Giovanni Costantino, 59 yo, is Founder and CEO of The Italian Sea Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of superyachts, listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, headquartered in Marina di Carrara, worth more than 1 billion euros in order backlog and 295 million in 2022 revenues.

His partners include Giorgio Armani, who designed him the megayacht Admiral 72.

A life made for work, he says, and “a private one in black and white”

Mr Costantino, what gets you up in the morning? About that, at what time do you usually wake up?

“To be in the office at 6:15, my alarm clock is at 4:45-4:50. Sometimes it happens that I get out at 11 p.m.”

What do you wake up for?

“I get up for the reasons that drive any entrepreneur. There is the initial drive, given by the pleasure of doing, of creating something meaningful, rewarding. Then, however, when companies become significant in size, as in our case, social responsibility takes over. I don’t hide the fact that some mornings I would like to not get up at all or maybe get up to go for a walk, as so many other people do. But I just can’t bring myself to do it. Neither on Saturdays nor on Sundays, because I work. What forces me into this whirlwind rhythm is the responsibility to my employees, 620 direct employees, plus about 3,000 in the ancillary industry. And then there is the moral responsibility to the shipowner who orders one of our yachts. So, the commitments are more and more penetrating and arrogantly sweep away any other possibility of life.”

How’s your life? Is it upbeat?

My professional life is pretty positive, but the rest is mainly sterile.

Are you satisfied? Do you have any remorse?

“I am satisfied, but everyone who has a busy life has some regrets. And I have more than one: both in family and personal terms. I’m not a sportsman, I’m religious but unable to attend, I would like to do so many things that I can’t do… So, I’m satisfied with my professional life, but I live a black and white private life.”

Do you ever ask yourself: “Is it worth it?”

I’m approaching my sixties; this kind of reflections have already happened. This is an age where you have lost the desire to change your life. You go on like this, not because someone has decided for you, but because it is your mission.

Don’t you ever say to yourself: “I got to that point, I have money, I quit”?

“I had the opportunity many years ago. I could have lived like this as a great nabob. If I didn’t choose it when I was 40 (he was a Natuzzi manager, ed.), let alone now.”

Do you see yourself in retirement?

“If I were to leave the company, it would be like walking me to my death. How can I?”

By Fabio Pozzo