Achieving Global API Compliance and Conquering Complexity at Richemont

After having API regulation issues due to their global presence, Richemont decided it was time to change their API management provider. But this was no simple task, as they had a long list of requirements that needed to be met by the API service before a decision could be made.

At API Summit 2023, Tya Bourdel, Head of the API Tech Team at Richemont, discussed the decision to switch to Kong’s API management solutions. But, were they able to satisfy all of Richemont's needs and do so on a tight timeline of a mere 3-month transition?


Richemont is one of the world's leading luxury goods groups. Established in 1988, Richemont’s prestigious portfolio includes brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef and Arpels, and Montblanc. The company’s influence spans across industries like jewelry, watchmaking, and fashion. 

Richemont employs more than 35,000 people across several industries and has a global presence that includes more than 2,000 boutiques across 130 countries.

The Objectives

While Richemont had an API management solution, the company needed an API management platform capable of spanning and satisfying all global regions and regulations — specifically China. 

Their previous solution was to have a different API management platform for China alone. This led to duplicate efforts with twice the amount of work to run both API services simultaneously and independently. Having to split efforts to run different API systems became too taxing on the team. What they needed was a streamlined API management platform to help them remain compliant around the globe. that would be streamlined and compliant across the globe. 

While Richemont’s primary objective was to achieve streamlined API management in China, the team also wanted something that would build off their existing global API ecosystem. 

During the transition, the team’s goal was to have no regression or downtime so as not to disrupt customers, partners, or employees. 

To simplify things, the team at Richemont wanted the new API management to seamlessly integrate with its existing developer portal and identity provider (IdP). Ideally, this would minimize the impact to consumers who had already become accustomed to a particular interface. Richemont also needed the new API management platform to be capable of automation using APIOps for ease of access for users and stakeholders. 

To better meet local regulations across the globe, Richemont needed their new API management platform to offer centralized governance to more easily monitor systems and make adjustments accordingly.

The Challenges

In conjunction with all of the requirements Richemont had, there were additional challenges that needed to be considered.

For starters, the five-person API management team at Richemont was relatively small. They needed to find an API management platform that would easily be monitored by a small team 

And they needed to move fast: Richemont wanted its new API service to be fully implemented in three months. 

The team also wanted there to be no test sets for their new API management platform. By eliminating existing and regression test sets, they would be reducing the amount of demand on the API team — allowing them to focus on other parts of the management process.

They also wanted to find a future-proof platform — one they could rely on and invest in. 

The team also needed the ability to create and run many custom plugins simultaneously. Their API management platform needed the capacity to run as many as needed in certain countries or regions while also allowing for agility to seamlessly monitor them. One of these plugins that Richemont needed was for OData support. This would be one of the first, and most important, plugins that Richemont would look to implement.. 

With all these requirements in mind, Tya Bourdel, the API Tech Team lead at Richemont, looked toward the world leaders in API management according to the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

The Solution

After an extensive search, Bourdel and the team at Richemont decided to go with Kong. 

“[Kong is] a microservice-based, platform-agnostic solution; it completely fits for Richemont’s purposes,” Bourdel said. “We were looking for something simple and light that we could mold as needed”. 

Kong stood out compared to other solutions with features like integration suites, which help applications to exchange data and work with each other. This ability worked with Richemont’s vision of automation and would allow for developers on the API management team to focus on other parts of their APIs. 

Other factors like ease of scalability, performance, and customization, which Bourdel and her team proved out in their proof of concept (POC), were huge positives in Richemont's eyes.

The biggest bonus was the customer service that Kong offers to its partners. 

“The fantastic support that we received from every single person at Kong that we dealt with was a game changer,” Bourdel said. “In my nearly 20 years in the IT industry, I've never had such a great relationship with a partner. And to their credit, this relationship has continued to grow and meet our high expectations.”


Richemont has experienced a 400% increase in API calls since the same time last year, with over 700 consumers using the system. The team has also increased their number of APIs by 133% since going live with Kong. 

Kong has increased accessibility and ease of use, and Bourdel said customers and partners alike have had a great experience when interacting with Richemont’s services. 

Bourdel and the API team have added 22 custom plugins to meet their everyday API needs across the globe. Additionally, they’ve achieved an 8-day average for custom developer plugin time. All of this is done across Richemont’s six API environments, which they use either as a main platform or to test custom plugins before going live. 

Richemont has also seen a stark increase in developer experience and time-to-market since switching to Kong, Bourdel said.


Bourdel and the team at Richemont believe the decision to move to Kong will only lead to greater responses and successes down the line.

“We have a very close working relationship with the Kong team,” Bourdel said. “They've been a real pleasure to work with, and they continue to be.”