Marina Trudy, Director, Fly Bali Heli
In the entrepreneurial world, success is not driven by a specific gender, but by one’s business acumen, determination, and diligence. Embodying all these traits, women leaders today have mastered the skill to script their success stories in the world of business. They’re brilliant, fierce, and incredible, and they know how to break into the market by reinventing the wheel of the existing industry. Being tech-savvy and eager to shake things up, they are disrupting the status quo with their strengths, capabilities, and exemplary leadership. Being an epitome of empowerment, women of this century are courageously pushing the bounds of their wings and pursuing their passion with utmost dedication while paving the path forward for others to follow. Akin to similar leadership is Marina Trudy, the director of Fly Bali Heli, a leading Helicopter charter service provider in Bali.
Marina commenced her career in the fashion industry after graduating from a fashion school. But as she was looking for more challenges, she began exploring other industries such as property and retail. In 2016, she stepped into the aviation industry as a sales executive for a helicopter tourism service and it ended up being more of a challenge than she expected it to be. Dealing with customers from this industry was not a piece of cake. Meeting their expectation for excellence in service and answering their different and unique inquiries; be it for tours, marriage proposals, wedding parties, remote area transfers, filming projects, search and rescue, or ambulance service was no easy feat. “The sales team was not only required to handle bookings, but also to get involved in the ground preparation. And, the most challenging part was to deal with circumstances beyond our control or force majeure such as bad weather, natural disaster, and unexpected aircraft maintenance schedule — these experiences had pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me to go the extra mile,” affirms Marina.
The Profound Journey
It all started when Marina realized that tourism helicopter service in Bali doesn’t seem very promising for business owners. She had a firm belief that Bali has all it takes for this business to thrive. So, along with her partner, Captain Harriko, Marina started Fly Bali Heliport with hopes that more operators would choose Bali as their new base. “From my experience, the helicopter service has played a vital role in its contribution to the search and rescue service as well with the medical evacuation requests. This triggered me to fulfill the demand for more Bali-based helicopters,” asserts Marina. In 2019, they started a 7-minute tour over the GWK statue that was built throughout the year, which has now become Bali’s most iconic landmark. As expected, they made it through the pandemic because of this type of business, and now Helicopter tour has become a high-end bucket list for tourists when visiting Bali. FlyBali was inspired by Helicopter tourism services from other countries. Its mission is to help entrepreneurs run their helicopter business—it does not only provide the location for landing but also trains them. Up till now, it has accomplished its mission by having 2 helicopter companies emerge from Fly Bali Heliport.
Tunneling Through the Roadblocks
As is known, the aviation industry costs a fortune, and Marina and her team started the business entirely at their own expense. “We knew that the main struggle of starting a helicopter business in Bali is to build a heliport as it takes a lot of time, money, and effort. I have personally seen many entrepreneurs quit before they even started due to this factor,” elucidates Marina. “It’s not easy to get investors where we should be clear and upfront about our capability and competency in growing this business. With no one coming from the industry in the family and not being born with a silver spoon, it’s easy for people to look down on my company,” she adds.
Despite all the odds, Marina and her team kept moving forward, building their facilities one step at a time, and promoting their services through social media in a fun and different way. It is their consistent efforts, dedication, and never-give-up attitude that helped the company navigate through all the obstacles and create a mark in the industry with their unmatchable service.
Guiding the Way
As a leader, Marina’s vision going forward is to increase significant economic growth for the aviation industry in Bali and Indonesia. To accomplish this goal, she intends to help and empower young professionals and female leaders who wish to be trained in the helicopter business. She advises aspiring leaders to have passion and purpose. “These are the two things that will drive you on. Aviation is not merely about the machine, but also about the people involved behind the scene. All departments team is the key to making the dream work; there are sales teams, who work day and night to generate revenues, the ground crew who handles paperwork and flight preparation, the pilot who ensures the aircraft is safe to fly, and many others — none of them is less significant than the other,” opines Marina. According to the avid entrepreneur, a leader shouldn’t forget how to treat people fairly, they are as important as the machine itself. A leader of values, strength, and potential, Marina has outshone in every aspect. Her inspirational journey is truly a source of learning for all aspiring women entrepreneurs out there.