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Mission Makers Podcast | London | UK

SANJAY NANDI

S4: EP 3

PACHA AT 50 YEARS:

A GOLDEN JOURNEY

 
Sanjay Nandi_edited.jpg

 

In the milestones of one of the music industry's biggest success stories, the Pacha brand proudly stands tall as it celebrates its golden 50th year anniversary in 2023. Since its establishment in 1973, Pacha has consistently been at the forefront of steering cultural movements within the music industry. Whether it's defining the transcendent liberation associated with Ibiza, catalyzing the rise of the superstar DJ, or setting new industry standards, Pacha has been an unwavering influence. Achieving this consistently for 50 years is no easy feat when you consider that the industry is continuously confronted with an ever-growing tide of challenges from complex political and economic landscapes to changing government legislation mirrored against changing consumer preferences.

In today’s discussion on the Mission Makers podcast, we are joined by Sanjay Nandi, the former CEO of the Pacha Group and pivotal force behind the brand. Sanjay’s career began in the Mergers + Acquisitions department at Lehman Brothers, where after an incredibly successful string of orchestrating deals in excess of £40 billion, he pivoted to the hospitality industry. Through the last few decades, he has been a titan in nightlife, leading brands such as Hovarda and Toy Room to unparalleled heights of success. His leadership journey has since seen him wearing many c-suite hats for the Pacha Brand from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Development Officer, and after the recent sale of the group to FIVE Holdings for €320 million over the summer, Sanjay now serves as the CEO of the Lío Group. 

 

The sale comes at a very significant moment and has split the group in two, with FIVE Holdings acquiring all of Pacha’s existing nightclubs, hotels, and franchises across 20 locations, including Destino Pacha Ibiza Hotel, El Hotel Pacha, Toy Room, and WooMoon. FIVE Holdings plan to further amplify the brand’s growth with investments in building a further 25 hotel resorts that center around wellness.  Meanwhile, Lío stays with its owners, Trilantic Europe, which retains its experiential restaurants operated with the Lío brand and other businesses including the hotel Casa Pacha Formentera. 

 

 

 

 

 

The podcast delves into a nostalgic reflection of Pacha across the decades, exploring its evolving relationship with Ibiza. For five decades, Pacha has been at the pulse of Ibiza’s dance and cultural movement, where the cherries and the island of freedom go hand in hand. Reminiscing back to the eclectic style of the 70s worn by the free-spirited disco revelers at Pacha, to today, where the feeling of freedom is evoked in the air through immersive audio-visual experiences and a spiritual escape through music. What was started by the Catalan businessman, Ricardo Urgell, in a rural-styled finca that he purchased for $14,000 evolved into a family business not just for the immediate members of his family but for many of the locals on the island who are proud to serve the Pacha family. Values of inclusivity, connectedness, and creativity bind this family together. By understanding the depths behind freedom of expression, they have given millions of guests the feeling of true freedom and some of the best days of their lives. And millions certainly followed for Urgell. The name “Pacha” was taken from a conversation with his first wife who told him that with the money he was going to earn, he would live like a pachá an Arabian prince. The average season now takes in more than 30 million euros.

 

Ibiza has always been an island synonymous with discovery and debauchery, and Pacha has undoubtedly changed the landscape of the island forever. The red cherries have become iconic and defined the very spirit of Bohemian, while paving the way for many superclubs to follow in its heels, glamorizing the clubbing experience and setting standards for the industry as a whole. As Sanjay tells us in the interview, this special milestone is “not just for us in the company today, but for every single person who has been a part of the journey from the dancers to the artists. Pacha is Ibiza just as much as Ibiza is Pacha” and many of the workers there have been a part of the brand for much of it’s fifty-year storied history.

 

 

And as Urgell tells Music Week “With much hard work over five decades I never lost sight of my vision, I have had the pleasure of creating some very special places around the world where several generations of people have been able to enjoy the rhythm of the dancefloor, I cannot be prouder to see how the Pacha Group is recognized worldwide, and my great desire for the 50th anniversary of the brand is that the cherries survive and continue to bring people pleasure, as they have done so far throughout history."

 

Through our conversation, Sanjay provides valuable perspectives on reshaping the traditional paradigms of nightlife, placing emphasis on the concept that nightlife venues should be agents of positive change with community always at its core. 

 

We also uncover:

  • How Pacha curates its DJ lineups for the summer season in Ibiza

  • The most significant challenges the industry faces today and how to navigate them

  • How the brand has maintained its authenticity and adapts to different cultural contexts as it expands into different territories

  • The key trends shaping the industry at present

  • The biggest myths in nightlife

 

If you’d like to listen, head to the Mission Makers podcast for the full conversation. 

 

This episode can be found in the video below and on iTunes and Spotify.

 

Be sure to like and subscribe to hear our future episodes.

DEFINING FREEDOM

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS

THE SALE OF THE PACHA GROUP

Lessons To Fuel Your Mission
  • The journey is where the true feeling of freedom and fulfilment comes from​

  • Understand what your business means to the people who serve it and stay up-to-date with their perspectives

  • Find the right approaches to your nutrition in order to work the gruelling hours of nightlife

 

WATCH THE FULL EPISODE 

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