Gianni Zammit Josef Gafa / LinkedIn

JUGS Malta Ltd Director Gianni Zammit has emphasised the need to focus on establishing trust and having a shared vision when searching for a partner for a possible business venture.

Opting to establish an organisation together with a business partner or Co-Founder may sound like an excellent idea, but unfortunately, not everyone makes for a good business partner. Therefore, it is integral for entrepreneurs to properly assess their situation, what they want the business to stand for, and if the partner’s style fits in with their own.

A partnership might seem great on paper, but on several occasions, it ends up in anger, lawsuits, and feuds between one another.

In comments made to MaltaCEOs.mt, Mr Zammit, who co-founded team building and corporate events provider JUGS Malta together with Josef Gafà in 2000, said that a partnership first and foremost must have a foundation built on trust.

Mr Zammit first met Mr Gafà in the late 1990s, with both of them being actively involved in event organisation. “I remember that Josef (Mr Gafà) reached out to me to book my band for a show, where he was coordinating the entertainment for the event,” he explained.

Gianni Zammit / LinkedIn
JUGS Malta Ltd Director and Shareholder Gianni Zammit / JUGS Malta

Mr Zammit said that Mr Gafà “is a very, very enthusiastic” person who loves to talk, and at that point he shared an idea about a foreign students event. Following that, the pair combined Mr Zammit’s list of contacts from organising events with the concept, and together they “brought it to life.” They held the event at the Artisan Market in Bay Street Shopping Complex, before going on to run it for a few more years.

Mr Zammit explained that right from the start he knew Mr Gafà would be a great business partner, as they immediately “clicked,” having the same principles and sharing similar opinions on different matters. “Just like me, Mr Gafà is very driven and determined,” he continued.

“Our motivations extended beyond money; instead, we were driven by the desire to explore territories which haven’t been explored locally, and to create new unique ideas, leading to the birth of our baby, JUGS Malta,” He added.

He affirmed that trust plays a “massive role” in his decision making, and in the case of Mr Gafà, he trusts him “completely,” thus forming a “strong foundation for various business ventures.”

“Our goal was to make things happen, and our diverse backgrounds – my music and entertainment history, and his drive to make the venture viable – contributed to a great synergy. We combined our networks and our strengths to build several companies, and that has been a big advantage,” Mr Zammit added.

Josef Gafa / LinkedIn
JUGS Malta Ltd Director and Shareholder Josef Gafà / JUGS Malta

Aside from leading JUGS Malta, the pair are also Directors and Shareholders of Vibe FM, Business Leaders Malta, as well as YoYo Kids Malta.

Despite the many challenges that have come up over the more than two decades he has worked with Mr Gafà, Mr Zammit still wouldn’t do anything different.

“Our current situation is great, and our partnership is as strong as ever,” he said. While they regularly argue, he clarified that their arguments are constructive and contribute to their dynamic “in a really positive way.”

He said that given that most of the business they have revolve around people, such as JUGS organising large corporate conferences, events, and teambuilding activities, the COVID-19 pandemic delivered a “substantial blow,” inflicting what he described as a “95 per cent slam dunk.” Despite this, their resilience and partnership amidst these challenges enabled them to weather to storm and they have “emerged even stronger.”

As previously mentioned, there are countless occasions where business partnerships do not work out. Each individual brings their own unique set of values, perspectives, goals, assets, and motivators, which can ultimately be difficult to integrate in the business or adapt to. Some of the primary reasons as to why business partnerships may not be successful include a lack of financial security, company growth becoming too fast to manage, conflicting visions, and a lack of communication, among other things.

Mr Zammit said that navigating a business during the good times can be “easy work,” yet the true colours start to surface when times are tough.

“Our journey has seen both ups and downs. The pandemic was a significant challenge. It was perseverance and dedication that helped us rock on, and of course, with the help of our fantastic team of professionals in corporate events, conferences, and teambuilding, who understood and remained loyal during difficult times,” he explained.

“It is how you overcome these obstacles that matters! Having a common vision and goal are key,” Mr Zammit continued.

For Mr Zammit, finding the right business partner is “all about trust.” “If you have confidence in someone, proceed with it,” he remarked, adding that a shared vision is arguably as crucial.

“While you can buddy up with a person who is creative, trust is invaluable and something one cannot achieve or learn, but is born with,” Mr Zammit said.

Featured Image:

JUGS Malta Directors and Shareholders Josef Gafà (left) and Gianni Zammit (right) / LinkedIn

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