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Intercos: Italy’s most famous unknown company

Intercos is the talent behind the product lines of the big names in the cosmetics world and one of the most important players in the research, development, and production of beauty products worldwide.

reading time4 minutes

If you have never heard of Intercos, there is little wonder: it has been called The most famous unknown Italian company! Intercos is a Made in Italy cosmetics giant that develops products for the most prestigious Italian and global brands.

This is a success story that began in 1972, when Milanese entrepreneur Dario Ferrari, at the age of twenty-nine, took over a company with ten employees working in small premises in Milan and a two thousand square metre factory in Agrate Brianza to produce lipsticks and cosmetics. Ferrari has followed the family tradition somewhat, as his mother owns a beauty cream company in Switzerland. Still, he took his first steps into the working world as an advertising account and left Italy for London.

Creativity, innovation and business acumen: the recipe for growth

However, his entrepreneurial mentality led him to want to create something of his own, and with this goal, he returned to Italy. Right from the start, he focused on creativity and innovation and expanded his business into the foreign market after spending ten years consolidating Intercos’ presence in Europe.

Thanks to his innate talent and knowledge of the US market, he managed to forge a strategic partnership with the prestigious Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and started producing cosmetics for the famous brand.

Thus, the Brianza-based company experienced amazing growth, which included joint ventures, acquisitions, and even the listing on the Milan Stock Exchange in November 2021. In the same year, Intercos was awarded as the best ‘Italian Multinational Corporate’ for its ability to attract an institutional investor of global importance, such as the Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund GIC at the 12th edition of the ICCS Business Award, an award for Italian excellence organised by the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

The secrets of colour

What is the secret of Intercos’ success? Ferrari has no doubts: innovation. ‘Colour is the most complex activity in the world of cosmetics,’ he told Pambianco News in an interview.Because for each type of product – from nail polish to pencils to eye shadow and emulsions – totally different technologies, specific raw materials, ad hoc equipment and differently skilled technicians are needed. It is a galaxy. And the complexity is further increased by the fact that we address several countries with people with very different skin tones and particular cultural dictates. In all this, what sets us apart is our drive for innovation”.

Today and tomorrow

Today, the Intercos Cosmetics Group, headed by Chairman Dario Ferrari, is headquartered in Agrate Brianza (MB) and is a listed Made in Italy multinational, a global leader in the cosmetics industry. The company has sixteen production plants in Europe, America, and Asia, and it employs 6400 employees (one thousand of whom are involved in research and innovation). It develops products for hundreds of clients among the world’s leading cosmetics brands. It has a turnover of hundreds of millions of euros (988.2 in 2023), sells a third of its production with private labels and aims to expand in Asia.

Congratulations to those whose talent and creativity bring the beauty of Italy to the world!

Discover other Made in Italy outstanding companies in the world of cosmetics.