Looking to bring you the most interesting things happening in our industry, sourced directly from the yachting leading experts…we bring you an interview with Tommaso Bilotta, Benetti’s Brand Manager for the Americas.
Here is what he has to say…
Q: What did you have to do to fit in the latin culture, being european and working for the market of the Americas?
A: I think my natural curiosity for whatever represents a different culture helped me a lot in taking a step back and trying to adapt to the Latin culture rather than imposing the European one.
Europe and Latin America are so different but they share common roots. Being Italian means being latin in a certain way so I think the common path between the two cultures helped to understand the typical dynamics of the Latin American culture for which values like the Family (with capital F) is the center of every decision in life, business and yachting.
I have always been attracted by the Spanish language since I started traveling for fun in Spain and then through Latina America both on holidays and business. Cuba, Dominican republic, Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil. These different cultures are something I really enjoyed being in touch with.
Q: What are the differences between the European market and the Latinamerican market?
A: Latin people like enjoying there spare time at the Top with zero compromise. This totally reflects the way Latin people conceive yachting. It took me some time to understand that there is a totally different approach to yachting between Europe and Latin America.
Latin American people care more about big TVs, audio/video of the latest generation, big speakers, entertaining areas equipped with bars, ice makers, speakers and TVs. LA people enjoy leaving the open spaces rather than staying inside the yacht with air conditioning.
There is normally a larger number of guests onboard and a larger number of crew members on a LA boat if compared with a European one. These are all things to consider when Benetti design yachts.
Q: What’s the focus of Benetti in the Global Marketplace? And how do you see Latin America?
A: Creating yachts that can easily be adapted and customized to the different cultures being the client Chinese or Latin American, each with his own needs. Italian design and top construction quality with flexibility of layout and features.
For Latin American clients we have studied a specific configurations based on the experience of the many yachts we have sold in these countries in the past.
Q: Which countries have better prospects and trends within the industry?
A: Mexico is for us the first country in Latin America, then we have Dominican Republic, Brazil, Panama, Colombia. Let’s not forget about the yachts that are sold to LA clients but kept in south Florida.
Q. What could we be doing in the industry to provide better service and value to our customers?
A: Create Value for the clients. Assisting the client through the whole process of selecting, buying, building, using and managing the yacht. Yachting is a joy but can also become a nightmare for some clients. You and Us should try to take the nightmare away and leave the joy only.
Q. Without providing competitive information, how does Benetti think they will separate (if not more) from the maritime competition in the upcoming years?
A: By continuing to deliver the Italian Excellence Since 1873. 2014 was the 140th anniversary for Benetti. Tradition and Innovation is the key to deliver new products according to the market need that are anyway connected to the Benetti heritage.
Q. How does Benetti focus on Latin America that differentiates from its competitors?
A: We are present on this market since 2003/2004 with our operations that were mainly created to assist clients and the dealer /broker network in the Americas.
Clients, brokers, crew and dealers will always have a person available in their time zone to support them.
Q. What would you say is Benetti’s X Factor in the Latin market?
A: The right and reliable product and the Italian excellence. Last but not least the People that are making It possible.