Let’s continue our conversation with Gleb Kovalyov, the co-founder of ‘Karma Crew’ brand. In the second part, we delved into future plans and business taboos.
You mentioned people are looking into franchises and other projects. What kind of projects are we talking about besides 'Karma'?
There are several social projects around 'Karma'. Our ventures often share co-owners, but these side projects can involve different co-owners (remember that ‘Karma’ bars have 30 co-owners overall). For instance, my close friends and co-owners currently relaunch their clothing brand called Street Viera, and I'm jumping in too. They were running this brand in Belarus, but now they officially move it to Poland. The ‘Street Viera’ production is their first gig.
The second project in the pipeline is hopefully all about stickers. Think sticker production, setting up small-scale operations.
I'm even thinking about branching out into different businesses that can’t compete with each other, maybe even private clinics or schools. But that's a long-term journey. So, we've got plans for a streetwear brand, a print shop, and these small productions.
And hey, one of these might even be nail salons. At least ‘Karma Crew’ is thinking about it and maybe one day we’ll get to that point. We're just taking it easy and rolling with time here. Time is on our side. We're actually living life here and not just existing in survival mode in Belarus.
Is 'Karma' a franchise, a chain of bars, or each bar is a separate independent establishment?
We call it a family business, a family franchise if you will. We don't sell this naming. We're just rolling with our crew. And in the future, who knows, maybe we’ll launch a new bar chain or a project called... Name any word.
So, it could be a ‘Brick’ bar by ‘Karma Crew’. This would free us from this concept of Sasha Kachan and Gleb Kovalev as the main characters of the "Karma" brand. And this would give us more financial flexibility while we could still maintain social interactions. It will kinda show that we're still this big ‘Karma Bar’ hub yet up for venturing into fresh and cool projects.
What we’re absolutely sure about is that we shouldn’t compete against each other.
Do you have any taboos in doing business?
We do not engage with cultural figures who traveled to Russia after the war began. We also don't interact with those who work in the Belarusian cultural sphere.
We do not tolerate homophobic, transphobic, racist, or sexist manifestations within the community. Overall, we strongly condemn intolerance and violence as such.
When it comes to problem-solving, we take it person by person, situation by situation and try to avoid generalizations. To make a decision, we analyze the specific context of a given situation and refer to common ethics.