[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith the emergency spreading worldwide, we are interacting with the market’s players in order to provide their points of view and find out how the industry is reacting. With this situation evolving continuously, it is not easy to figure out the current state of things and all the consequences, despite leading management consulting companies, such as McKinsey and Bain, try to illustrate scenarios and explore all possible implications for business. Trying to offer some considerations directly from the business world, we have interviewed superyacht builder Oceanco.
SYD: Government in the Netherlands has recently started the first package of restrictive measures to contain the contagion. How are you responding to the emergency and what kind of consequences have you had, or do you expect, from an operational and commercial point of view?
Oceanco: “We do our part in protecting our fellow colleagues and citizens and work from home. Also individuals from abroad went back to their families. We are checking with our co-makers how we can most efficiently and responsibly continue works and look ahead”.
SYD: As superyacht builder, you relate to a small group of clients, in comparison with the 30-50 meter yacht segment, so I guess it is easier for you to perceive their reaction to this emergency. What is the common feel among your clients and potential clients?
Oceanco: “That we all have a responsibility and part to play in containing this pandemic”.
SYD: Uncertainty, confusion and hope: I think these are the main common feelings we can all share and at all levels, rich and poor, enterpreneurs and employers. From an economic point of view we have international experts that stress the risk of a global recession, from a financial perspective markets are waiting for the rebound effect – with someone more optimistic even predicting a V-shaped recovery which could lead to the re-generation of new wealths. As a company, how can you orient among all forecasts and predictions?
Oceanco: “We have not prioritized our focus on future commercial strategies yet. It too early and we focus on the operational efficiencies and responsibilities at the moment”.
SYD: In a conversation with a superyacht owner, he used the expression “Extra Money” to refer to the resources of a wealthy family reserved for the purchase of futile things, such as a yacht for example. How can we keep (save) the customers’ attention on the megayacht market? Are there any emotional arguments or other levers we can rely on?
Oceanco: “In these times the values of health, family, quality time all become more apparent. Yachting captures these values and will remain a platform for this in our opinion”.
SYD: How should our sector react in order to continue to be positive towards megayacht clients? Considering you need at least – let’s say it in general – 2/3 years for an important construction above 70 meters. Would this reason be sufficient to invite clients to consider new orders simply because in 2 years this emergency would be just a far memory?
Oceanco: “We don’t believe that we need to explain to clients the considerations of buying a yacht and to look ahead, they are much more experienced with economic or business cycles and informing them that this emergency will be a far memory would underestimate their own vision on how the world works”.
SYD: In the art market, some international art galleries are organizing “online viewing rooms” in order to let their clients enter the works that they would have exhibited at the art fairs then postponed (for example Art Basel). Could this virtual method be a temporary solution to unveil new projects? I know you lost the opportunity of Dubai where every year you unveil a new project.
Oceanco: “Yes we believe very much in keep inspiring clients with new ideas, designs and technologies that we are working on. Indeed sharing progress via online means is definitely what we will be doing”.