Robb Report Singapore Thought Leader: Ben Jones, founder of Mandala Club

Ben Jones left a banking career to found Mandala Group. Get to know this member of the Robb Report Singapore Thought Leaders community and get inspired

If Ben Jones could have a superpower, he would like it to be teleportation. “Because then, I would be able to zip off to the Maldives or Ibiza for an hour or so between meetings,” he says.

Jones is an avid traveller who turned his passion into his job when he left his banking career in 2013 to found Mandala Group. Today, the firm is probably best known locally for Mandala Club, but also owns and runs multiple restaurants, resorts and properties in Singapore, Niseko and Bali.

Those one-hour trips to the Maldives and Ibiza would be well-deserved after the two years Jones has had. He admits that the pandemic has been the biggest career challenge he’s had to face so far. “But honestly, we came out of it stronger,” he says. “The experience taught me a lot about how to keep teams motivated, rightsize the business and get ahead of trends within the industry.

“We actually saw our business grow during COVID-19 and I think it was because we acted nimbly, listened to our community and took risks. Some worked, some didn’t, but we came out with a stronger, more cohesive brand and focus.”

Now that the tough times are over, Jones is setting his sights on growing his empire. “The future will be about being better at what we do, with corporate and environmental responsibility at the forefront. We are also learning about Web 3 and how we can embrace it for our community or a broader virtual community.”

He wants to be remembered for “building beautiful places that will last a lot longer than me” and to leave a legacy for his son. “I’d love to leave my child with an understanding of humour, friendship, responsibility and ethics. In an ideal world, he’d also take the mantle and keep building clubs and hotels after I’m gone.”

Editor’s note: Get to know the full Thought Leaders community here.

Photography by Sayher Heffernan
Styling by Wei Lun Tok
Hair & Makeup by Angel Gwee
Credits: Chanel Beauty and L’Oréal Hair Professional; velvet jacket by Ralph Lauren