The Yak goes one on one with…
…Florian, a youngish entrepreneur from Germany, who just “bust the doors off” by introducing Bali to Germany’s most-sold street food – The Berlin Kebab!
So Florian – what brought you to Bali?
I came to Bali first time in 2016, and decided to develop my business visions in 2019 across Indonesia. Also Bali is famous in Germany and is a top tourist destination for our nation, and inevitably a great international gateway for Indonesia.
How long have you been here?
From 2016 to 2019? More than 36 times to Indonesia and a permanent resident since the end of 2019, more or less, if I got the count right.
Has your opinion of Bali changed over the years?
Bali underwent a huge change in the past six years from what I’ve experienced, and I can only talk good things about it. It became so open, flexible and welcoming to tourists and business people alike. Like me, from all over the world.
What was your original plan on arriving in Bali?
First, I wanted to experience it from a tourist’s point of view of course. Without knowing anyone, but slowly I integrated into the local society and well, here I am.
What is with this trend of everyone opening a restaurant?
I don’t think is a trend actually, it is just a normal activity like any other place. If you tell me it is a trend, well, now I know. But what you might not know is that actually I am a property developer with over 12 years experience in Europe, and once I decided to move to Bali I founded Longitude Investments, my real estate development company.
Do you have any experience in hospitality?
Yes, I have experience in hospitality. In 2009 I graduated from International Hotel Management and before I started to study corporate law, I was working as a Sommelier in different Michelin-star restaurants. Now, after a long time working only in the real estate sector, I continue my passion for hospitality and share more throughout this sector.
How did the idea come about?
Well, just enjoying Bali nightlife with my friends. We suddenly said “Ohhh, what shall we get for an after-party snack?” and so suddenly that inspired me to bring a proper Döner Kebab to Bali. There is nothing better than this for an after-party treat. Trust me!
What is the driving force?
We want to expand and integrate bits of our culture into the local culture, so that we can create a more international environment, friendly and welcoming to the new and future tourists. I presented the idea to my local partner Ferdy Yunisaf and we both agreed to make it a reality.
Ingredients – how do you make the kebabs and pita’s taste authentic?
We have our secret recipe and follow German standards. Sorry, I can’t share the secrets but you are most welcome to come and try it – then I will explain to you what makes it so authentic.
As an entrepreneur how well do you see Bali placed to capitalize on the new Digital Nomad tourism market?
Well, Bali always been target of the digital nomads since the beginning, as for the policies and infrastructure, I think it will improve over the coming years and I am really excited about that. It is a great opportunity, especially now, during and after the pandemic people realise that work and travel (or working in paradise) is also possible. Especially with the concept that “work” is no longer static.
What are a few things you’d like to see in the upcoming two years – as far as investing law and rules?
I would love to see easier investment process for foreign capital, and probably a better regulation for those digital nomads in terms of paying some sort of tax or “visa for their services” by living here in Bali. Also I would like to see more electric vehicles, more awareness about waste recycling, less plastic consumption and less noise pollution, hopefully the authorities will be keen on doing something about those things.
Where are you seeing the biggest niche as far as foreign investment?
Real estate and hospitality for sure, who doesn’t want to have a slice of paradise? But also NGO’s and digital companies.
Any trends you think we should be aware of?
Well, if I would know… I would tell you. As for now we see everything change at a very fast pace and little time to be aware of too much. But if I was to really say something well, the digital NFT market… be aware and be on it. Great things are coming out from there for sure. Me personally, I’m joining the Bali Beach Boyz project, which is probably one of the most promising projects with a ‘real life’ use case.
Lastly, Berlin Kebab – investment, hobby or both?
I would rather say a hobby or a side business, for the love of food and because I’m missing my home-made kebab of course with it’s special yogurt garlic sauce. As far as investment, there are other sectors I am also focusing on and which we can talk about in the future – we hope you’ll join us for new projects.
Thanks for your time Florian, now let’s chow down on a Berlin Doner Kebab Classic.
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