Name: Dipak Kumar
Position title: Managing Director
Company name: Cantik Bali Villas part of Online Booking Group Pty Ltd
When and why did you join the industry?
I am a relatively newcomer to the Industry, having joined in 2012 after 25 years in the IT world, managing the IT sales group of a large Japanese multi-national company. Ended up in this position out of sheer luck as a family friend was looking for a partner to join her Online business. Never looked back since then!
What do you like most about your job?
The best part about this job is the great team that I manage both in our Sydney Head-office and our office in Bali. We have a great team that goes out of their way to ensure that our customers have the best experience ever when they stay in one of our villas. It is not unusual for one of our team members in Bali to be sorting out an issue late on Sunday evening, just to make sure that our customer is happy and has a great holiday.
What’s one of the biggest achievements of your career so far?
The biggest achievement so far in the short time that I have been involved in the Travel Industry would be to manage this great company that truly believes in providing the ultimate villa holiday not only for Australians, but visitors from all over the world.
What’s the best advice ever given to you and who gave it?
Many years ago I was given the advice by one of my superiors that “honesty is the greatest quality of a salesperson. Be truthful, no matter how bad the news is and never cover up”. This is so true even in our industry. Honesty will always win you your customer’s trust and they will be back to you again and again.
Who do you admire and see as a role model in the industry?
Sir Richard Branson – what an inspiration!
What can people expect from your company and what sets it apart from the rest?
First of all, we specialise in villas and leave the hotels to the big guys. www.cantikbalivillas.com has over 800 villas all over Bali. A vast majority of these are directly contracted by our staff in Bali obtaining the most competitive rates.
We offer Travel Agents a commission when they book their client’s villa accommodation with us. Just leave the rest to us and we will ensure that your clients have the holiday of their lifetime. We have local staff on the ground in Bali to make sure that everything runs smoothly.
What destinations are on your travel bucket list?
I have travelled to many countries, but mainly on business. I would love to return to Japan as a tourist and explore the beauty that Japan has to offer out of the big cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Would also love to get back to Europe and travel around Spain and Prague.
What’s a memorable travel experience you’ve had (good or bad)?
A few years back, took a group of agents to Las Vegas as part of an incentive trip and went to the Grand Canyon by helicopter. The helicopter landed in the Canyon and we had a champagne lunch. What an experience!
What are three things you always take with you when travelling?
A good book (well, now an eBook), headphones and a portable phone charger.
Name someone famous you’d like to travel with and a destination you’d like to go with them.
I would have loved sitting next to Mahatma Ghandi on the plane going anywhere…..knowing him we would be sitting in Economy Class, but who cares when you are sitting next to one of the greatest human beings in history!
What direction do you see the industry heading in over the next five to ten years?
Over the next five to ten years, it is all going to be about Online travel. However, the successful companies would adopt a hybrid model – providing online booking services while maintaining the human touch as customers would still require assistance before booking, whilst booking, at the destination and when they return home. I believe that customers will revolt against companies that simply treat them as a mere “booking number”.