Working as a distributor in Russia and France for Sanlorenzo, Mulder and Fairline, and previously responsible for taking Aston Martin into Russia, Andrey Lomakin is no stranger to the luxury industry and the type of clientele it represents. “In both the supercar and superyacht markets we work with expensive and emotional purchases,” he says. Today, armed with an Executive MBA, Lomakin embraces the challenges that come with working with UHNW clients and his fairly new role as founder and CEO at West Nautical.
As former co-owner of Burevestnik Group, one of the main players for the GRP (fibreglass) yacht market in Russia, Lomakin always had an interest in the yachting world, and it was after the first sale of a Sanlorenzo 40 Alloy some years ago that he truly immersed himself in the superyacht industry. “I left the group in October 2013 and, building on my strengths in professional yacht management, I acquired control of the French company West Nautical, which had been operating in Cannes since 1994,” he explains. He went on to establish West Nautical UK, specialising in new builds and superyacht management. He is now dedicating all his time and energy to the yachting industry.
Over the years, Lomakin has personally owned a number of Fairline yachts, something that gives him a strong understanding of the fundamentals of yacht ownership. “My own ownership experience has made me appreciate the build quality, sea-keeping performance and cutting-edge yacht technologies that are available,” he says, adding that he is currently building a 30m vessel with Dutch yard Mulder Yachts. “I think deciding to build new is a manifestation of healthy ambitions. Sooner or later, every yacht businessman realises his desire and ability to build a new yacht just to prove to everyone that he can create a truly marketable product. This is my goal and I think by coupling the professionalism of new-build projects at West Nautical and the classic Dutch craftsmanship at Mulder, I’ll be able to succeed.”
As the yachting business has changed over the years to put a greater focus on customer relations and professional management, more and more clients are looking for their time on board to be managed appropriately. The group’s current strategic goal is to attract the best professionals to their company with a view to providing the highest level of service for their customers. This focus has seen West Nautical expand in the UK, France and Russia. “When it comes to superyacht clients, the business needs to focus more on service and not solely on selling,” Lomakin comments. “This means that the high-end yacht services on offer should not end once the yacht is delivered, but continue to offer constant, first-class service”.
Lomakin says he is incorporating some of the lessons learnt from the supercar industry to that of yachting. “I definitely see some similarities between the supercar and yacht segments,” he admits. “In both situations we are dealing with expensive, emotional purchases. Certainly, the superyacht product is a larger, lengthier process, exclusive and customisable, which means a personalised approach is required for customer relations. However, many of the efficient business practices from the supercar world can be successfully implemented and used when dealing with the superyachts.”