Belen Martin Lozano, managing partner and Barcelona area manager
What services do Evolution Yacht Agents offer?
When large yachts dock at Spanish ports, we look after legal matters for them. This includes all procedures to do with their arrival, stay, and departure. We also offer all kind of in-house services: provisions, spare parts, contractors, logistics, customs, and concierge services for the crew, owners and guests on the yachts, along with medical assistance, transport, immigration, accommodation, entertainment, etc.
When was B Lab founded and when did you start working there?
Enrique Oliver, Beatriz Alonso, and I were involved in founding the company 12 years ago, in 2010.
What do you like most about your work?
Doing our very best to achieve everything customers ask of us, and customer’s satisfaction and that of the team when we succeed. Our customers are very grateful, but also very demanding. This means that the company’s standards are very high. The team have to understand that we never say no, and that is what makes our work a constant challenge. We are competitive: we enjoy challenges and thrive under pressure.
And what do you like least?
Being let down by third parties who don’t have the same standards as we do. That's why we try to be proactive and always have a plan b, c and d, just in case. I like people who have the same motivation and “can do” approach as us and do whatever it takes to get things done. It’s a matter of attitude.
What do you think you are particularly good at?
Efficiency and professionalism in delivering services. My experience sailing in private yachts and working with owners of different nationalities has taught me that people don’t have time to waste, so you always have to be quick. My company excels at this; customers are amazed at our speed and professionalism.
What is your main challenge?
Controlling the challenge, not letting the challenge control you. Always striving for excellence. I have learned that when you are never satisfied with less than the best and you transmit your standards to the team, growth is natural. There is always room to do more and to do things better.
Although we are already a world leader in our sector, we are now working on extending our reputation within a network known as the World League of Agents. The objective is to connect companies around the world that are similar to ours and to grow our reputation by word of mouth, the best marketing tool that exists.
Where is your company located? Do you know why the location was chosen?
We have bases in Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, and Ibiza, as they are the most popular destinations for this kind of vessel. Barcelona is the city that has grown the most in the last 5 years.
In Barcelona, we are located in the Barceloneta, between Marina Port Vell and the biggest refit & repair shipyard in Europe, MB92. Obviously, we are based there because that's where our customers are, by the sea.
What do you like the most about the neighborhood in which you work?
Our neighborhood is Barcelona’s window on the sea and life in the “barri” is great.
I love the facilities for loading and unloading goods, which are essential for us given the amount of goods we move, and the convenience of having our customers nearby. There are also good, reasonably priced restaurants, sports clubs, the sea to swim in and to clear one’s mind... I couldn’t ask for more.
How important for you is Barcelona?
The name Barcelona is 60% of the success of our business. Crews choose our city because they love everything about it. We provide shore support for the nautical sector. Barcelona has become the number 1 destination because of the city itself, the capacity of the port facilities, and the quality of service. There aren’t any crews who don’t want to come to Barcelona.
Which city would you compare Barcelona with?
There are few cities with high volume yards that also have a marina for large yachts on the doorstep. Naples, perhaps, or Genoa, and Fort Lauderdale in Florida, but they tend to be mainly for Americans.
All these destinations have high volumes, but none of them are anything like Barcelona. Right now, the sector is on the crest of the wave. If we handle the America's Cup well, we will attract the attention of those who have yet to be convinced.
What city model do you think Barcelona should look like?
Barcelona is already a model in itself, but sometimes we don’t communicate our excellence as well as other cities. We are highly self-critical, and we don’t realize quite how good our reputation actually is.
However, I do believe we need to be critical and work on improving safety and cleanliness, and reducing noise. We should also offer cultural events away from where people live, open up more to the sea, and offer more exclusive services, etc.
What practices from other cities should Barcelona adopt?
I think we should take the best from a number of cities: Amsterdam’s technology, logistics and “arrogance”; Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach’s brilliance with big business and its “think big” attitude; Bremen’s precision and thoroughness; the South of France’s openness to the sea and appreciation of those who move around it; and Monaco and Capri’s exclusivity.
What do you ask of the Barcelona of the future?
Barcelona doesn’t need to copy any other city; it has its own personality. It should learn how to sell itself unashamedly. We don’t need to follow any other model; we should discover our own essence. For example, if we want to commit to the Blue Economy and sustainability now, we need to take everything I have mentioned above into account: technology, innovation, exclusivity, big business, precision, openness to the sea.
We are a world city. We just have to believe it, proclaim the qualities of the city internationally, and always seek excellence in everything we do.