With his strong technical and sailing background as a keen and successful racer and also an enthusiastic cruiser, Mikael Pophillat was appointed as Operations Manager at our Phuket Headquarters by CEO Sven Cornelius. Originally from Brittany in France, one of Europe’s sailing hotspots and most beautiful sailing areas, it paid for Mikael that he had already lived in Thailand for 19 years before: “Really knowing the culture and work ethics is an absolute must here in Thailand”, he says.
Originally, Mikael studied mechanical engineering with the aim to become a yacht designer. He then embarked on an impressive career in the marine industry, starting in the research and development department at Jeanneau in France in 1998. Since then, he has worked in a number of marine companies, with the exception of the past 9 years: “During that time, I have been the developer for huge, earth moving machines. Also a fascinating task!”
ROLLY TASKER SAILS THAILAND
However, Mikael is very happy to be back in the marine industry, in a professional environment that he so obviously loves. Especially now, as he has been made the general Operations Manager at the unique and modern Rolly Tasker Sails loft in Phuket. “This is a very special company”, Mikael says. “To begin with, the size of the company, and indeed the loft, is simply staggering. And here, we have everything under one very big roof: sail-making, mast and rigging, plus chandlery.” Sven, as CEO, is happy to concentrate on running Rolly Tasker Sails globally, while Mikael’s special skills also with marine hardware will be extremely valuable in Phuket, improving the local market services for new sails, repairs, rigging, multihull trampolines, and the extensive chandlery with, among many other items, the range of Harken deck hardware.
While new sails are always being shipped out to all “corners” of the earth, these local services become ever more important as Phuket grows into being one of the major global crossroads for blue-water cruising sailors of all kinds and backgrounds. Having a “one-stop shop” for truly professional marine services related to all matters sails, rigging and hardware is a real blessing for the international yachting community. “We are really unique in that we can offer the full rig and sail package to our customers”, Mikael confirms.
LIVING IN PHUKET
The only question remaining is whether he will have enough time to enjoy life in sunny Phuket: “Phuket is a beautiful place to live. And as I didn’t know Phuket before I have many things to discover, which is the icing on the cake!”, he says.