At MARPRO, we spend the end of the year, evaluating the year that has passed – and planning for the coming year.
2020 has been a strange year indeed. I have been more than 30 years in the maritime business. I have travelled in Asia during SARS, bird flu and swine influenza. I have seen Asian people wearing face masks occasionally – but I have never expected that it would be mandatory in Europe. We have seen travelling restrictions and thousands of sailors have been left onboard ships, due to challenges with relieving them. The cruise industry is so challenged that relatively new cruise ships are entering the beaches in India or ship demolition sites in Turkey every day. The physical event industry is closed, even the flag ship event SMM has been converted to an online event. On top of the challenges with Covid-19, we have been witness to an American president rejecting to leave the office and UK seems to be heading towards a no deal Brexit. The Russian president declares that the arms race is reintroduced. Even Santa Claus has cancelled his arrival.
The world indeed seems very challenged.
On the positive side, there are good stories too. Most of the business world has proved to be resilient to the crisis, adapting to new ways of doing things. There is no lack of essential goods like food and medicine in most places and the vaccines are just around the corner – and hopefully, this could assist us to get back to a more normal world.
Personally, I am fine with doing online business. In many cases, less travelling is beneficial in many ways, less stress on the environment, less time and money spend. But, as the days go by, I feel an increasing desire to meet and connect with people in person. Both in regards to business, where the large events like e.g Europort, SMM and Posidonia has been in my calendar since 2001, but even more privately, where I really miss large concerts, sports events and festivals.
I do believe that we as humans have a need to be part of something bigger. Only by being physically together with thousands of people, we get this feeling.
In Denmark, where the MARPRO headquarter is, we will start to distribute vaccines in January 2021. I will naturally accept it when it is offered to me. First, because I really like the idea that I am protected against corona – secondly, I feel it is my duty – because when most of the population is vaccinated, the pandemic will be over soon.
Despite the situation, MARPRO has had a good year. We have been able to attract very skilled people to work for us, have opened an office in Rotterdam and we have solved a lot of assignments to great satisfaction of our clients. It is my impression that the recruiting activity of 2020 in general was less than normal – but because of the crisis, we have seen an increased need for business partners abroad. With the effective communication channels MARPRO has established and a market insight second to none, our service PartnerMatch has proved to be an effective service – and we believe that this will just increase in 2021.
That is why our motto is “We connect people and companies”.
Wishing you and your family a blessed holiday season. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, or Festivus — we hope you have a happy holiday and look forward to work with you in the year to come. May 2021 be more fun!
(The video is from Elsinore where MARPRO HQ is located. It is from the 2017 Christmas and shows how Santa Claus is coming to town :-)
Jakob le Fevre