For the sixth SuperYacht Times Webinar, a panel of four CEOs was invited to discuss what they are currently experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Representing companies from a broad cross-section of the superyacht industry, Jonathan Beckett from Burgess, Jan Bart Verkuyl from Feadship, Tankoa’s Vincenzo Poerio and Sjoerd de Keizer from De Keizer Marine each gave an enlightening view on how each sector is coping, and all shared similar views on how best to conduct business during these times. Here, we share a few anecdotes of good advice from some of our industry’s top professionals.
1. Use the opportunity to create a new business plan and strategies - with that comes excitement. Follow government advice and establish protocols for new ways of working for the company and its employees to follow.
2. Learn from previous recessions. A company needs cash saved in the bank for protection through difficult times. Keep in mind that the behaviour of the market today is different from the 2008 crash, so plan for the worst, but hope for the best.
3. Shipyards are likely to continue with their projects if government regulations allow and supplies are available. New terms will have been agreed with clients, who are understanding of the situation and still keen to fulfil their dreams of having their own superyacht.
4. Some of the new ways of working are extremely effective. Appreciate how impressive it is to be able to operate a business and stay in touch from remote locations. Video calls will be much more common in the future and the need to travel will decrease, which could have a positive effect on the way a company conducts business.
5. Brokers should stay in touch with clients and when the time comes, get the business back up and running again as right now it is mostly impossible to close any deals. It is going to take some time before people feel comfortable travelling and the market is predicted to pick up slowly and form a new type of market.Photo: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht Times