Industry Spotlight – Christian Olivaux

This week we are shining an Industry Spotlight on Christian Olivaux, Director of Programmes for Turgis and Gaillard Group.

His career path proves that there is more than just one way to reach a certain goal:


What is your background and how did you develop the skills to direct a company?

I am a flight test engineer. I have been in the army for 20 years, especially working on prototype tests. Then, I have run programs in different companies in France and in Germany. After that, I created my own consulting company in 2012 and I have worked many times in leading programs. I joined the Turgis et Gaillard group in 2017 in order to conduct the group’s transverse design office: AA’ROK the company which produces the SunWave boats. We carry out the special projects of the group. Thanks to my atypical career path I have learnt a lot all my professional life long and I have succeeded in many complex programs in management in technology and also in finance. Thus, I have kept on improving and I am now directing AA’ROK – the transverse design office of theTurgis et Gaillard group.

Why did you choose to work with Sunwave?

The Chief Executive Officer of the Turgis et Gaillard group employed me to head the program of a complex business as a free-lance consultant.

That business was totally successful and so I was proposed to take the lead of AA’ROK.

How does Sunwave set itself apart from other companies?

AA’ROK is a subsidiary of the Turgis et Gaillard group specialized in studying and developing particular projects of the group, whether in the aeronautics, in terrestrial vehicles or in the sailing.

What has been your biggest success to date?

About SunWave, my biggest success was to manage to build an innovative electric solar boat with my team in only four months, from the first pen stroke to the launch of the boat. And, one month later, the SunWave S2 was awarded as the Electric Boat of the Year at the Paris Boat Show.

What has been your biggest challenge?

It is precisely the launching of the innovative electric solar boat in a few months. Nobody believed in that project!

What are Sunwave’s projects which you are excited about that will potentially revolutionize the industry?

Other electric boats exist but SunWave produces electric solar boats that are the only ones to have such performances. Our projects will very soon go even further in using hydrogen Fuel Cell which will allow to highly improve the self-sufficiency and the performances.

Where do you see the yachting industry heading in the future and what action would you like to see taken by other companies?

The sailing industry has to change considerably in boat designing and especially in the propulsion mode (let’s think about the Hydrogen).

Which skills and attributes do you look for in candidates wanting to join your company?

We are looking for curious, creative, motivated candidates who show a real level of commitment for change. To work in AA’ROK is not only to have a job, it is to take part in a team of people who are closely-knit and driven by the ambition to change consumption patterns in designing and producing the boats of tomorrow.