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PART FIRST

In the beginning was the Word

Where does this story begin?

From the moment we bought land on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia? Or from the moment we spent 3 years looking for a suitable location in 5 countries, literally walking round hundreds of beaches and knocking on houses with the dubious question “Are you selling that plot over there?”

Or maybe from when we started doing retreats, mountain treks and expeditions in 2015? Or when we met in 2014? The reason for the meeting was precisely the question “How to organize such programmes?”.

Or maybe, after all, from the amazing coincidences that permeate the whole story? Because at exactly the moment when we were completely desperate to find a suitable plot of land, we came across not just the land we had hoped to find, but even more. It fulfilled every unspoken point of our hopes. Literally an entire spacious bay with white sand on the beach and a huge cliff surrounded by azure water with an almost 360-degree view of the water at the top.

No. It actually started with a dream.

With a desire to do cool things in this life. A big and beautiful idea.

One day we, Olesya and Misha Vlasov, had the idea to build one of the world’s best retreat centers and a freediving station. An eco-nest where people from all over the world would be able to have a full rest, recharge their batteries and join competent practices. And they have taken the first step.

PART SECOND

The perfect storm

In 2018, we formalised an investment company in Indonesia, made our first deposit for the land and started putting together our documentation package. By the end of 2019, we seemed to have everything we needed to realise our life’s work. A perfect in every sense beautiful land, the verification of all government agencies, our personal savings and raised crowdfunding in the amount of 100 000 USD from our audience who supported us unexpectedly generously and quickly (we planned to raise only 50 000 USD). Plus a sea of desire and personal effort. We were raring to build, and our only motto at that time was “faster, faster”.

But there was already a storm looming ahead.

The village was not going to welcome us with open arms (so what if you bought the land); the authorities were not going to give us building permits or at least land certificates within the agreed timeframe (so what if you had paid for everything and had the whole package of documents), and the world was not ready to give us the most beautiful land in the region without checking our intentions (so what if you have a dream).

Inside, litigation broke out with a local businessman challenging our right to own the land. And outside, the pandemic began, with its closed borders, quarantines, expensive tests even to fly from island to island, and mandatory vaccinations.

It was a real collapse. The perfect storm.

It would be tinkering to say that we didn’t get discouraged, that we didn’t want to give it all up. Rather, it became the level of our norm. It seemed like the bottom was in, hello. And at the next turn everything only became more complicated and deepened.

On New Year’s Eve, 2021, we allowed the thought that perhaps we should stop. COVID-19 in Indonesia reached its catharsis at that time, when the country’s requirements simultaneously (!) became a 7-day quarantine in designated hotels in Jakarta, a double dose of vaccination, three PCR tests and an expensive business visa for all entrants. What international tourism could we talk about?

All our ideas of how things were supposed to be burned away that festive evening. We welcomed a new life.

At the very beginning of 2022, we even wrote to crowdfunders, “Guys, the pause is dragging on, take the money.” But it was from that moment that the first surprises began. Exactly half of the crowdfunding participants flatly refused to fulfil our insistent request:

“We believe in you, keep going.”

PART THREE

Who else but us?

The year 2022 didn’t come empty-handed either.

On the 24th of February, the world changed forever, blacking us out personally for a few months. And through acute heartache, it made us remember again our dream to build the international centre we had always wanted. But we were not ready to make decisions then.

And in April 2022, as if out of the blue, we received information that we had won the Supreme Court in Jakarta and now we have all the documents for land and construction. Coincidence or not, and coincidences like this are what permeate the whole story, exactly from April 2022 onwards Bali began to fall into the pandemic regime that had previously raged at the most severe level.

Restrictions sharply eased, the flow of tourists began to return, so much so that already in the summer of 2022 on the island catastrophically ran out of all houses and transport for rent. The pent-up demand skyrocketed. And all businesses flew upwards. It seemed like you could stick a stick in to grow a successful restaurant. Asia was literally awash in money and people.

And we started to question ourselves more and more: who else but us?

We have everything in hand: permits, certificates, an invitation from the village head, written consent from the villagers, established connections with influential lawyers who have confirmed their capabilities in a real case. When, if not now? And why, in fact, not?

At the same time, we were well aware that we could not step into the same water twice. Past strategies were not working, it was important to recognise this. We had to correct the mistakes we had made in previous years and learn the lessons they had taught us.

Everything had to change. The concept, the business plan, the vision. From increasing the amount of money to build the centre to partnerships that we hadn’t considered before. From the way we imagined it to the way it actually is. From the rush to the pace that suits the specific area and the specific people with their mentality.

A NEW CHAPTER

Who else but you?

In late 2022 and early 2023, we took two important steps: we announced the search for active partners and went to the ground after almost a year (quarantine) break. And both of these steps bore unexpected fruit. We learned that there are people among our readers and programme participants who want to invest in the project. And that we are welcome on the ground. We are welcome. We could build.

It was like a miracle. Accustomed over 4 years of struggle to constant resistance on even the smallest issues, we couldn’t believe our ears that the only demand of the village today was the same “Faster, faster”.

“Come, do it, we’ll help. Let’s build the road, we’ll make an agreement with the locals, you’ll only pay for the road and we’ll give you the land. Build the road. And let’s make it quick. When are you ready to start?” And these are official statements from officials, not all of whom have even made contact before.

We’ve been given the green light both literally and as if in a subtle way.

