Arab Luxury World '17: MB&F Founder Maximilian Busser shares his secret to successful entrepreneurship
In conversation with Buro 24/7 Middle East
The annual luxury business conference, Arab Luxury World, returned for its fourth edition at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina yesterday. The first day of the two-day event opened with a host of industry leaders taking the stage, beginning with Jean-Claude Biver, the head of LVMH's Watches Division.
The second half of the day saw Buro 24/7 Middle East's Editor-in-Chief, Shannon Wylie, host an intimate talk with MB&F Founder Maximilian Busser at the Café du Marche. With the topic focusing on start-ups in the world of luxury and their motivation to succeed, Busser, who had prior stints in Jaeger-LeCoultre and Harry Winston, spoke candidly about the history of his watchmaking brand and the journey it took to reach where it is today.
"I'm living the life at Harry Winston and I have what every guy wants," Busser started. "As the company's watches division grew under my helm, I was less motivated to go to work. I realised that it was because I felt like I had sold out, creating watches for the market. It was not what I wanted but what I thought would sell."
From that epiphany, the idea of MB&F was conceived and while the brand has reached iconic status in the market now, the beginning was less than ideal. "I put my life savings into the company and I searched for retailers around the world to assist me in my timepiece project based on a drawing," said Busser. "The move worked and I received pre-orders for 25 pieces, that would only be delivered two years later. This was only possible because of the trust that I had built with the people during my years in the industry."
The road to his success, according to Busser, can be attributed to several key factors including personal pitfalls and failure. "If you don't fall then you will always be afraid of falling," he explained. " I also know how to choose the people around me and they are people who share the same values. They would do for me, what I would do for them. Too often, we separate our business and life but if we could, we shouldn't."
On what makes MB&F a great brand, Busser commented: "A great brand is one which creates secondary market value and to buy one of our pieces, you have to really understand our story. As well, when we hit our target, I decided that the company would not grow anymore because that was the point of happiness. We are big enough to create all these crazy movements but small enough to let every employee feel like it's their company. That is the secret to how I sleep at night."
The 2017 Arab Luxury World runs until May 23 at The Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort and Marina. Also, read about Maximilian Busser's thoughts on arts and his M.A.D.Gallery.