Ulisse – Diamonds on the sea: Giovanni Costantino’s brainstorm
Giovanni Costantino’s brainstorm: historic brands gathered in a young group to reach the top of the marine industry.
Everything is “Made in Italy”.
«The most interesting characteristic of the project we are carrying out is its Italian spirit».
This is how Giovanni Costantino – President and creator of The Italian Sea Group – began our interview.
What led to the creation of this project and why is this mega yacht shipyard – established during the hardest periods of this sector by a businessman with experience in other fields – so successful?
«I had a long experience as a top manager in multinational companies, in 2008 I felt the need to carry out a different business project.
I examined a few opportunities and a project in the world of shipping industry stood out: it offered incredible opportunities, even though the crisis of the sector had wiped out a lot of shipyards.
We needed to design a project different from the ones usually created for the Italian shipping industry.
The crisis allowed us to invest well, to capitalize and, having a clear idea, to develop a project that is now competing with the major international shipyards».
Everything started from Tecnomar, followed by Admiral and finally by the Nuovi Cantieri Apuania.
«Tecnomar and Admiral were historic companies which were very much affected by the crisis.
We intervened on both the brands with great determination, focusing on innovation and design with the idea to increase the yacht sizes, too.
Our customers immediately realized that we were sound and well-organized to create mega yachts.
Increasing the size obliged us to find a larger production site, that we identified in the historic Cantieri Apuania, a shipyard that has always built over-200-meter ships and featured a large outlet
to the sea.
The new headquarters allowed us to carry out the project in a location where we created a 3,000-square-meter building for the offices, an over 100,000-square-meter production site and a business unit dedicated to the refitting and the maintenance of the superyachts».
Were there important investments for this sector?
«We invested seven times as much as I intended to at the beginning of the project, but this was also because we wanted to seize all the opportunities and to head towards the “podium” of this sector».
How many employees do you have?
«We started working on training our employees right from the very beginning.
In 2009 we had 30 employees, now there are 250 and we continue to hire, plus the satellite activities involve around 1,000 people.
In this particular period, it’s a source of pride for me and I believe for the Italian industry, too».
What are the difficulties you encounter in building a maxi yacht?
«The maxi yachts are one-off units because they are created for people who make uniqueness a source of pride.
Months of planning are required for these yachts, and then we start building that basically progresses in parallel with the planning itself.
The planning/design mistakes are hence very dangerous and expensive for the shipyards.
I immediately realized that we had to aim at an industrial-level planning to avoid these problems».
Entering The Italian Sea Group you have the impression to be in an art gallery.
«We build yachts that are bought by affluent people, so we can’t meet those who come to purchase a luxury object in a building that doesn’t reflect the standards of our ship-owners.
So we adapted and developed the project according to the needs of our customer.
The entire company organization is projected towards perfection, elegance, and study of details.
We developed all the areas as if it was a diamonds store, because we create “diamonds” and we thought of every detail to make that kind of customer feel at ease».
Having foreign customers is also a great source of pride for you?
«Yes it is, because it means that we are now one of the reference shipyards in the building of superyachts and as a businessman and Italian citizen it is for me a source of pride.
Our brand expresses the Italian spirit as everything we do, we do it in Italy with Italian employees and our culture is well-appreciated by foreign customers».
What is the turnover of your group?
«Since 2009 the group has considerably grown and in 2018 we should reach a hundred million euro, a target that we achieved one year earlier than expected».