Interview with Sashi Rajan, General Manager of Peppers Seminyak

_DSC9667Hi Sashi! Please explain a bit of your background. What do you want to be when you’re growing up?

Born and raised in Singapore of Indian origins but speak no Indian languages. Spent most of my time there, went to Australia to do my university qualification. Return back to Singapore and ended up in hospitality. I work for hotels, get sent to Abu Dhabi, sent back to Bali, Australia, Bali again and now I’m here.

Actually I chose hospitality. I wanted to do many different things along the way of my life, started with being a doctor, since it was a big thing that time and doing medicine was interesting and I think there are few doctors in my family. But then one of my teachers came up to me and said ‘have you ever thought of hotels? I think that suits you quite well’, and so I decided to venturing out and actually learning about hotels.


As a wine enthusiast, do you have a favorite brand? Which one is the best you’ve ever tasted so far? Please share your experience

I had a privilege of being able to drink wine since quite young age because I have an uncle who’s very passionate about wine. For me, to pick a favorite in this wine game is tricky because there’s a lot out there to be called ‘favorite’. I have evolved over the years of what I enjoyed drinking, and in the last seven – eight years; Pinot Noir type of wine. I generally drink New Zealand’s brand of Pinot Noir, Central Otago, or if I can afford, French-based Burgundy maybe once in a while.

The best wine I ever tried is going back more than ten years ago, I have a privilege to drink Penfolds Grange in 1985 or 1986 I can’t remember. I couldn’t believe that we were having it with Chinese food, and didn’t think it is a good pairing of the night that time. We also had like seven bottles of wine before that. I wish I’d drink that Penfold Grange first rather than last!


As a General Manager of Peppers Seminyak, what do you think is the key advantage of your property that makes it stands out from the rest?

Three things: Location, design and people that work here.

First, location, we sit in the middle of Seminyak; right on the center with hype beach clubs, beaches and many others, but at the same time, we are private. We’re not in that hustle and bustle or party environment, we can enjoy a secluded, serene environment within our villa; which takes us to the design aspect, in which you may think I could be in Canggu or Ubud but actually when you walked out of the front door, you are right where you want to be with the best restaurants or shopping centers in the island. So, on the design aspect, having that villa concept in resort environment is unique. We offer villas with private pool and facilities such as restaurants, spa, etc, and also 24-hour room services. Third aspect, the staff here, which are really look after the guests. They want to make sure you feel at home and at the end of the day, enhance your staying experience until you leave the resort happy.


How would you maintain your fitness during your daily routine?

I used to go to the gym more often, but I’m not anymore and trying to get back to that routine. The idea here is, the more I stay healthy through good sleep, good rest, taking my mind off work when I need to, having time and space to compartmentalize different aspects of my life will make me more efficient when I need to.


If you could hang out with a historical figure, which would it be, and what would you do to spend time with them?

First name that came to mind is Martin Luther King. I like people who push boundaries and see something people couldn’t see and willing to take strong stands against the odd. I think what resonates of it about Martin Luther King is when the time of violence, he choose non-violence, and things like that.

I would say that it’s not about doing anything with them, it’s really about sitting down, having a meal and chat, in their environment or era. So it challenges my comfort zone as well, go to that challenging periods and seeing how they do what they do. It will probably be insightful and humbling experience for me.


Please name us three of your most favorite destination in Bali

Last weekend I actually went on a trip to Lovina with my family and we take a stop along the way in Bedugul. I like the Bedugul Lake and Botanical Gardens. There is a treetop walk where you could do which is quite fun, but the garden itself is great. I also get chance to do snorkeling in Menjangan island at one time and that was one of the best diving experience I ever had. Other than that, probably around six years ago I used to go to Geger Beach, which is near Mulia resort now. Back then, it was untouched, and you have to go through bumpy road to get there, but the beach is so pristine and you can get pretty at peace in that environment.


Define your property brand in 3 words

Experience, unpretentious and it’s about you.


Where do you see yourself in five years? And how you want to be remembered?

I would like to think myself still in this industry, I always enjoyed hospitality. Work with more people, get them to achieve their goals, help them do that. Less on the limelight, bring other people to the forefront and be more a strategist, help plan and structure. Seek balance and share balance, tell everybody the same message to be efficient and effective in both your professional and personal life.

At the end of the day I would like to be remembered as someone who wants to nurture people, someone who want to push people to the limit, so they can be as successful as they can be.

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