We recently met up with Kenneth Dastol, CEO & President, Zenitel Group, who provided some exclusive insight and analysis on the dynamic world of mobile communication trends in the maritime sector.
Please give an overview of Zenitel Group today.
The Zenitel Group is the leader of intelligent communication systems. We are located in 18 countries around the world with more than 300 employees after the acquisition of Phontech. Approximately half of the staff is working out of Norway, the rest is spread out with about 30 employees in U.S., 25 in Singapore, 25 in France 25 in Croatia and the remaining employees in Denmark, Sweden, India, China, Middle East, Brazil, Columbia etc.
We realize Zenitel is diverse in the markets it serves. Can you put in perspective the size, shape and direction of the maritime and offshore businesses to your overall?
Zenitel is organized around five segments being, maritime, oil & gas, security & safety, industry and transportation. The maritime and oil & gas is representing 60% of the overall business after the acquisition. We believed all segments will grow, as maritime and oil & gas are turning back on investments.
One glance at your website and it is evident it has been a busy year for Zenitel. Looking back at the year and considering only the maritime and offshore markets, what are the business highlights for the company in 2018?
The business highlight is that we are beating the market by taking market share in maritime and oil & gas. We are adding new nice references to our already important history. This on top of finalizing the Phontech acquisition. This acquisition is adding technology, products and capabilities to the Norwegian entity. But as previously said, we have now added #2 to #1 in this market.
What are the technical highlights?
We continue to invest largely in R&D and technology and have released new products and solutions over the past 12 months as we have done the years before. All the profit generated in Zenitel is kept and invested in people and technology.
When you look at the maritime and offshore markets, where do you see opportunity in the coming 12 to 36 months?
We have seen that it has started to be invested in oil & gas
worldwide. There are not many new builds, but as the activity is
increasing, there is more activity in the retrofit market. This
is good for us as we have a huge installed base both on the
Norwegian continental shelf as well as in the Gulf and outside
Brazil. For maritime we see an increased demand in smaller
vessels, workboats where we have products that fit very well. We
have also seen more activity in the cruise market, exploration
cruises and the fishery fleet.
How is Zenitel investing today?
We invest the majority of our funds in internal growth activities, mainly increasing staff in sales and the technology development. We are also always looking for external growth opportunities, acquiring three companies in the last five years. This will be a big focus for me also in the coming years.
What are the major drivers for your business today in the maritime and offshore markets; what are your customers demanding?
Products that brings intelligibility, interoperability and "ilities. Crew welfare and operational efficiency