In today’s episode of Category Visionaries, we speak with Agapitos Diakogiannis, CEO of Seafair, a maritime recruitment platform that’s raised over $6.5million in funding, about why hiring the right staff in the maritime industry is one of the world’s most significant recruitment challenges, and how mistakes in this largely unseen network can have very real consequences for supply lines, energy, and pretty much everything else. With Seafair, Agapitos is on a mission to bring maritime recruitment into the 21st century, building a labor marketplace which helps harmonize the hiring process for companies operating across multiple jurisdictions, identify and vet key characteristics of potential employees , and give them an integrated platform for managing paperwork, wages, and everything else they need to know in this often fragmented industry.

We also spoke about the challenges of launching a potentially disruptive company in a historically conservative industry, and how striking a balance between a reputation for innovation with the reliability of an established market presence is a critical narrative challenge for Seafair, and one which they are still fine-tuning in their branding strategy. At the end of the day, it all comes down to being able to solve people’s problems, and that’s where Seafair’s true strength lies, word-of-mouth recommendations which can be difficult for mainstream marketing strategies to reach.

Topics Discussed:

  • How a long career in the shipping-tech industry gave Agadiptos critical market insight and helped identify an ideal niche for recruitment innovation
  • Why the maritime industry is a particular challenge in terms of recruitment, and why the ideal staff can be difficult to identify in a global labor pool
  • How a fragmented regulatory, cultural and economic landscape means that integration and harmonization are key for recruitment support solutions
  • How putting clients first will always help ensure a sustainable business model in the long run, and how Seafair has achieved their critical velocity
  • Why support for seafarers is just as important as their employers when looking to build a truly sustainable business
  • Balancing a disruptive reputation with a pragmatic approach to problem-solving, and how a unique combination of these divergent messages help Seafair get their message across

Favorite book: 

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

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