Monday, November 24, 2014

An Interview

An interview with Muhammad Naufal Ridha, a young entrepreneur from Yogyakarta, Indonesia.
This interview was made to participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week for Child and Youth Finance International.

Gita Listya Anggraini & Karina Paramitha (Youth Finance Indonesia)

Name: Muhammad Naufal Ridha
Age: 23 years old
Business: Angkringan* Bento Waza Waza

*Angkringan is a street-side food using a cart and a self-service mini restaurant. Angkringan provides rice and you freely take the complementary, such as satay, fried chicken, meatball, and so forth. Angkringan’s consumers are mostly students (with very limited monthly money). That’s why Angkringan is so common around Yogyakarta, which is known as ‘City of Students’ and has been part of culture. 

(left-right) Karina, Naufal, Me

Ø What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture?

Basically, I love gathering and socializing with people, I’m not kind of person who is comfortable working in the common office. That’s why, eventually I thought about making a place where my friends would feel like being home. The place would also be suitable for people to go hangout and doing nothing but chitchat.
Ø How did the idea for your business come about?

I believe it came from heaven. Initially, Ganis (a friend) and I, then came Susilo and Juan. I was about to go to beach, when spontaneously the idea came to me. It was time when I was striving to finish my bachelor thesis, and my friends didn’t gather at campus anymore, they were busy with their own stuff. I thought it was a good time to create a Military Angkringan (an Angkringan where people who is in debt have to leave their identity card). But then, came another idea, about creating Angkringan Bento, which sells Japanese-fusion fried meals such as chicken roll, shrimp roll, chicken katsu, and so forth, served with Japanese sauce with absolutely Indonesian’s favorite source of carbohydrate, rice.
Ø How do you find people to bring into your organization that truly care about what you do?

Initially, only me and Ganis. Tried to decorate cart and joined a lot of entrepreneurship exhibitions and sold meals by establishing booths in so many event. We went from booth to booth, subsequently. Then Susilo and Juan contacted and asked to join us. They said the concept is brilliant, the food is good. Towards their interests, I said that they have not to be ashamed by selling their own meals, serving by themselves, to know and feel the process. After that, we got to know each other very well by growing together alongside our business and know how it was to start from zero. Feel like having a real family.
Ø What three pieces of advice would you give to young people who want to become entrepreneurs?
  1. To be in business, was fun yet not easy. Don’t be trapped by imaginations of huge revenue. Like hiking a mountain, it was fun, but difficult, there’s process on it.
  2. Have faith in process. If we dream it, someday we would reach the point that we’ve dreamed it before. And don’t believe in something instant. The easy and instant process generates instant result too.
  3. Don’t easily label yourself. To start business with objective to be labeled as entrepreneur would demotivate you.
  4. Bonus point: Don’t expect too much.
Ø What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
  1. Skill to befriend with everyone à my business wouldn’t grow like this without any help from friends of mine, they have been helping me so much.
  2. Management skill
  3. Skill to dream bigger
Ø What can I do at my age to become an entrepreneur?

You can start at very young age. When I was at tenth grade, I, without any purpose, sold fire matches for mount hiker that usually passed my school to conquer Mount Bromo.
Ø If I want to start a business, what do you think I could start with?

Don’t be ashamed to start by zero, even if you have big amount of capital. By starting from zero, you don’t miss any important process.
Ø What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

There are a lot of failures I’ve experienced. It’s all because of lack of management skill. I can’t focus only on one thing, cause there’s a lot of thing I wanna do. During my college life, I’ve in and out of various kind of business. I started by making and designing School’s Year Book, then I went on selling macaroni schotel and pasta. After getting rid of that, I was trying to make and sell sandwich, only for 6 months. The past failures also resulted from choosing wrong business partners.
Ø How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

I am involving my family into running our business. My Mom helps us on our serving process, meanwhile my Dad do the business management.
Ø What motivates you?
I like something that basically related to creations. I am lucky to have a lot of friends. My motivation is to create and do something that has a direct impact for people to feel it.
Ø How do you generate new ideas?

I generate idea spontaneously. A lot of, yet unsystematic idea. People say it’s all because of bigger head, my head is way bigger than normal. I still haven’t found the passion of my life till now, that’s why I’ve been trying many new things, to find out which the one I am passionate about.
Ø How do you define success?

It’s not something that measured materially, it’s the atmosphere of real comfort zone, it comes from the heart. It’s the real comfort zone, when you do something and we don’t get tired of it.
Ø What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Been inspired by Nickelodeon’s cartoon: Avatar, The Legend of Aang, we named our carts as Fire Nations Carts (selling the fried meals). We are dreaming of establishing the three other carts consist of various elements: Water Tribe Cart (selling boiled and steam foods), Earth Kingdom Cart (selling vegetarian foods) and Air Nomads Cart (selling grilled foods). We believe we could gather it in one Angkringan, someday, just like Avatar gather the four elements in one city, and we would name the cart after the city he built, The Republic City Cart.
Ø Who has been your greatest inspiration?

Prophet Muhammad. Music: ACDC. Bon Scott. They had been the pioneer of their trend, when anybody else was busy with something in the era, they have created something that would be trend in the future, beyond what was in present.
Ø How do you go about marketing your business?

It is growing by the circle of friendships, great customer service: we cultivate the culture to our waiters of being friendly and interactive and warm and home-like atmosphere of our Angkringan. A funny story, when there was an unknown elementary-school teacher came to our cart, just ordered a hot tea and sat there all night to have a talk with our waiters.
Ø What are some of the biggest mistakes you've made in the adventure of starting your enterprise?

It was when we were not sure enough to pick new business partner without knowing and analyzing them deeply, but still we gave them responsibility to run the business by themselves with our brand on it. A few months ago, the branch (that was their responsibility) was closed, due to high expense and lack of management.
Ø How do you prevent mistakes?

Be very careful when analyzing new business partner.
Ø Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Demajors, the company that distributes indie music records and popularize them, alongside with Demajors radio and indie store.
Ø Where you see yourself and your business in 10 years? 20 years?

Well-developed Angkringan Bento. This year, we are going to expand and place our new cart, we have already had three carts and place them to the corner point of Yogyakarta. I want to realize our dream of making Republic City Angkringan, where the fried meals meet the steam and boiled one, grilled and also vegetarian meals. I want to pull Juan, Ganis and Susilo, whose families disbelieve of our business’ existence and convince them to focus on pursuing their bachelor degree, back to run our business together. 


Angkringan Bento Waza Waza
Twitter | Facebook

Location: (1) Selatan Apotek UGM; (2) Selokan Klebengan; (3) Jln. Glagah Sari
Delivery: 085729320992

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