I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with Pak Pande for work reasons, but also for social reasons at different events, and you don’t often meet such a genuine person. Always quick with a smile and friendly greeting, you can see how much Pak Pande cares about his work, the business and the guests that visit the Benoa office, cruises and Nusa Lembongan. I never know whether to shake his hand or hug him honestly – he’s just such a nice guy and I think it’s that kind of person that makes a company like Bali Hai a great company!
How long have you been at Bali Hai?
I have been working at Bali Hai Cruises for 26 years, since February 1990. I started work first as a host onboard Bali Hai II vessel and now I am the deputy General Manager/Director of Sales of Bali Hai Cruises.
What are the 3 biggest changes you have seen across all the Bali Hai businesses?
The development of Hai Tide Beach Resort on Nusa Lembongan; the development of the satellite companies to cover all our operations; the expansion of the operation of the company in Gili Trawangan Lombok (Gili Hai); and starting operating SailSensations vessel and the Anchorage Club from October 2012.
Ok that’s technically four things Pak Pande but all very good so fair enough! Describe a typical working day for you – I’m sure we all think you spend all day cruising around on fabulous boats!
I am now in the position of Deputy General Manager to assist GM with the daily operation, at the same time I also as a Director of Sales, managing the Sales and Marketing of the Group.
Sounds like a big job so I’m sure they are long days! Now Hai Tide Beach Resort and Hai Bar & Grill are relatively new to the company. But I’ve heard there used to be a little bar before this! How did the resort and restaurant come about and how has it changed what you can offer guests on Lembongan?
A little square shape bar was called the Sunset Bar in the past, having a very minimal selection of menu and only manned with 2 staff (1 bar man and one waiter). It was very quiet. Hai Tide Beach Resort was called the Hai Tide Huts with a shared communal bathroom. In 2013 we started upgrading the Hai Tide Huts and called it Hai Tide Beach Resort with en-suite bathrooms. It now becomes a popular accommodation with a significant increase in the occupancy. We have also had some very complimentary reviews on popular platforms like Trip Advisor which we work hard to maintain.
What is your favourite area to dive and tell us about the cruises – which is your favourite?Nusa Penida is the best dive spot as guests will be able to see the sun fish (mola – mola) or dive at Manta bay to see Manta Rays.
My favourite cruise is the Beach Club Cruise as this cruise has a perfect combination of fun and relaxing activities. There is also Hai Bar and Grill located at the Beach Club for guests to enjoy their afternoon cocktail. (side note: the author’s fave spot for a cocktail while watching sunset…and then I usually stay for dinner as well – I can’t go past the pizzas and a crème brulee!)
Are there any new exciting things happening at Bali Hai and across it’s companies that aren’t top secret and that you can tell us about?
We will build 2 New Villas to anticipate the huge demand of the Hai Tide Beach Resort.
Finally…perhaps a not-so-serious question….what is your favourite song and why?
My favourite song is “Sailing” written by Gavin Sutherland, I like this song as it represents my daily work.
Thanks Pak Pande, I appreciate you are busy so thank you for your time.
Next time you visit the Benoa offices, take one of the cruises or are on Nusa Lembongan, keep an eye out for Pak Pande and make sure you say hello!
In the meantime, happy cruising, happy holiday-ing and we hope to see you soon!