Edward Tirtanata.jpg

Photo: Courtesy of Indonesia Tatler Archive

I am Edward Tirtanata, CEO and founder of Kopi Kenangan, the fastest-growing grab-and-go coffee chain in Indonesia. I envision Kopi Kenangan to become the biggest coffee chain in Indonesia with 700 stores by 2022.

How it all started

I started Kopi Kenangan because I saw a missing gap between sachet coffee (US$0.1) and Starbucks (US$2.5)—mass-market affordable quality coffee is basically non-existent in Indonesia. So I crafted a local but high-quality coffee recipe with a significantly cheaper price tag.


Packaging and delivery strategy

Kopi Kenangan uses bubble-tea packaging for easier delivery. Take-away-friendly packaging is crucial because online delivery is dominant in Indonesia. A store of Kopi Kenangan must not be limited by the number of seats it has, it must facilitate online delivery as well.

My first store and growth

With the above strategy, I started my first 12-square-metre store in September 2017 and the results were amazing. We were able to do 700 cups per day and break even in three months, so building on the success, we tested the scalability of Kopi Kenangan by opening in different locations and the results were even better than the first outlet. We started fundraising once we had eight stores in September 2018 with one vision in mind: to become the biggest coffee chain in Indonesia through quality, price, and technology. At the moment Kopi Kenangan has 35 outlets and is on track to opening another 10 stores per month. We grew 4,272 per cent annually.

Recommendations for good coffee equipment

Lamarzocco Strada and Mythos.

Tips for budding entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs will be to read the news and subscribe to multiple news channels. I got my idea from reading start-up news in China.

Cutting costs in the beginning

When you start a business, your sole focus should be on market share, not cost cutting. Cost cutting comes later: dominate the market first.

My most difficult challenge

Starting from zero to one. I tried multiple businesses prior to Kopi Kenangan and Lewis & Carroll. Most businesses fail to grab market share because they are just not attractive enough to the customers. Nobody knows what business will work or not; therefore, my motto in business is start small, start fast, fail fast. That’s why all future entrepreneurs should not be afraid to fail.

My early mistakes in business

Lack of quality control, so we used most of our funding for quality control and expansion.

Approach to barista training

I believe people should learn on the job, so most of our employees learn on the job.

My future plans aside from being a coffee-shop tycoon

Research and technical development (RTD) and international expansion.

Passion projects that I do as a hobby


What does Gen.T mean to me?

Gen.T is great—it helps us connect with other thought leaders. And it would be awesome if we could do more networking events together.

See also: Who Is Oesman Sapta Odang? Everything You Need To Know About OSO

Tags: Entrepreneur, Indonesia, Generation T, Coffee Shop, Edward Tirtanata