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A friend of mine, Hendy Setiono is the person everyone his age wants to be. Successful, married, financially free. But this didn’t come to him just like that. While his friends were busy doing their college assignments and preparing for exams, he was already managing his business; a Kebab Franchise called Kebab Turki, under the company PT Baba Rafi.

The 200+ outlets of Kebab Turki are spread all aver Indonesia and are in the process of an expansion overseas. For this, Hendy has received numerous entrepreneurship awards; most recently, the prestigious Mandiri young entrepreneur award. He was even included in Tempo’s 25 people that change Indonesia list. He is the topic of conversations everywhere. In one of my recent talks with Sandiaga Uno, he was heralded as one of the rising stars in the business world, and a force to keep an eye on.

All of this started from a trip to the middle east where he spotted an opportunity to serve kebab, a common and popular dish in the middle east, to the Indonesian people. He then enrolled in a cooking course and brought home the recipe and knowledge to make fine middle east kebab. This recipe was then slightly altered to match the Indonesian tongue. And it seems that he did get it right.

He started off by selling the kebab in a regular cart, known as the gerobak, one employee. He even did the cooking himself sometimes. But somehow, the business didn’t take off as planned. He then added some design and colors to his cart and sales started to pick up. This gained him enough attention to attract the media, a very crucial part of his business. Having been featured in many shows, his franchise gained the attention of many franchisees. And franchise sales skyrocketed ever since.

His business strategy is quite unique; he postpones entering the Jakarta market. That way, he hopes that the brand will build enough presence around the capitol and will be in a stronger position to enter the market. Smart. By the end of 2007, he targets 100 outlets to be opened in Jakarta. And he is most likely to achieve that.

Not satisfied with the success of Kebab Turki, he established a new company called CoffeeToffee. This company provides take-away/drive through coffee. No other company in Indonesia has provided this kind of service and already the company is seeing growth in its sales.

This amazing business track record is churned out by the man he is inside. After spending some time touring Bandung with him, I found out that his business success was contributed by the unique features he has as a human being. A hard worker, but takes things easy. Someone people look up to, but doesn’t look down on anyone. A college dropout with a sense of curiosity bigger than the smartest man in my campus. He learns from everything he sees but never forgets his sense of humor. Being the businessman he is, he tries out everything his competitors has to offer. And he learns from them too. All to improve his business, by tackling one problem at a time. In Japanese, its called Kaizen; continuous improvements.

Hendy is an active mentor in the Entrepreneur University and also spends a lot of his time teaching entrepreneurship and motivating others through various seminars in various occasions.

Keep up the good work Mas Hendy!