The Sinnex team – whose mission statement is “We transform luxury yachts into floating masterpieces” – has indeed been creating waterborne works of art for decades. They pride themselves on their network of specialists, detailed collaborations and inventive use of materials from warm wood to artfully decorated glass.
Simply put, there’s no off-the-peg fit-out here. Every job is personalised to the client’s specifications. “Customers who buy from us can rest assured they are getting the perfect idea from the designer and that we are making it a reality,” explains Sinnex’s Commercial Managing Director, Erika Verachter.
When it comes to personalising and upgrading superyachts, there’s a huge advantage in being able to manage every step of the process with specially trained technicians, robust supply chains and expert project management.
Austria-based Erika has been busy for the past few years as the business has grown by close to €60 million. “That growth was only in new builds,” she reveals.
“So, we have a lot of new builds and big, beautiful posts. On top of that, we’ve established a new yard for our portfolio. Now it’s time for the next step. What we would like to do is test the level in the new builds and grow in the refit market.”
Sailing into new waters
Naturally, every business dreams of expanding into new areas, but there are always challenges to be faced. After experimenting with designing interiors for private jets, Sinnex has opted to refocus on its core offering.
“We have postponed private jets for five to 10 years because it’s a very difficult market to enter,” Erika explains. “We made the decision to stay with the yard, as well as with private residences, villas and apartments. We’re still working on that.”
In addition to making these tough strategic decisions, Sinnex’s commitment to the highest quality of staff has been a factor in its growth and development. “If we get a new employee or subcontractor, we like to first look at what they have done in the past,” Erika explains.
“If we get a new employee or a new subcontractor, we like to first look at what they have done in the past.”
“We look at references, particularly, and spend a lot of time talking to them in order to get a good impression from the outset, before we make a decision to commit.
“We spend a lot of time on this but, at the end of the day, our people don’t quit very quickly – they stay for a long time and develop within the company. With subcontractors, it’s the same story. It’s time-consuming but you see the benefit.”
The flip side of that process, of course, is ensuring they can find the best people – not always an easy task. To that end, Erika and her team established the Sinnex Project Academy, to train staff from day one.
“We have the basis of the program established,” says Erika. “Now we’re working out what can we do to bring more people into it. What I have said for almost three years now is that we would like to develop people ourselves, so we have trained and engaged people.
“Customers can rest assured that they are getting the perfect idea from the designer and that we are making it a reality.”
Looking to the future
“It’s hard to get young people who are willing to learn and grow in this job. That’s a big challenge. It’s also hard because all the new young people don’t want to go away for months, to the Netherlands, or Germany or wherever.”
The most important thing is that Sinnex is always planning for the next two to three years. That means constantly looking at fresh ways to grow the business and maintain relationships with clients as well as suppliers.
“The next strategy we are working on is to grow in the refit market,” Erica explains. “We expect a lot of big things in the future. Working on refits has been completely different because you have to work with the owner – especially if you have worked with the captain and the crew in the past, because most of the time they’re the people who are making the decisions. And now we have to build up the relationship with them for the refit market.”
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