Case Study: Mojo Maritime
Mojo Maritime specialises in project management and consultancy services to the offshore renewable energy sector; providing support and management on marine operations, marine construction, engineering, installation and health and safety.
The company has built a successful track record on several high profile projects in the offshore wind, wave and tidal sectors. Mojo aims to deliver innovative-led solutions to the emerging sector, based on strong practical experience. It grew from one employee in 2004, to 25 in 2014. It has recently created a subsidiary company in France with an office in Nantes. Additionally, Mojo Maritime is a founder member of the South West’s Marine Offshore Renewables (MOR) Group and Falmouth Bay’s FaBTest steering group, and a stakeholder of the South West Marine Energy Park.
The company’s Business Development Manager Matt Hodson describes the innovation-led and fledgling MRE industry as having a positive “buzz”, with a lot of remaining room for growth. He recommends that to succeed in the emerging sector you must:
Understand your clients’ needs. Ensure you fully comprehend what they are trying to achieve within the MRE environment. Show how your expertise can provide technical solutions to potential industry challenges. Be prepared to invest in long-term relationships, demonstrating a can-do attitude.
Have a commercial strategy that is in tune with the industry. It is necessary to be sensitive to clients’ financial parameters, especially when operating in an emerging market and on highly-innovative and pioneering projects that require flexibility and cost-effective solutions. As a small company, Mojo needs to be realistic when allocating commercial risk. Therefore, it outsources some of the large costs, in particular vessel hire, to focus on the project management, design and consultancy. Negotiate contracts effectively from the outset. Ensure intellectual property rights are protected.
Be innovative and think outside the box. Mojo established its reputation for its lateral-thinking approach while working in challenging environments; for example successfully delivering solutions for the Round 1 Rhyl Flats wind farm project in 2007, SeaGen tidal turbine installation in 2008 and the Voith/Bauer EMEC monopile installation in 2011. Work closely and be honest with clients. Don’t be afraid to suggest solutions that could improve their ideas, based on your experience.
Demonstrate a strong safety culture. Ensure (prior to tendering) you have a comprehensive Health & Safety paper trail: examples, documentation, H&S policy and procedures, etc..
Get involved early. Taking time to keep ahead of the market and new opportunities can pay off. As a small business, it is important to meet potential partners and clients, attend/speak at MRE events and lend support to R&D projects. Have your own non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and be prepared to sign other companies’ NDAs.
Collaborate. Especially where involved in early stage developments with lots of R&D work. Invest in partnerships such as with the South West’s Marine Offshore Renewables (MOR) Group and Marine Energy Park and with academic institutions.
Be persistent. You might need to write a lot of bids, and be prepared for rejections. But, as in Mojo’s case, persistence pays off and once you start winning contracts you can build a track record to attract future clients.