In 1996, you may have seen the Atlantis van pacing up and down the main roads of Bali, from Sanur to Tulamben. Actually, this is how the Atlantis International Bali story began: a 29 years-old French man, named Jérôme Perussel, driving his car from a city to another.
All started when the 8 year-old Jérôme learned how to dive in Spain. He has never stopped from that day. After many years travelling all over Asia, he finally settled in Bali and dedicated his life to his passion - diving. From an hotel to another he spent several years to promote his new born company. After a while he found the right place in Sanur. 20 years later, in 2016, Atlantis International is now worlwide renowned. His dive shop employs Indonesian and Western people, and he welcomes divers from different levels, specialities and from all over the world. Let Jérôme tell us more about his company.
What happened in 1996 ?
At the beginning, my passion was surfing. But I didn't expect people to pay for surf lessons! Then, my father suggested me that I should start my own dive center. At that time I was a Dive Master, and the idea seemed to be promising.
Why Bali ?
In 1988, I was travelling with my mother around Asia. We stayed in Thaïlande for a while and then we visited Bali for a few days. For me, it was love at first sight! At the end of our holidays I just realised how incredible this island was, with all its diversity and wealth. So two weeks later I just came back and since that time I've never left!
How did you set up your business?
I started from scratch. I owned nothing. I rented all the equipment I needed, from the diving tanks to the boats, driving my car to visit hotels and villas. First I worked from home, in Seminyak. Then, by word of mouth, the shop started to expand. I needed a proper office. It took time, but I finally collected all the money needed to buy my own dive shop in 2000 in Sanur.
What was the evolution of your company, from its beginning ?
After buying my first office in Sanur, I bought my first boat and my first bus. Then I relocated twice, each time in Sanur; first in 2005, then in 2011, to go together with the expansion of the business, on the By Pass.
At that time I used to offer Try Diving, Daily Diving Trips and courses thanks to the PADI IDC 5 Stars Certification, delivered in 2001 to Atlantis International. Now if you want to dive with us you can also go to Dive Safaris, dive as a free diver, become a Tec Instructor or even get different instructor specialities.
All the evolutions of Atlantis International were due to the success of the company. Today, I think that what I did 20 years ago is no longer that easy.
What is this new partnership with Dune World ?
At the end of 2015, Dune World, one of the biggest French network specialised in cruises and dive, offered us a partnership. This new relationship should provide us much more visibility and give us opportunities for new projects. In return, we expose Dune World Cruises in Sanur.
And as exceptional event, Dune World will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2017, only a year after Atlantis International.
What are your plans for the future of Atantis International ?
Thanks to our new partnership with Dune, we bought the Cruise ship MSY Aurora (a 40m Pinisi). We are now able to provide few days cruises (including dives) all over Indonesia. This is a great opportunity for Atlantis International .
In the long run, I would like to set up two other dive shops, one in Tulamben and another in Amed. And why not, going further and launch Atlantis International in other parts of Asia, in Thailand or Philippines. But I want to proceed one step at time, there is no need to rush.
What do you feel when you are diving?
Diving is tantamount to quietness, calmness and peacefulness. We feel like going into the 5th dimension, we are discovering a new world full of colorness and new species. The underwater world invites us and we have to protect it in return.
One more comment ?
I am really lucky. I've got the opportunity to work for myself. Every day is a piece of happiness. I owe nothing to anyone. Even if some days can be harsh I live for my passion. That's why I want to share it with you.
THE ATLANTIS TEAM