Motoryacht builder Gulf Craft has promoted Erwin Bamps to the chief executive role. Bamps has been working at the UAE-based company since 2002. “This is just a start” he told SB, “we are warming up for a further expansion and we needed a larger management structure of which my appointment was part,” he explained.
Commenting on his appointment, Bamps said: “I strongly believe in a flat managerial structure that stays close to the production and manufacturing floor. One that allows me to optimise our organisational assets and talents, recognise and anticipate market trends and capitalise on them. With relentless focus on shareholder return-on-investment, I credit employee loyalty, career building opportunity and a motivating work environment that rewards creativity as the keys to sustainable growth of a company – one that has the capability to keep fascinating people, both within and outside the organisation.”
Bamps joined Gulf Craft in 2002 as executive manager and has been instrumental in building the business and brand locally, regionally and internationally. In 2009 he was appointed chief operating officer where he continued to be the driving force behind developing the enterprise from a family-owned company of 220 employees to a multinational with a global reach. Bamps’ distinctive and individual style of management has played a key role for the company resulting in both a consistent growth of the business and increase in the size of yachts in its portfolio.
“Erwin Bamps has spearheaded a period of intense growth for Gulf Craft,” said Mohammed Alshaali, Gulf Craft chairman. “His energy, analytical approach and personal passion for the company has been largely responsible for his many accomplishments within the operation. The move to the position of CEO recognises his contribution in making Gulf Craft the internationally-recognised company it is today and builds on the company’s ambitions to steer an even more successful path in the years to come.”
Gulf Craft’s future expansion includes a new shipyard, the company’s fifth, which will be used to produce superyachts above 50m (164ft). Bamps said that planning and more detail of this will be announced in due course. The company is currently building its largest yacht to date, the 47m (155ft) Majestic 155, which is due to be completed in the second quarter of 2015.
“The superyacht is not sold yet, but we are talking with a number of interested parties, however I do not have a deposit yet. We built this yacht on spec as we did with the Majestic 125 tErwin Bamps, former chief operating officer, to spearhead the UAE-based yacht buildero show what we can do and then sell it later. We are in the fortunate position, unlike many yards, to have the financial strength to be able to do that. We have plans to build a second one but not for a while,” he explained.
In addition, Gulf Craft is working on two new innovative designs, which will be launched early next year. “One will be a medium-sized yacht, which in our terms is under 24m (80ft) and the other a new superyacht design. We are working across our ranges to continue to produce a mix of boats, which I believe is a real strength in being able to meet the demands of any market. It also enables the dealer to offer a range to cater for customer needs.”
He explained that the company was now focusing on automation with new machinery coming in every month to boost productivity. “We have just taken on 90 new people and the emphasis is on developing a different skillset to completely change the way we work and build yachts and not just add extra hands,” Bamps said.
Gulf Craft’s range of superyachts includes six models from 30.1m-47m (101ft-155ft). The company also produces three other ranges the Oryx sports yachts and cruises ranging 8m-12.8m (27ft-42ft); the Silvercraft family cruisers 9m-12m (31ft-40ft) and the Gulf Collection explorer yachts 22m-28m(75ft-95ft). In the Showboat’s Global Orderbook for 2014, Gulf Craft stands in the world’s top 10 builders of 24m (78ft) and above.
Gulf Craft employs close to 2,000 people and has operations in major boating and yachting markets worldwide.