Rosnendya Wisnu Wardhana, Resurrecting Almost Extinct Batam Malay Cake

Monday, 10 December 2012
Not having enough time to spend with his family convinced Rosnendya Vishnu Wardhana, the 2010 winner of Mandiri Young Entrepreneur (WMM) competition in the Business Graduate and Alumni (Catering) category, to start up his own business. After looking around for opportunities, he decided that the cake business was the one for him.

Rosnendya realized that he needed to offer something different and unique so as to win over the market. “After searching for the right business, eventually my wife and I decided to sell Bingka Cakes, a traditional Malay cake from Batam that has almost become extinct. She realized that such cakes could be sold to tourists to bring home with them. I got the recipe from my wife’s grandmother, who is a genuine Malay from Batam. Yes, making money while at the same time helping to preserve a culture that is almost gone,” Rosnendya said.

He then experimented with his recipe so as to produce even more delicious cakes, and came up with attractive new packaging to woo potential customers. In all, the initial outlay on the venture amounted to Rp 5 million, which he took from the lump-sum money he received from a social security scheme when he resigned from his job.

The business commenced in 2009 under the name Kue Bingka Bakar Nay@Dam. At that time it was making between Rp 10 million and Rp 15 million per month based on a margin of 30% -35%. Since then, turnover has increased significantly, and currently stands at Rp 100 – Rp 150 million per month.

“Things really took off in 2010, when we purchased a shophouse and started working together with travel guides. We have continued to expand since then and now have six outlets,” Rosnendya explained, adding that customer demand increased significantly after Kue Bingka Bakar Nay@Dam expanded their range of cakes to 12, rather than just the pandanus-flavor original.

Rosnendya readily admits that his WMM win in 2010 has had an extraordinary impact on his business. The media exposure it has received at the national level has gained recognition for Kue Bingka Bakar Nay@Dam and dramatically increased sales. In addition, the training and attendance at seminars sponsored by Bank Mandiri have been invaluable in improving the company’s day-to-day management.

Although progress has been rapid, Rosnendya has no intention of expanding Kue Bingka Bakar Nay@Dam beyond its home base. “I want Kue Bingka to continue to be a typical Batam Malay memento, so I’m just going to open outlets in Batam. Next year, I intend to open one more outlet in Batam. If Kue Bingka can be found everywhere, that would mean that would no longer be a typical Batam Malay cake. Therefore, we are applying other strategies to reach a wider market,” he explained.

This strategy involves the opening of a chain of Malay concept restaurants under the brand Pak Ngah Kopitiam. By the end of the year, it is expected that two Pak Ngah Kopitiam restaurants will have opened, one in Jakarta and one in Tanjung Pinang, while another two restaurants will be established next year, one of which will be in Pekanbaru.

The restaurant chain is to be developed on a franchise basis, with the franchisees providing the capital, while the management system is provided by Rosnendya. To open an outlet will cost between Rp 350 million and Rp 400 million, on top of the rental for the premises. “I expect that a restaurant will be able to produce a return on investment within two to three years,” his said.

Developing SMEs
Running an SME himself has filled Rosnendya with enthusiasm for the SME sector in Indonesia. In addition to serving as the chairman of an SME association in Batam, Rosnendya also encourages SME entrepreneurs to place their products in Kue Bingka Bakar Nay@Dam and Pak Ngah Kopitiam outlets on a consignment basis.

“The number of SMEs that want to participate in this arrangement continues to grow and I am very happy about that. I want SMEs to grow together so that they are no longer medium enterprises, but rather “medium billionaires.” Let us struggle together from the bottom to grow new enterprenuers who will be outstanding successes in the future,” he said spiritedly.

Source : Kontan Tabloid