Like many Karbela residents, Pak Asti saw a good business opportunity between the village and surrounding offices.
Hello Pak, how long have you been selling mie ayam here?
I started this business in 1999, so it has already been almost 20 years. I used to operate in a different location but the traders there were evicted so I moved here.
Why did you choose to start this business? Is it a family enterprise?
No it’s not my family business, but it’s normal for people who live in this area to start trading like this. It’s a good location, with many business people and others who come to work, and they want to eat from traders like me. All the facilities we need to start the business are here in the local area too, so it’s an obvious choice.
You mentioned services which support your business; where do you buy your materials and ingredients?
I buy everything at the local market here in Karet, and I buy the water from a local vendor who brings it to my location.
What about the cart - do you build it yourself?
No, no; there is a craft specialist in the kampung who produces the carts for local traders. You can see that this wooden design is very common in this area.
This is a very strategic location, close to many busy offices and a main road. Do you have to pay a rental fee to operate here?
Yes it’s a good location, it becomes busy around 6:30am when people arrive to work, and again at lunch time. I don’t pay any rent here, but I have to clean the site every day after I finish working or I won’t be allowed to come back. I take everything with me, including the trash, and use water to wash the street. All of us [traders] work together to clean up so we can continue our businesses.