As part of developing a more comprehensive Asia-Pacific strategy, Benetti is looking to further expand its agency network in Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives. The new strategy follows the appointment last year of Nizar Tagi as general manager of Benetti Asia, which is headquartered in Hong Kong.
Benetti has already appointed agents in Australia/New Zealand and Japan – namely, Geoff Lovett International and Bingo Sports. Tagi visited the Sydney International Boat Show in late July/August as part of promoting the new partnership. He met with local brokers, agents and potential customers, and inspected the Benetti 145ft Sovereign 3 during the show.
In October he also visited the International Boat & Fisheries Exhibition in Sri Lanka. This is South Asia’s smallest boat show promoting the development of the industry, as well as leisure and pleasure yachting. Tagi says that Sri Lanka’s geographical location and proximity to India and Maldives makes it a strategic spot that will become important in the next few years.
While in Sri Lanka, Tagi met several government representatives – including the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade and the Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development – to discuss how to make Sri Lanka a more yacht-friendly environment. The exhibition also provided the opportunity for Benetti to enter into talks with potential agents based in Sri Lanka, India and the Maldives, which are expected to be finalised by the end of this year.
With good progress made in Australia, Benetti also remains dedicated to developing the Japanese market with the recently appointed agent Bingo Sports, one of the Japanese leaders in upscale sports/racing cars. The Benetti team delivered marketing and sales training on the ground and visited its showroom in Tokyo to help ensure staff are fully informed of the latest models, trends and developments, as well as the culture driving the brand. Benetti and Bingo Sports will be present at the Japan Boat Show in March 2017.
In addition to geographic expansion, Benetti has worked hard to enhance its brand further and engage more closely with customers. It has moved its Hong Kong office to a more central location and has signed a strategic partnership with Kiton, a top Italian bespoke tailoring and haute couture fashion brand. This partnership will offer customers the chance to get even more of the essence of Italy.
Benetti has previously held discussions regarding setting up agencies in Singapore/Malaysia and South Korea.