May Farida

May Farida, owner of the husband-and-wife transportation company Hurricane Indonesia, proves she knows how to pivot gracefully amid a global crisis


When May Farida and her husband, Jimmy Bachtiar, found a good automotive product in Germany they thought would sell in the local market, they took the plunge. After all, Bachtiar loved cars. They decided to open Hurricane Indonesia in 1994, and became the official distributor of the Hurricane XCS car-voltage stabiliser from Taiwan. Their business now stocks more than 100 products, but remains focused on performance-booster products for motorbikes and cars.

Farida’s public-relations background helped the business stay strong, especially amid the 1998 Asian financial crisis. Today, the company reaches almost all major cities in the archipelago, from Jakarta to Medan in Sumatra to Makassar in Sulawesi and as far east as Papua, as well as cities across Malaysia and Singapore. While the global health emergency again stands to challenge the couple's business, it hasn't fazed Farida yet as she has learned to pivot around the restrictions successfully.

This ability to adapt quickly works well for her restaurant, Pala Adas, a fine-dining venue in Pantai Indah Kapuk, North Jakarta serving authentic Indonesian cuisine which Farida opened in 2014.

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Outside of the office, for a change of scene Farida enjoys cycling with her husband Bachtiar.

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