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Marcel Bich

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Biography Marcel Bich
photo Marcel Bich
"Man is so fond of one-off thing because he himself was a one-time", - wrote in one of his books the writer Marquez. Long before the writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez to the inventor of the thought of Marcel Bich, who proposed the very same man one-time items: pens, lighters, razors. After opening Bika everything was disposable - from cookware to books. That's Baron Bich was among those who identified a particular style of life ( "use-throw"), unthinkable in the past century and is very popular in the second half of XX century.
Marcel Beek was born July 29, 1914 in Turin. His paternal grandfather was a baron of the old Tuscan family, known since 1497. And my father was typical of a European aristocrat beginning of XX century the profession - an engineer and often moved for service from city to city. Little Marcel used to change places. For two years he spent in a French school in Madrid, and five - in the school Saint-EIme d'Arcachon in the Gironde. It was a school of the Dominicans, in which Marcel received an excellent education. He was fluent in Latin, Greek, knew rhetoric, rules of etiquette, perfectly able to dance and ride. Aristocratic Code requires asceticism and physical training, and this helped Biku easily travel. Being already a student, he had himself traveled half the world, studying the culture of Italy, Holland, France, the nationality of which he soon acquired, and Spain. Experts say that "early experience of travel has a significant influence on the formation of creative thinking". A child traveling to cities and villages, adapts to frequent changes in the environment. The changes, he begins to be perceived as something natural, as an integral part of life, and he begins to invent things that can change the world. This theory. But in practice it turns out that Bick, who hated to drag heavy luggage, invented something that never would have invented an inveterate homebody.
. "I thought it would be nice if we could not carry with them things and they turned out to be a place where I need them, - said later Marcel Bich .- Of course, it was a fantastic desire: it can not thing to fly through the air
. I thought that would be ideal to throw out the old thing in one place and buy a new one in another. Looking for just the money. I sank into a reverie: here I would become that much money to not feel sorry for there was nothing to throw ... Then I realized what the essence of the problem: you simply make a very cheap things themselves "
. A few years Marcel Bich invented a disposable pen, a few years - a disposable lighter, and then - a disposable razor.
. From dreams to reality, as we know, a long way
. First Bick studied at the prestigious LycцLe Carnot in Paris, and in his spare time, selling flashlights: paced the apartment, and rang the door, offered to buy. It is understandable: very needed pocket money. It was then that he learned to sell, to inspire the potential buyer that he is without the proposed goods - anywhere. After graduating from the Lyceum Marcel went to work in companies that manufacture stationery. After some time, this firm merged with Ecris-sec, while famous for its pens. Then there was another merger with British union Encres Stephens. The company amalgamated with opportunities to use their forces became more. Bick was, as we now say, a sales manager, also worked in a design office. In general, good to make a living, but the study did not throw, went to evening law at the Sorbonne. In 1939 Marcel Bich received a law degree. And immediately he was appointed Director of Manufacturing in Encres Stephens, who by then had successfully sorted out the competition, in particular the famous American firm Waterman, and became the first in France for the production of pens.
. Career Bika was interrupted with the beginning of the Second World War
. I had to serve in the army, where he called in the same 1939-m. He got in aviation (it was there first offered to serve haughtiest aristocrats). But unlike the great-grandfathers, grandfathers, cousins, uncles - all completely generals and heroes who daily gazed sternly at him from the gilded frames in the family picture gallery - Marseille military career do not have time. For France, the war quickly ended in defeat, and Marcel returned to the company Encres Stephens. The postwar crisis and opportunity: the money people have had little, but writing, reading, smoking, shaving had to continue. The time has come for cheap, but quality goods. Bick ingeniously guessed provision of low cost - in a single product. You do not need strong materials do not need materials that can age beautifully. Need only money. For example, a ball that is perfectly smoothly glides across the paper. Ostalas sheer smallness - think of a pen and make it.
In 1945, together with his friend Edward Buffardom Beek bought a small manufacturing fountain pens in the Paris suburb of Clichy. In general, it was not even a plant, and a shed with old equipment. The initial capital amounted to $ 1000. Friends began to produce new and seemingly at the moment promising products - rods for ballpoint pens. They invested in modern equipment for the Swiss rolling metal thickness in millimeters, of which then made balls for the rods. But the rods are not met the expectations. Then Beek decided to make a pen for the price of the rod. "Do not go for a new rod - he tried to convince each other - or throw a pen because she does not write, and grasp at the new. Just go and buy a Bic - this way will be called when any of our innovative pen.
The development of the first Bic pens at Bika took four years. He is sweating over a form, to improve its product, to maximize the functional reliability. "Disposable pen should not be polurazovoy - joked Beek .- his only life she must live with brilliance". Housing first disposable ballpoint pens supposed to do from almost an unknown then plastic quality. Three years were spent on trying to find a manufacturer for his invention. Six firms, one after another, denied him. Of course, by their courage idea Bika bordered on madness: to sell the most ordinary pen 30 times cheaper! Among those who refused the inventor, was an American, and Waterman, which Bick was familiar even before the war. Owners Waterman and not expect some kind of oddball Beek, stamping, plastic pens, one fine day, just take and buy their company.
