Cesare Mastroianni, sales and promotion
Q: Cesare Mastroianni, you have been part of the team since 2011. Your department has to do with sales and international development. What is the role of your department within the company?
A: Our department deals with market expansion into new areas; we look for new dealers and collaborators in countries where we are not yet active. We maintain a daily relationship with our dealers, with product sales and delivery, as well as commissioning and after-sales support.
Q: Absolute has grown significantly; it has almost 20 years of history and has quickly gained ground becoming an international business, named Leader of Growth by Sole 24 Ore for three consecutive years. What drove this growth?
A: Strategic corporate choices, driven by a desire to expand our presence in new areas or regions. A key motivator was to respond to the global financial crisis of 2008 – 2010. At the time, Absolute products and communication were based on a Mediterranean concept, so we decided to make a change and extend our focus to other regions of the world. We called it The Absolute Global Project. This project was inspired by two main drivers. The first one was linked to the idea of making our product attractive in the Mediterranean area, but also in other regions of the world, so we had to understand the habits of different places in terms of boat use and availability. The second driver was communication since our product had to reach different countries and cultures. So, in 2011, Absolute started to participate in major international boat shows, met new partners and extended its area of business. Our boats are now around the world from New Zealand to California, and in the main leisure boat markets.
Q: Absolute differs from many other shipyards in many respects. One of them is customer service before and after they buy. How do you deal with this process at Absolute?
A: In the boat market, customer loyalty is one of the cornerstones of a brand’s strength: customers should fall in love with the product when they decide to buy, because the best advertising is done by satisfied customers.
An excellent product that is well designed, well-built and with good customer service.
The boating market is geographically global; the brand must provide careful and effective local support. In choosing our collaborators, we evaluate their sales and after-sales organisation, that is their ability to communicate with customers before the sale, during the negotiation, and to support them promptly after the sale, being physically close to customers. Our dealers’ ability to provide concrete and efficient support is essential.
We are proud of the fact that, over the years, we have created a team of dealers who respond to this type of need, ours and our customers’. This is a successful strategy because it is reflected in our repeated sales: you can see that a customer is happy with their product if, when they decide to buy a new one after a few years, they return to the same brand.
Q: What projects does the future hold for your company in terms of sales network and international expansion?
A: We aim to expand into our missing areas. We currently have a strong presence in North America, the Mediterranean area, the East, Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand. We have not reached Central America and South America yet; these areas will require greater attention in the coming years, and we could improve our presence in the Middle East and Far East.
Q: If you were to list three essential traits in the ethics of a business manager, which ones would you mention?
A: Absolute is a company that aims to be respectful. Integrity and honouring our commitment.
In our work ethic, I can see respect for the environment, understood as a physical environment and local community. For example, Absolute has funded urban improvements in the area and carries out programmes with schools, universities and training centres, so that the company can give back to the local community.
Q: Absolute has achieved considerable success in many countries around the world. What is the best market for Absolute products and why?
A: We have tried to create a product that meets different needs; we have listened to many preferences. Listening is an integral part of our job at Absolute. We are always open to new ideas and criticism, because they often help us design the layout of our boats and choose which accessories we should add on board – such as a BBQ grill on the stern platform, for example, which is an important option for some cultures. A boat should reflect the way that people like to go to sea and enable them to enjoy it the way they want to.
Today, our products are distributed equally, in proportion to the size of each market. We are proportionally active in all the markets in which we operate. For Absolute, the United States is market number 3 and Europe still come before the United States. It was decided to be close to that area by opening a wholly owned subsidiary, named Absolute of Americas, an operational branch that brings our corporate strategy to the local area.
Q: What is Absolute’s strategy in choosing its dealers?
A: As I said before, our dealers must take care of their entire downstream supply chain and be able to provide support and advice to our end customers, which is why they are carefully selected. For example, think of our dealers in Italy – Ligur Nautica, Adriatic Wave and Nautica Fusaro. They provide an all-inclusive service, especially for non-local customers, which includes mooring, guarding, captains, winter storage, spring preparation, maintenance and a real concierge service.
Q: What is the shipyard’s annual production capacity?
A: About 90 units ranging from 47 to 73 feet. In recent times the average size of our boats has grown, now standing at 58 feet and up. We have three ranges – FLY, Navetta and Coupé, which is the latest addition.
Our basic design philosophy aims to make cruising and living aboard a beautiful experience, as our customers spend many hours boating every year.
Q: Which new products will you introduce this year?
A: We will present our 48 Coupé and 60 FLY at the Cannes Yachting Festival 2021.
48 Coupé is our first boat in the Coupé range. In addition to bold, streamlined lines and comfortable, spacious interiors, it stands out for its solar panel roof.
Our 60 FLY, on the other hand, will surprise you for its unprecedented cockpit layout.