BALI’S TOP DEVELOPER FLYING HIGH
Seminyak – The posh neighborhood of Oberoi in Seminyak is no longer a dirt road winding its way through rice fields to the iconic Oberoi Hotel, known for its thatch bungalows on the beach. With the recent opening of KU DE TA beach club, developers have flocked to the area.
One such developer is Hanno Soth, who recently completed the C151 Luxury Resort next door to KU DE TA, as well as an imposing office building overlooking the area, complete with Helipad and Helicopter.
The Bali Times interviewed Hanno Soth this to find out more about the man and his company.
The Bali Times : First of all, how do you neighbors react to a helicopter flying over their Villas and landing on your roof?
Hanno Soth : Surprisingly well. Cars stop and people come out looking surprised and excited to see the helicopter taking off and landing. Nobody has ever complains. Other hotels and surrounding businesses, sometimes hire our helicopter transfer or tours for their VIP guests and Aerial filming, so everyone is fine with the Helicopter.
The Bali Times : Where are you from.
Hanno Soth : I was born in Germany grew up in Canada, USA – Hawaii.
The Bali Times : What brought you to developing resorts in Bali?
Hanno Soth: Bali has some of the most beautiful real estate anywhere in the world, plenty of sunshine and a bourgeoning High end Travel Market, so it’s really an ideal place to develop.
The Bali Times : What do you attribute your rapid rise to success.
Hanno Soth: Timing and being at the right place at the right time. I arrived to Asia just prior to the Asian Economic Crisis, at which time Asian countries like Indonesian, Thailand, China saw a rapid devaluation of its currencies. Those willing to take a risk invested in real estate at rock bottom prices, at a time where many were dumping properties to raise capital to cover loses sustained in the currency devaluations.
The Bali Times : It could not have been easy coming from North America and setting up a business in Indonesia?
Hanno Soth: No it was not easy. When I first moved to Bali it was just before the Asian economic crisis when President Soeharto was ousted from power. There were riots in the streets. Once things settled down however, it quickly became one of the fastest developing markets I have ever seen.
The Bali Times : We understand that your company owns and is developing a number of Islands of the coast of Singapore. How did you get involved with Islands?
Hanno Soth : We starting looking at Islands a number years ago. Private Islands have a great appeal and as you know Indonesia is made up of more then 17,000 Islands, one more beautiful then the next. Initially we were very interested in Island off the coast of Lombok, but unfortunately due to bureaucracy we lost interest in Lombok and started concentrating our efforts in the areas closer to Singapore – where we felt tourism could be better developed. At the moment we are planning to develop the world’s first private Anti-Aging Island for our more elite clientle.
The Bali Times : How does a resort company get involved in the Anti-Aging business?
Hanno Soth : Well the two businesses are actually quite a good fit. People with means want more then a spa and massage experience when they visit an upscale resort. Anti-Aging medicine and treatments have moved into mainstream. Baby boomers want to look and feel younger and there are things that the industry offerst to make that happen. It is just a matter of access and we propose to provide the place to stay and the access.
The Bali Times : What is the idea behind the Anti-Aging Island?
Hanno Soth : Besides the obvious appeal of being on a private Island and receiving cutting edge treatments, the private Island provides our guests with privacy, comfort and a tropical get away
The Bali Times : Where do you see you company over the next 5 years?
Hanno Soth : Our company has substantial land holdings in Bali. We see our selves continuing to develop resort and residential projects in Bali as well as other prime areas throughout Asia including our various islands. .
The Bali Times : Have you ever considered taking your company public?
Hanno Soth : No – we are happy to be a privately held company. We are growing at a fast enough pace and are enjoying what we are doing for the moment.
The Bali Times : How many people work for your companies?
Hanno Soth : We have around 800 employees depending on our projects and how many construction workers we have on site.
The Bali Times: As a foreigner is it difficult to deal with so many employees in such a different culture?
Hanno Soth: Definitely, but our company has some very good people to handle help with that.
The Bali Times: What is the achievement you are most proud of?
Hanno Soth: Our Island acquisitions near Singapore. We recently purchased a number of Islands in Indonesian waters near Singapore. These Islands are incredibly beautiful in clean clear waters with tremendous potential for tourism development since they are so close to Singapore.Filed under: The Island