. Shook in the search for the manufacturer of disposable pens, and not finding willing, Marcel decided to act independently
. And in 1953, was born the first disposable Bic pen. But now the brilliant inventor had to solve two challenges. First: how much should cost a pen, so it was not sorry vybrositN And the second: how to organize cheap proizvodstvoN Pens at the time cost of $ 9 to $ 13 apiece. Marcel stopped at 29 cents - so he set a price for his pen - and break the bank. Certainly, it was not just luck, Bick all calculated in advance. According to his calculations, could sell 10 000 disposable pens daily. Rivals laughed and said that sales will be significantly lower. Within two years sold 250 000 pens per day.
. In 1957 Biku managed to buy for $ 300 000 British company Biro-Swan, owned by Hungarian Laszlo Biro, a businessman, the famous inventor of the ballpoint pens (the first of their sample called "Beer")
. Taking the leadership of the company Biro-Swan in his hands, he received a well-established production, access to the English market, and (automatically) to the markets of Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
In 1958, happened long ago conceived: Bick acquired Waterman. But America - this is not Europe, the U.S. market has its own specific. By the time it Bika and his single offspring of the good as ball point pens, there was full. And most importantly - they were very cheap. Here only the quality of these pens have been disgusting. Quality were very expensive, and the public broke even before it ended rod. But the practical convince Americans that the disposable pen - it is profitable, it was not so easy. "Why throw away a pen - the chorus they said - if you can just change the core.
Then Beek decided to outwit the Americans. He made his "BIKI" collapsible (If you want, buy the rod and I am only now is it almost as much as the pen itself) and added a "gun" advertising. On the campaign spent $ 4 million. Bic Pens bullets flying from the guns, like skates, tracing the pattern on the ice, drilled, like real drills, wall and still continued to write. It was not only a successful commercial project, but also a great achievement in TV advertising art. U.S. consumer rated videos and admitted the Frenchman. And teenagers' dokrutili "disposable pens, declaring them a fashionable accessory.
The next step in the steel industry, disposable lighters. The secret is simple: cheap, reliable and practical. And yet diverse - you can each month to have a new lighter. This was especially important for women who smoked more. Now they can buy a lighter in the color of a dress or clips - cheap and nice. And another thing: the study of the market pens and lighters were found that these objects lose most. And here (and it is very effective to promote the site) lost and do not mind: you can buy exactly the same for mere pennies. Naturally, lighters and carried to Marseilles Bika. But it went in the course of the arguments already known: the price is lower than competitors, 30%. Plus literate ads. The slogan "Click Bic", which appeared in 1973, won the world. He uttered with evident pleasure and ambiguous wink. Young happily took Bic lighters in their world and attach them to the famous pen with a translucent blue plastic cap.
And then came the turn of disposable razors. Company experts Gilette spoke strongly against disposable goods, knowing that there will be a strong blow to trade their reusable machines. The battle was a life and death, in fact jeopardizing not only the razors, and parts thereof. But after 1975 the market received the first batch of disposable razors Bic, competitor company had to completely change the tactics of fighting and start following the rubber-stamp their Bic disposable razors.
. Bic company grew from a fantastic rate
. In the U.S. alone it has over 300 000 outlets, which represented the entire range of the company: pens, lighters, razors. 93% of products sold through these small trade stands or trays in large supermarkets. To buy as much as bread and milk.
. And all these endless tricks - production and advertising - invented himself Baron Bich.
. Marcel Bich was a multimillionaire and, like many famous multimillionaires, such as Hughes or Mars, did not like to be a hero gossip
. His photographs last years of life are very rare. About his personal life and habits so little is known. One day, yielding much persuasion, he nevertheless gave an interview to a well-known magazine, but on condition that he not be photographed.
They say he loved to race at regattas. From 1970 to 1980, he participated four times in competitions at the America's Cup. In the first race he had the misfortune: he and his team lost in the fog in the area of Newport. The following heats had been successful, but still proved to be the main part, but not victory. His other passion was women. From several lovers he has 10 children. But the private life of Bika not become public knowledge: he did not tell and tell others prohibited. More about him aware that he hated to borrow money. He said: "Credit - this retreat, return-won gains.
Marcel Beek died May 30, 1994 at age 80. Bruno Bich, one of his favorite sons, became president in 1993.
today is a multinational group, which includes a huge number of branches on five continents. The company ranks first in the world in production of ballpoint pens: sales reach 20 million. pieces per day. The Group produces a variety of stationery products under the brand names Conte, Hauser, Ballograf, Sheaffer, White-Out, Tipp-Ex. Bic is the undisputed leader in the manufacture of disposable lighters and razors: the day around the world are sold 4 million. lighters and 8 million. disposable razors.

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