Dimitri Semionuškin: ‘Sometimes Our Office Feels Like an Airport’

Marino Projects is a highly-successful international company, covering more than 700 ship finishing, installation, construction projects in different parts of the world. What is the daily life of this successful Lithuanian company? Marino Projects Senior Sales Manager shared thoughts on the daily challenges, the road taken and the key to success.

Dimitri, could you tell what attracted you to Marino Projects?’

‘I spent 25 years working at an international transport company. I didn’t intend to change my course until…. I saw the add with a mesmerizing phrase ‘cruise ships’. That’s how I ended up at Marino Projects, where I’ve been working for 9 years now.’

Perhaps you’ve been drawn to shipping and the marine sector for a long time?’

‘I had a huge toy cruise ship, when I was a boy. Back in the day, it was a very rare and expensive toy. I cherished it more than anything else I owned. Perhaps it was then that the love for cruise ships was encoded into my mind… It took only one job advert to make up my mind to test myself in this field. Of course, the financial offer was attractive as well. The company does truly take care of its team and makes no savings at the salaries’ cost.’

How does the beginning of your day at work look like?’

‘It begins with coffee and… Vakarų Ekspresas (newspaper). I am very thankful to my boss, who never begins a day with unnecessary stress. Our mornings always begin with serenity, reading, learning something new and slowly getting into the rhythm and ready for all storms of the day. Our Mondays are usually calmer, while Fridays and Saturdays are packed with action since we see our workers off to various projects. The hustle and running around at the office makes it feel like an airport…’

What achievement makes you most proud?’

‘I couldn’t name only one. We’ve worked on the construction of the largest tall ship in Europe (Gorch Fock) and the world’s largest cruise ship (Oasis of the Seas). Our stone finishers and tilers worked on the construction of an enormous megayacht. What is interesting, is that this yacht belongs to Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and one of the richest people on the planet. Our welders and painters worked at Volkswagen, Tesla and BMW plants. I like to joke that it’s nice to see these cars on the streets – after all, our company has contributed to their production! We have a number of well-known clients and large international projects – it’s hard to name them all.

However, what makes me most happy is our company’s development. We’ve not only worked hard, but also grown a lot. There are no other companies in Lithuania that have grown from 10 to 2500 in just eight years. We’ve been doubling our results every year and doing that for eight years in a row!’

Do you feel a lot of pressure from clients or competitors?’

‘Earlier we used to search for clients and now Western European shipbuilding companies know us very well and our clients come to us. We are a competitive leader, expanding and looking for about 200 more people to join our ranks. For example, last weekend we’ve seen 100 workers off to their deployment! Currently our company is changing, introducing even more efficient procedures and a newly-formed quality department. This helps us, the managers, overcome the pressure and tension, finding better ways to organise our work to use our time with most high-quality efficiency.’

You’re working in a rather dynamic environment. Were there any curious unexpected events at the company?’

‘Believe me, they happen every week! Once, someone overslept their flight at the airport, another of our employees had their documents stolen and couldn’t get off the ferry… When our team was working on a project in Japan, we had our brigades complaining that they couldn’t look at rice any more. And there was nothing else in the canteen. All in all, situations that are hard to predict. Some of them are funny, but the fun comes only when our managers finally manage to solve these problems.’

Do you have any company traditions, perhaps doing something together after work?’

‘Our company is young, but we truly cherish our traditions. Our company’s administrator Jūratė is a true company’s spirit. She’s always organising something and our office is colourful nearly every week. Every summer we go on bicycle trips, bowling, or take a boat to Juodkrantė. There’s quite a lot, sometimes I can’t make it everywhere!’

Could you share your success formula? What does it take to succeed?’

‘You don’t have to work overtime, but you should get rid of the habit of glancing at the clock in anticipation of the five o’clock. You have to learn to get on with your colleagues – all of us do mistakes and we’re all different, but we’re also unique, contributing to the growth of both each other and the company.’

What would you wish to all beginners?’

‘Once, taking part at a training, I’ve heard a golden advice: you will catch more fish if you know where you’re fishing. You can’t catch anything if your fishing hook falls on the grass. The same goes for sales: you must make frequent calls or e-mails to potential clients, at the same time taking time to sit back to think and analyse your market, looking for areas with more fish, i.e. higher demand. So, I wish you all stay focused and aim right – that’s the key to a good catch.’