An Interview by Jennifer Irving
In the second of our series of interviews we talk to Nautika Centar Nava, one of Reliance Yacht Management’s most loyal clients, with a partnership spanning longer than most can remember. We asked the company about what that relationship has meant to them over the years, as well as gain a deeper insight into the workings of the Mediterranean’s largest catamaran dealer and charter company.
Jelena Banovic from the Marketing Department at Nautika Centar Nava was very kind to reply to our questions
What is the story behind Nautika Center Nava – how did it develop into the company that it is today?
Nautika centar Nava was one of the first companies in Croatia that started charter back in 1990. It was established by Dario Marijan, who is still the leading force of the company and the most important strategist. After the slow but steady early development, the company’s development boomed in the late nineties and the early 2000’s . This is when boat sales became one of our core business activities and brands such as Beneteau, Lagoon, Sea Ray and Boston Whaler authorized us as their distributors in Croatia. Since Mr. Marijan was the connoisseur and the visionary, he needed someone to take care of daily tasks and management. This is where Ms. Ingrid Cosic stepped in and the two are almost a “magic duo” that has been leading the company so successfully. Today, Nava also has Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo Yachts and X-Yachts as part of their boat selection.
On your website you outline how Nava’s three areas of business – charter, sales, and Volvo Penta – ‘complement each other’. Would you say that collaboration and diversification is central to Nava’s success?
Yes, this is one of our biggest advantages on the market. We have a solution for everything related to boating up our sleeve, if we don’t Ms. Cosic will make sure we think of one. As Croatia grows more and more popular among guests, boaters and investors, the acquired knowledge within the company becomes even more important as does the possibility to do as much as possible within the “house”.
You claim your ‘greatest asset’ is your team and the reason for the company’s continued success as the Croatian and European leader of the boat industry. How important is it to invest in the people you employ?
It’s one of the most significant ways we can directly influence the quality of our services. Investing in the knowledge, education and training of our staff and giving employees additional benefits makes them the first ambassadors of our brand which then reflects on customer satisfaction and client relations in general. It’s the reason they keep coming back and we’ve had more than our share of charter guests that fell in love with Croatia and sailing and decided to invest in boating and entrust us to be their charter managers and take care of their boats full-time.
Reliance too has always prioritized the expertise of its captains in order to ensure efficient and safe delivery. How important has Reliance’s captain-based yacht delivery service been to Nava’s operations?
It is very important to have reliable, professional and expert captains on the boat because delivery process of new boats, catamarans and motor boats, brings a lot of challenges during handovers and also during navigation. Only experienced and professional captains are able to handle that challenges completely independently. With Reliance, we are completely confident that each job will be completed as agreed. Timely, safe and reliable vessel delivery is of the highest significance in maintaining our image as the trustworthy partner before our clients and on the market in general.
How did you first come to hear about Reliance and decide to work with us?
Honestly, we don’t remember exactly, given that it was more than 10 years ago. We suppose first contact was established with Nick, during some boat show.
You offer a wide range of services for your clients, from consulting and brokerage, to engine service and event organization, going above and beyond charter and sales. What effect has the long-standing relationship between Nautika and Reliance had on what Nava is able to offer its clients?
Cooperation with Reliance is actually added value to our day-to-day business. It is extremely important to have such a valuable partner in one specific market segment which is always able to fulfill all our requests and requests from our clients. This great relationship and the trust that we put in you, has partly enabled us to concentrate on other aspects of our business and further develop them since we did not need to worry about boat deliveries and related issues.
You received some EU funds back in 2015, what changes have you made in the last five years and what can we expect from Nava in the next five years?
The company has modernized and introduced CRM and ERP systems in order to better keep track of our sales and overall business results. In the next five years we plan to explore other ways to innovate all aspects of our activities with the opening of new offices, further digitalization of our business processes and investing in boat safety and our employees. We’ll keep taking care of the less popular side of boat-purchase and ownership and leaving the fun parts to our clients. When it comes to charter guests we’ll keep our boats well-equipped and maintained and ensure all their demands are met and that they can just sail away into new adventures and explore their favorite islands, taverns, beaches, coves, towns, restaurants, sites or find new ones.
To learn more about Nava visit their site; https://www.navaboats.com/
See also interview with the Catamaran Company