BIC Celebrates 70 Years
The BIC Group celebrated its 70th anniversary this October. It was on Oct. 25, 1944 that the PPA Company (Porte-plume, Porte-mines et Accessoires or Penholder, Mechanical pencils and Accessories) began its activity. Marcel Bich (1914-1994) was then CEO and Edouard Buffard (1908-1996) was manufacturing director.
They had met at Société des Encres Stephens (Stephens' Inks Company) and wanted to create their own enterprise. At the end of October 1944, gathering their own savings, they partnered to buy a 300-square-meter workshop at 18 Impasse des Cailloux in Clichy—a suburb of Paris—where they began to manufacture writing instrument parts.
At PPA, which was the very first of all the BIC Group companies to be created, the two associates established a true teamwork spirit and a high level of industrial requirements.
Marcel Bich became interested in the ballpoint pen. He envisioned enormous potential for this product, and he and Buffard dedicated their efforts to launching their own ball pen. After acquiring a patent from the Hungarian Laszlo Biro for the ballpoint pen, the teams worked to find the ideal ink formula and the perfect fitting between ball and ink, using Swiss clock-making machines. The BIC Cristal pen was launched in December 1950, and was based on the unassailable philosophy of offering the consumer superior quality at the best price. It was an immediate success.
Today, 70 years after the creation of PPA in Clichy, BIC products are found in more than 160 countries around the globe and occupy worldwide leading positions—No. 2 in writing instruments, No. 1 in branded pocket lighters, No. 2 in non-refillable shavers and No. 2 in advertising and promotional products.
For more information, visit www.bicworld.com.