Flash Interview of the Month
The Flash Interview of the Month is a short talk with one of our members, where the interviewed is able to talk about his/her experience in an informal way and where all stories are told in the 1st person.
This month, we got to know more about our member company GO Fishing from the perspective of its founder, Vitor Ganchinho!
How did you come up with the idea to create GO Fishing? What was your inspiration?
I started fishing a long time ago, when I was a kid. I'm now 56 years old, and I started when I was only 6 years old. It’s something natural for me, after 50 years of doing it. I took friends to my fishing spots for a long time, for about 30 years, before I had the idea to create GO FISHING. Because I’m also a diver, I was able to see underwater. What existed there, what was going on, and of course I could recognize the best spots, where the fish is, and where there's no fish at all. There was a time when I was unable to get more people to come with me, because the boats couldn't fit that many people. They were way too much! So, I had to think about a solution. For me, it was obvious that a “short solution” wasn’t enough, therefore I decided to go ahead with a big project: the GO Fishing company.
The company has 4 boats, operating from Sesimbra and Setúbal. Normally, departure is made from Sesimbra’s Marina, where we have our boats, 9 mts lenght, equiped with two engines, 200 HP Honda.
For people who want to relax the boats have two beds. But let me tell you, nobody wants to stay inside, because all the action takes place outside, where you can see dolphins, birds, fish, etc.
We explain how it works, why fish is in one place, and not on any other place. We also explain currents, winds, streams, fish schools movements, etc. For us, security and safety come first, no doubt about that. All the boats are very well equiped, they’re brand new, made for us by request, so we are happy with them. On total, we have made an investment of 1,6 million euros, to be sure that nothing fails.
We have also a fantastic fishing products shop, in Almada, very near Lisbon, that has been considered by a french fishing tackle magazine as one of the best in Europe, (see photos). We do product presentations, were I explain what's new in the Fishing Tackle Industry. Most of our stock items are imported directly from Japan. Japanese technology is the most developed in the world when it comes to fishing equipments, therefore we get connections with most of the biggest brands. Our goal is to provide what's best and more updated for fishing tackle. Our customers aren’t low cost and they are someone who knows exactly what’s good.
What are the things that make you happy about working at GO Fishing?
It’s a pleasure for me to to drive our boats to our special spots, and see our customers with a happy face. They get crazy when they see so many fish, and how easy it is to catch them. The idea that fishing is a boring thing, where nothing happpens, where we fall sleep, …that doesn't exist here. After 3 minutes, that idea just disappears. Fishing is a very active thing, and it could actually be hard to follow the rythm, believe me. Sometimes people say: “ Sorry Vitor, let me stop for a while! I'm tired, I can't breath, there's too much fish and they're so strong!”…. But our bet is not only fishing. That, we keep for people who are interested and want to focus more on fishing activities. Normally the most skilled fishermen want to take a very big fish and look for a record. In my opinion, that’s not enough to make a very good day.
Most of the people who contact us want to do several things in the same day. That’s the reason why we don't have only one service on board.
We watch dolphins and other species also, an incredible show for kids, or people who do not have regular contact with these animals, because they could be very friendly. It’s possible to play with them, specially with the dolphins. There’s a colony of dolphins who lives in the Sado river, but they get tired of boats and people, and they suffer with all the human pressure, specially during summer time. So, we go outside, where there’s dolphin groups that are really wild, and aren't tired of people. They’re very exciting!
Also our catering is good, very good. There's nobody doing the same: serving several local sea fruits, lobsters, crabs, fresh oysters with lemon, etc. We do it. Also our drinks are above any other service. Why not a glass of cold champagne, when we catch something special?! A cup of iced Moet & Chandon is always welcome. Or our fantastic green wine, with GO Fishing brand, made in the north of Portugal, as an exclusive for us. Season fruits are always served, and we do have a special menu for kids.
Our work is very dedicated to families. Each time we have more and more people who work inside offices. They need to breath, take some fresh air, and relax from a hard working week. We can take until 8 people, plus crew, per boat, so we are prepared for companies team building and networking actions, but most of the time, we take families,« or friends looking for an opportunity to get together, drink a glass of champagne, catch some fish, and have fun. Until 16 people it’s very easy to handle.
What do you think are the most challenging aspects of your work?
We depend on the weather. Normaly, we have good weather in Portugal, but we must always be on top of it. That makes all the difference, because we have to change places according to the wind, stream and current conditions. The goal is to have happy people on board. For that, we must use our sea experience, and our captains have enough, believe me. Also our sailors, people who help on general services, they are very enthusiastic and motivated by the Ocean, and they’re a strong element of our structure. They are there to help everybody. The Idea is to promote the best conditions to let our guests enjoy an incredible day! That's our target! And we get it, according to the comments on social media and people who return to sail with us again and again… That feedback shows us that we’re doing something different!
Why did your company decide to join the Chamber?
I have started my carreer as business man importing products from Holland. That happened 26 years ago, importing lamps from a company named Electro-Cirkel, from Rotterdam. They gave me the chance to suceed, to make enough money for all my investments. Nowadays, I manage seven different companies, four connected with Lighting, one in Poland, one in Germany, and two in Portugal, and a Medical Clinic, plus a Real Estate business, …and the crown jewel, GO FISHING PORTUGAL. That is what I really like to do. This company is pure pleasure.
Honestly, even we have to consider that it's hard work, but I always feel on vacation mode! I feel good with dutch people! I do remember when I was working in ….dutch guilders….. It makes me happy to work with organized people. I've learned a lot with them. Our latin way sometimes could fail, it's too much fun and less work. I'm not like that, and that i some of the reasons why I feel so good with ducth people. An agreement with a dutch person doesn't require signed documents. That's why I like serious people. Sometimes I take just a single person to the ocean, and that money it's not enouth to pay for the gasoline... But I go anyway. I feel that I have the duty to promote Portugal, our gastronomy, our fish, our environment, always keeping in mind that a single person who leaves with us to sea, tomorrow will bring the family, or other friends. It's always positive to be at the place where we want to be, at the Ocean.
5. What's the most exciting thing on the horizon for 2020?
I truly believe that we will open our doors to dutch companies who could send people to us. I mean families, companies who want to make meetings outside of Holland, and groups of friends who decide to come to a sunny country, where they could pass good moments. Portugal is that, is a country where we receive people with open arms. I make a friend in each customer… because when they arrive, they're not customers anymore: they're friends!
Contacts: GO FISHING PORTUGAL, LDA. Rua Marcos de Assunção, 7E Almada Business Center 2805-290 Pragal - Almada Portugal email@example.com www.gofishing.pt