A permanent foothold in Asia thanks to a VIE contract.
Hervé Nouy, MARINELEC's Sales Director, explains: "MARINELEC's presence on the Asian market started in 2011, supported by a network local partners to promote and develop our products on the market.

The VIE enables us to support each of our partners commercially and technically. To do this, we recruit technical sales engineers and train them internally in the company's culture and our products."

After 5 years of technical studies and an engineering diploma with an "energy option", Antoine Mahé took an additional year in business development. His final years of work-study with major energy and water distribution firms gave him both a corporate culture and solid technical skills. After his studies, he joined MARINELEC directly in September 2023, where he first spent two months at the company's headquarters in Quimper, before moving to Singapore last November.

For Antoine, the VIE program was an easy choice: "I've already had international experience, and it's a great tool which offers a wide range of opportunities. It fits in well with MARINELEC's vision, which combines this international dimension with the technical added value of an industrial company, in line with my initial training. I didn't hesitate for a second to set my sights on Asia. It's a real opportunity.

MARINELEC is also a business on a human scale, which gives me more autonomy than I would have in a large group. And the boat environment brings me back to my origins, as I come from Guérande. That's always attracted me. "


50% of exports to Asia
In practical terms, Antoine is very present in the field. For the past three months, he explains, "I've been meeting with our partners in various countries in the region: Singapore and Vietnam, where we already have a strong presence; Malaysia and Indonesia, where we want to expand. I also took part in the MARINTEC trade show, a major maritime event in Asia, and with Hervé Nouy, we'll be present at Asia Pacific Maritime, APM in Singapore in the spring.

I'll look at our current business: we have projects in China, where I've been immersed in scaling our supervision systems and fire detection systems for workboats and yachts. The aim is to provide our partners in these niche markets with effective solutions in terms of size and advice.

Discovery has been very strong thanks to our work with Penguin Shipyard International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore-based Penguin International Limited (Penguin).

Penguin specialises in designing, constructing, owning and operating high-speed aluminum vessels. It is the world's biggest builder of offshore oil and gas crewboats and security boats.

This is a relationship that started over eight years ago with the marketing of VIGIFLO flood detectors, and which, thanks to our presence in the region, has evolved into the sale of complete packages. We also equip Penguin's ships with MACCS supervision control units and NORMA navigation light control units.“


Criss-crossing the roads of Asia



Asia is an important part of MARINELEC's export development strategy. "It's a dynamic one, explains the Sales Director. Asia builds all kinds of vessels which some corresponding well to our market segments. We want to increase our export sales by selling high value-added packages. The market corresponds to this ambition and to our capacities: expectations are for global solutions, which is what MARINELEC offers with a complete range from fire detection to central alarm systems and navigation light management. This is our core business and our expertise. We offer technical solutions with products that combine quality, autonomy, flexibility of use and a local service that we provide with our local partners."

MARINELEC achieved sales of €4.3M in 2023, including €1.6M in exports. The Asia market accounts for a 50% of international sales. With the presence of a VIE in Singapore, MARINELEC is adapting constantly.


Efficiency and productivity with Penguin
Back in 2020, a representative from Penguin's Design and Engineering Department commented : "We build high-speed crew boats for offshore crew transfer vessels, passenger ferries, fireboats and rescue craft. Our main priority when it comes to safety equipment is real-time monitoring of fire safety systems, level gauges and machinery."

The company's shipyards in Singapore and Batam build around 30 to 40 ships a year, raging in size from around 30 meters to 60 meters.

Antoine says, "I've been to the shipyards twice and I'm in close contact with the design office. Their high production rate means that I'm always available to listen to them. The fact that we offer standard products that are easy to install means we can react quickly, and my role is to help them define their technical requirements for future projects, as well as monitoring sales, anticipating and managing their supply needs."

MARINELEC delivers equipment at the rate of two shipments per month. From order to delivery, it'll take less than a month.


Technical expertise and a cultural approach to business development


"It's been very formative, and it's a customer that I really appreciate, stimulating us to constantly improve our technical skills and competencies," assures the young engineer. It's great to be able to rely on local partners with real market knowledge, networks, and contacts. By working alongside them, I also immerse myself in the local culture.

You also need a taste for adventure," adds Antoine, recounting an anecdote: I found myself in my shirt sleeves on my partner's motorcycle on the roads of Batam to reach a remote worksite in the heart of Indonesia. You must know how to get by and adapt when sometimes you find yourself with your only phone in the midst of people with a very different culture".

MARINELEC hopes to win more and more market share. The French manufacturer is currently working on provide two monitoring “supervision” systems for 40-meter yachts in China and Australia. It has booked an order for fire detection systems for an 83-meter COSV (Commissioning Service Operation Vessel), also in Indonesia.


[Read in Mer et Marine]