And we in turn understood that the most correct option is to respond to the proposals of our readers and programme participants who offered to support us with investments. To open an opportunity for all those who wish to become our business angels. Or rather, it turns out, retreat angels. After all: who else but you?

COME WITH US

Official invitation

Well friends, let’s do it together. We invite those who are ready to become retreat angels of the Ocean Mantra Village project on Sumbawa Island, to invest early in the development of the project, to allow it to exist and earn with us.

Yes, we are not a bank to give guarantees. But we don’t think it’s right to leave you without any guarantees at all. Therefore, we offer three forms of co-operation for you to choose from: 1) real partnership (we fully share risks and profits); 2) investment (risks are moderate, profits are high, terms are fixed); and 3) loan (no risks on your part, profits are guaranteed). Available lots are 10 000 – 50 000 – 100 000+ USD. And with an investment of 200 000 USD and more in the partnership for good – land for your personal house on the territory of the centre as a gift. Read more at the links below.

Your benefit

Look. We plan to earn well so that we can maintain and develop this place, including not only the centre itself but also the village. And we want everyone who comes along with us to make good money. Money is important. But money is not everything.

It is also important to us that money is not the only motive between us and our angels. So we invite you not just to earn with us, but to practice with us. Each of the retreat angels, in addition to a return on their investment, will receive guest of honour status and the opportunity to come to the retreat for free every year. Your contribution to this project will be more than just money. It will give life to this idea. And we in our turn will try to do our best to make our return to you more than just money. It will also be about life more joyful, happier and freely.

Retreat Angel

guest and partner
investment of
$10 000

Available: 20 lots

MORE INFO

Retreat Angel

guest and partner
investment of
$50 000

Available: 6 lots

MORE INFO

Retreat Angel

guest and partner
investment of
$100 000

Available: 4 lots

MORE INFO
LET'S BE HONEST

What makes us think

we're gonna make it?

We’re not naive. We realise that Sumbawa is a wild, remote place. But most importantly, it’s unknown, not on the radar. There is no flow of tourists there, you can’t resist booking.com. Retreats as a market, although popular in the world, are still a narrow enough niche to fill all the rooms of the centre 365 days a year. That is why we will use an integrated approach, which is based not on one idea “hello, we have an interesting place here”, but on three adjacent full-fledged niches. And based on these three pillars of our concept, using the alchemy of competent marketing, we are going to make this place in demand from day one. A place that both guests and its employees will love.

How it works?

(very detailed in the links below)

It follows

Each of the above pillars is strong and independent enough on its own to carry the whole project on its shoulders alone. Go into the same location as a hotel (eco-lodge/resort/glamping) and you will be quite visible with proper marketing. Or start doing only good retreats there and you can be quite popular with a certain audience. In any case, much of the world practice points to this.

But our goal is to stand full from day one. The minimum load is 80 per cent. It is essential for us to be able to pay decent salaries to our staff; to support the needs of the village; to have the means to take care of the reef and the environment (a kilo of rice for a kilo of plastic as the only way to stop ocean pollution in our county). And then there’s the laundry, done with gentle products and away from the reef, and just really good, fresh and healthy food for our guests. All of this takes money. Big money. Constant big money. We won’t have time to “grow slowly”. The environment doesn’t wait. Poachers have already partially destroyed our house reef with dynamite. This is illegal, but in fact they still fish this way at night all over Indonesia, just preferring wild places where there are no hotels. The only way to counter this is to stand your ground, have 24/7 security and boats, and pay those who would benefit to stop it. This is realistic in the experience of our neighbours and fellow hotel owners on wild islands. But it requires daily presence, intention and contribution. So our goal with no small amount of effort is to be highly profitable from day one. We simply cannot afford to exist any other way. The beautiful reef in the second bay can still be saved.

We will put our concept at the junction of three niches, which will give us both stability and speed in growth. We will use three funnels instead of one, three target audiences instead of one, and three channels of engagement instead of one. This will give us, among other things, room for manoeuvre if one of the channels suddenly does not grow as fast as we would like.

SACRED QUESTION

Where is the money?

Business plan

How exactly we are going to do all this
Read more

Calculations for investors

Three types of partnerships and three types of lots: the dynamics of return on investment
Read more

Financial modelling

Financial modelling under different business development scenarios
Read more
OUR CHALLENGE

After all building a retreat with your readers is beautiful

OUR VISION

What's next?

If the Mantra of the Ocean is to be, then the Mantras of the Four Elements must be too.

Ocean Mantra – Sumbawa, Indonesia. Centre on the beach, surrounded by water on all sides. Emphasis on working with the mind and body through the healing power of water. Underwater meditation, freediving, contemplating beauty, meeting marine life.

Jungle Mantra – Bali, Indonesia. A centre in the jungle surrounded by greenery. Emphasis on the power of natural regeneration and oriental medicine (yoga and ayurveda, professional panchakarma).

Mountain Mantra – Himalayas, Nepal. Centre in the mountains, with views of the Himalayas. Emphasis on yoga and meditation with expansion into organising mountain treks directly from the centre.

Desert Mantra – Desert, Egypt. A small centre in the desert, with views of golden infinity. Emphasis on silence and contemplation. Deep work with the mind through the practice of meditation with detailed clarification of its basics and types of techniques.

ocean mantra village

Next steps

Architectural plan

Development of the architectural plan.Already in process

Zero phase

Road. Water. Electricity.Autumn 2023

Start of construction

Construction of the restaurant and yoga room.Autumn-Winter 2023

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