Gingerly taking her steps up into the studio, May Farida came with her bright smile and warm greetings. Her leg was a bit sore in recovery from bicycling, but her daughter Callista Daniella Bachtiar attentively helped May whenever needed. Despite a packed schedule, the businesswoman was happy to spend the day of this photoshoot with Tatler Indonesia. Moreover, pairing up with Callista, herself a busy young professional, meant spending more time together.
Among her many enterprises, May and her husband Jimmy Bachtiar opened an automotive business following his hobby. They became the official distributor of Hurricane XCS from Taiwan and opened Hurricane Indonesia in 1994. Although the company markets more than 100 products, it focuses on performance booster products for motorcycles and cars. Today, Hurricane Indonesia has reached almost all major cities in the archipelago, from Jakarta to Medan, Makassar, Papua and many other cities. “These days during the pandemic, we did not expect that demands for Hurricane products would rise,” she said. “However, people prefer to travel by cars even to faraway destinations for hygiene reasons.”
May and her team now work to cement and spread the branding of Hurricane, starting from a new collaboration with Shell gas stations to showcase its products. “Early last year, our sales and marketing teams have visited the distributors around Indonesia to strengthen local branches. Next, we are working to have the booster product marketed in car dealerships as well.” She is also expanding Hurricane’s online presence through major marketplaces, such as Tokopedia and Shopee.
Besides growing Hurricane, her work includes a fine-dining restaurant, Pala Adas, to spread her love for authentic Indonesian food. “When I opened the restaurant in 2014, I only intended for it to become a gathering place for my clients and colleagues. Surprisingly, people loved the menus we created, and the business took off.” However, with an upscale dine-in concept, Pala Adas has had to redefine its strategies during the recent social- distancing period. To ensure the livelihood of her employees who have stayed with the restaurant all these years, she persevered and switched services to delivery—but no order came through.
“I started looking for ideas from other businesses around me when, suddenly, I got the idea about creating nasi liwet with lobsters,” May said. “No one had made it before, and indeed it was quite a challenge.” Besides having a tasty menu, she had to find the perfect price point with this luxurious ingredient. To her delight, a supplier came knocking to offer some of the best stock at a lower price; Pala Adas was again active in the business. Moreover, this turning point provided a chance for May to strengthen the brand and its foundation before growing outside of its location in Pantai Indah Kapuk.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, plans were underway to open Pala Adas in Senopati and Alam Sutra Areas. “Although we have to stay put, for now, the brand has since gained more customers thanks to the delivery services. All these did not come merely from our hard work; I am thankful to God for all the sustenance throughout this difficult time,” said May. The prolonged time of social distancing has given more time for her to reflect and appreciate more moments of togetherness with family. Outside of work, she would cycle around town with Jimmy and their group of fellow enthusiasts.
May also spent time doing Zumba and other workouts through YouTube with Callista, her daughter, nicknamed Kelly. “My mum enjoys dancing, and she is even better than me,” she said. “With a much slower daily pace, I have learned a lot about being a better daughter and friend and finding out where my life would go next.” Pursuing her passions, the recent graduate has started working remotely for Coral Future, a sustainability advisory based in Singapore. Swiftly learning the ins and outs of her work as an environmental analyst, Callista has made plans to open her consultancy. Within the next five to seven years, she foresaw good timing to help address the growing urgencies in Indonesia with her skillset and experience.
“My mum taught me to go after our dreams and be determined to succeed,” Callista said. “She never said these out loud, but my mum showed me examples in her daily life.” Indeed, May has made it known to her daughter that she is a friend willing to listen and a mum lovingly guiding. “Throughout her growth stages, I adjust myself to see and understand from Kelly’s position. I hope she continues to grow to be a better version of myself with confidence and be empowered to go after her future.” Always supporting and wishing for the best of each other, May and Callista’s strong mother-daughter bond they share would leave the best legacy to be thankful for.
This story appears in the September 2021 issue of Tatler Indonesia. Read our e-magazine and their full story here.
Photography by Moza Wahyu | Concept by Clairice Halim | Makeup And Hair by Carlos Shu | Wardrobe by Tory Burch