Following a recent collaboration with Veritais, a leading provider of entertainment and AV systems at this year’s Monaco Yacht Show, Yachting Pages spoke to David Milner, owner of Veritais to find out how the company has coped with the recession and why simplicity is the key in the superyacht industry.
How was Veritais founded and how has it developed over the years?
For many years I worked as an audio visual and electronic product manager for a large German car manufacturer and I have a love of the sea that has stuck with me since the age of two, after sailing with my parents.
I owned a boat and now my son also sails at county level at the age of 10 so the boating industry has always been a part of my life. I set up my own audio visual company in 1995 (primarily vehicle based) and then in 1998, we introduced a range of waterproof audio visual products to the UK & Europe, which very rapidly expanded as we were supplying many of the large boat production manufacturers.
In 2001 Veritais was formed to exclusively deal with the superyacht industry and in 2005 Veritais completed its first high-end residential project.
In your own words how would you describe your business?
I feel we offer a unique approach as we really try to understand what our customers want. I think the majority of all AV integrators in the yachting industry just try to plough ahead and put equipment that is way over specified, overpriced and quite simply does not offer what the owner wants or what the vessel will be used for.
For example, a charter yacht will not want the same set up as a vessel that is primarily used by an owner and their family and this needs to be established very early on.
Have there been any new entertainment & AV systems released lately?
There are always new systems being released; however the current trend I would say is most definitely heading towards a minimalist approach. Gone have all the switches and buttons on board yachts, it is very much letting the client play their own music and movies from their own electronic devices.
Does Veritais have any interesting company news/future plans and developments?
We have recently opened our Antibes office, which is proving to be very successful and we are looking at recruiting. Simply due to work load I am in discussions with a 3rd party about opening either a Caribbean or Palma office.
What are your most popular products?
Difficult question, lighting control is now becoming popular; iPad/tablet & iPod integration is always popular, but certainly streaming content is becoming more of a demand, such as Apple TV movies and Spotify etc…
Who is your key target audience?
Yachts within the 30m – 80m range is very much where we feel very comfortable, although our largest project was 155m.
Have you been affected by the recession?
We most certainly have, specifically when we supplied to production boat manufacturers with over four going bust on us in less than 18 months. This hurts, but we pulled through and things are looking positive for the future.
What is the most bizarre client request you’ve received?
A full on night club speaker set up on a yacht! These speakers could fill sound in a 500 person night club, but our client wanted his on a 20m x 8m sundeck.
What superyachts/big clients have you worked with that you can share?
I cannot /would not really like you to publish ‘names’ but some high net worth Russians, a well-known food manufacturer, a well-known retailer and a nightclub & shopping mall owner.
Who would be your dream client?
Our dream client would be one that knows what they want from the beginning. Rather than the ones that know what they don’t want!
For more information, visit Veritais.