“I’ve owned various small businesses, bought and sold them, and a lot of [the decision to purchase the company] was based on the financials. It seemed that in the crew placement business you could achieve a good return on your investment as opposed to other companies I studied in the industry. Also, it seemed to me that recruiting and placement was a professional environment involving more administrative functions and processes which was more suited to my background, as opposed to manufacturing, which is more labour intensive and involves a more intricate process,” Heymann told SuperyachtNews.com.
As the industry has grown in recent years, the crew sector has been the subject of much discussion with regards to managing the increasing number of crewmembers that will be entering the industry, with a predicted 20 per cent rise in the total number of crew as we reach 2020. For Heymann, who has a degree in accounting, an MBA and is a chartered accountant, this presents a good opportunity. “After the recession things had picked up and there were a lot of new builds, so not only could I get involved in recruitment, I could also, in the future, branch out into yacht management in terms of the financial end of things, which would be a good fit with my accounting background.” said Heymann. “The two of them were a good fit and a good way to expand the business.
As Heymann reveals, the next step for Nautic Crew International is stepping into the yacht management sector. First, however, it is important to get the current business processes right, noted Heymann – something that, according to some, can sometimes get lost in the decadent nature of the industry. “The yachting industry surrounds itself in luxury and the allure of travel and the allure of pretty lucrative compensation for crewmembers; however, it’s still a business, and you have to run a crew agency like a business. It’s got all these aspects that go along with any regular business, like sound processes and procedures, customer first, employees, sound financial decisions and those need to be closely managed,” said Heymann. “It has to be taken seriously, just like any other business.”