|Number of staff||50|
|Destinations served||Indonesia (Bali, Flores, Sulawesi, Ambon, Ternate, West Papua)|
|Language(s) spoken in office(s)||English, Bahasa Indnesia|
|Target markets||Europe, UK, North America, Canada, Australia|
1. How did you end up working in the tourism industry?
In my previous life I was an Archtect in the hospitality industry that loved boats. I lived on a boat with my family for 18 years before going cruising with them for another 4 years. That cruising trip was the first leg of a journey to boats and travel in Indonesia.
2. What inspired you to start this company?
Luckily I didn’t start the company; I am the beneficiary of a lot of learning about what it takes to successfully run wooden tourism boats in remote parts of Indonesia
3. Describe your first sale/customer:
For me the first guests were the ones that came on the first voyages after major refits of both of our boats. It was great in that everyone was very happy and complementary, but it was also scary in that it was the first time I really saw how much scrambling around behind the scenes it takes to make sure it all looks easy to our guests. Thankfully we have many great crew members that help people feel comfortable and relaxed and start them on the day by day journey of melting into the rhythm of the boat and traveling to amazing natural locations and opening themselves to completely different cultures and environments.
4. What was your first tour like – and what has changed compared to your most recent?
For me it was incredible to be on a boat where I wasn’t the person responsible for doing everything. It was a shock to be able to travel on a boat without having to worry about the weather, navigation, authorities, food. I think it is what gives me such an appreciation for the crew. They make it all so easy. Of course, that isn’t by accident that things usually go well, it takes a lot of preparation. But that first time experience really reinforces what I think is our core goal. To allow our guests to just “switch off” and let the experience happen to them.
5. What part of the company are you most proud of and why?
Wow! That is a hard question! There are so many areas where we have gained ground because of really good work by a lot of people. From a back of house perspective our Bugis wood workers have helped lift us to another quality level with the boats, our hospitality staff have raised themselves up by providing consistently delicious fusion of eastern and western food for our guests. Our logistics crew have been champions at refining our supply chain so we can support that food level in areas where there are great fish but not many other types of food as well as making sure all the machinery keeps running. Of course our marketing team that have continually and creatively pushed us out there to the rest of the world. Without that we wouldn’t exist! Perhaps most fundamentally the ownership that believes in the value of the culture and nature in Indonesia and the importance of conserving it by showing people how amazing it is here and wanting to do anything we can to make sure it stays that way.
6. What do you feel sets your company apart from others?
I think there are two things. Caring about our guests having a strong sense of togetherness with our crew and other cultures as well as the marine and nearshore environment and our commitment to conserve those cultures and environments.
7. What does a standard working day look like for you?
Hmm that questions assumes there is some standard. Really, the only thing standard is that I get out of bed in the morning and start leaning forward. That leaning can be applied to many things depending on the day. The important part, that everyone know who has ever pushed on a large boat, is that at first it seems like the boat is not going to move, but if you just keep leaning things start to happen. So I just keep leaning.
8. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Helping people realize the importance of coming together and then knowing that when we are all together we can achieve amazingly good things.
9. What keeps you up at night?
Why people don’t already understand the oceans and the environment and cultures that surround them are what makes all our lives liveable.
10. What other CEOs do you look up to and why?
In Hospitality people like Simon Cooper of Ritz Carlton who realize the power of authentic hospitality and the importance of everyone knowing they are the one who can make the difference between a normal and an exceptional guest experience. Of course people like Elon Musk who chase down and solve really important base issues in our world. In general, I admire anyone who avoids being fixated on just having a fast boat to go fast before realizing what actually puts the wind in their sails.
11. Where do you see the company in 5 years?
We hope to have a substantially larger fleet to prove our model that a conservation company driven by high quality hospitality can make a substantial positive difference.