How I grow business – recession to pandemic 8 – Dream projects

Princess Yachts 30M

I thought superyachts were dream projects.  I liked the glamour.  It seems they have bottomless budgets.  I was convinced as I had a little peep into a life of one of the billionaires, Roman Abramovich.  My daughter went to school with one of his daughters who was always accompanied by a bodyguard and a well-trained dog.  She would post her picture in a private jet on Facebook.  She had a 16th birthday extravaganza at Under the Bridge, for which the tickets were sent via post after complicated security checks for the teenager’s birthday party.  It created fiasco in South West London as Royal Mail delivered them late. 

One of his superyachts (yes, he has several!) the 162m long Eclipse was the largest in the world between 2010 and 2013 until the 180m long Azzam came along.  It remained, however, as the most expensive superyacht with an estimated cost of 340 Million Euro, mainly because of bulletproof windows.  FYI, it costs approximately 30% of cost for maintenance, staffing and mooring every year.  I also heard that these boats are too large to moor in most islands and that they would have smaller superyachts built.  It’s a golden egg.  

 

Princess Yachts 30M Saloon
Princess Yachts 30M Saloon

 

I landed a few superyacht projects as I wished.  I was so excited when I received a query in 2013 and relieved the purchase was finally made in 2017.  It must have been such a large scale project, however, I cannot tell the details of it because of a non-disclosure agreement.  I also work with Princess Yachts.  We started exploring some design possibilities such as staining and painting Shippo Circle in 2014, which was lots of fun.  They exhibited a 35 metre boat with three panels in a dining area at a show in Dusseldorf in 2017. 

 

Princess Yachts 30M_Dining_Area
Princess Yachts 30M_Dining_Area

 

Superyacht projects are thrilling, however, I should have asked myself, “How could I set prices for my products in four years’ time?”  When I started my company in November 2007, GBP was at JPY236.00 so I complacently calculated my prices at JPY220. It started plunging a month before the first Decorex and it was down by 40% to JPY133 three months later in December 2008.  It has gone up and down, but never made it back to the JPY220 mark.  It hit JPY127 on the day of lockdown, 23rd March 2020.  Foreign exchange markets are monsters.  I learnt my lesson the hard way.  Now, I make a quote per project based on current rates in recent years whenever possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kuniko Thompson

Kuniko Thompson

Founder of Biden Designs established in 2008. She is passionate about creating beautiful interiors working with designers, architects and Japanese craftsmen.

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