and acquisitional growth in place to support the future growth of the business.