A Glocalised Business Facilitator
Young, stylish, with a bit of nerdy-bad-boy looking, Ben Karmadi drives his sport motorbike everywhere, every day. Sitting with him over a cup of coffee at his “baby café” Habitat in Ubud makes the time fly really fast. He happily shares his stories and thoughts on how he strives to build his ventures in Bali’s almost-saturated F&B industry without jeopardizing the values he believes in.
It was over a decade ago when he got in touch with Food and Beverage industry. Starting as a crew in Mc. Donald Denpasar, 17 year old Ben had not even finished high school. He was waiting for the final exam result when he realized that he couldn’t just sit and do nothing. He started flipping burgers, making French fries and even delivering orders door to door. He saved every penny to add into his higher education funding plan; a university in Australia.
He was one of those fortunate Balinese boys supported by their parents to get to see the outside world. Ben on the other side, never thought the privilege was something to take for granted. He studied at International College of Hotel Management Adelaide and continued learning Business and European Politics Master Program at Monash University. During his busy time, he also managed to work for Sofitel while researching the vibrant F&B business in the hustle and bustle Melbourne. After eight years living in some parts of Australia and Europe, Ben came back to Bali to build his dreams.
Watching his home island’s heartbeats, Ben sees a huge challenge along the way to reaching his targets. While the cuisine culture in Melbourne is generally more mature and adventurous, widely covers the preferences of the people who come from many different backgrounds, in Bali, ironically, it’s pretty much the opposite. Realizing a big task awaits, Ben at the same time considers the issue as a space he can use to implement his knowledge and experience.
A “Tinder for food” called Let’s Makan was his first step toward his passion. Followed by countless ups and downs, now he shapes the initial idea as a Food & Beverage management services company, with one big vision; establishing a chain to link as many elements as possible, to strategically create a strong sustainable business model that supports the growth of the community. “We aim the business to be a facilitating hub for our people, crew members, suppliers, their families and every other related party, to grow together and improve the quality of their lives,” Ben says.
Ben and his team have secured several notable consultancy and management projects such as Anomali coffee shops chain, The Sayan House restaurant, Bali Bohemia, Bebek Bengil, and many more, before initiating the current venture Habitat Group.
So, what’s next, Ben? He sips his second cup of strong latte and smiles. Obviously motivated, Ben gives a bit of hint that the company is now in the middle of talk with a world renown music brand to open a new outlet in Bali. Apart from that, he and his team are also preparing the next dining destinations in the heart of Ubud sometime during the second semester of next year.