Hendy Setiono

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Quick Facts

  • Name: Hendy Setiono
  • Age: 26
  • Country: Indonesia
  • Company: for-profit
  • Focus: Food & Beverage
  • Website: www.babarafi.com

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"I became an entrepreneur because my curiosity was bigger than the smartest man in my campus."

My Story


Dropping out of university should not be encouraged. Education is the key to success. Howeer, sometimes it can be a stepping-stone to success. Hendy dropped out of university to grow his business into the biggest franchise chain in Asia.

About Me

I am Hendy Setiono, founder and President Director of PT. Baba Rafi based in Indonesia. I have three franchise brands: Kebab Turki Baba Rafi, Roti Maryam Aba-Abi, Piramizza, and my latest Gula Box (a box sugar brand with agency system in marketing). My business success didn’t come to me just like that. All of this started from a trip to the Middle East where I spotted an opportunity to introduce kebab and now we have 475 outlets of Kebab Turki are spread all over Indonesia and are in the process of an expansion overseas.
I am a college dropout with a sense of curiosity bigger than the smartest man in my campus. I learn from everything I see but never forget my sense of humor. Being the businessman I am, I try out everything my competitors has to offer. And I learn from them too. As an entrepreneur, I really don’t have any entrepreneurship background. Before I started this business I registered as a student for information technology at the Institut Teknik Sepuluh November Surabaya, one of the best university in Indonesia. But I didn’t finish my study at university; I decided to drop out from from university in my second year to focus on running my business. Why I did this? Because I didn’t want my life to depend on my parents any longer.

But of course, courage isn’t enough to start the business. After I dropped out of universiity I attended many entrepreneurship forum to gain knowledge and develop my network. Of course, I also learned by doing. At the beginning I had only had an employee, but after six years I have now approximate 800 employees. I never had doubt whilst I started the business. I always asked myself, could I start and develop my business until many people know me? How could I get supplementary funds to continue the business? If I would have dreamed without doing anything and without confidence, of course I wouldn’t get where I am now. On the contrary, I thought and I have acted, that’s why I am where I am now.

My Venture

My business success didn’t come to me just like that. All of this started from a trip to the Middle East where I spotted an opportunity to introduce kebab, a common and popular dish in the Middle East, to the Indonesian people. I 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 while my friends were busy doing their college assignments and preparing for exams, I was already managing my business, a Kebab Franchise called Kebab Turki Baba Rafi. I started off by selling the kebab in a regular cart, known as the gerobak, with one employee. I even did the cooking myself sometimes. But somehow, the business didn’t took off as planned. I then added some design and colors to my cart and sales started to pick up. The medias started to pick up my story and I have been featured in many shows. Through that my franchise gained the attention of many franchisees. And franchise sales skyrocketed ever since.

Kebab Turki Baba Rafi business, as other typical startups, started out smallbut now after six years of operations, Kebab Turki Baba Rafi 475 outlets spread across 60 cities in Indonesia and in early 2009, we have set out to expand internationally with our first branch in Malaysia. In the near future we will continue to expand to other countries in Southeast Asia, for example: Thailand, Vietnam, Philipina, etc.

My dream for Kebab Turki Baba Rafi is very clear. I want to make Kebab Turki Baba Rafi an international franchise in the same league as other world-renowned franchises and develop Kebab Turki Baba Rafi into the biggest franchise chain in Asia.


0 #1 2010-04-19 15:44
Hello Hendi:

I live in the U.S. and have been working as an advertising consultant but because of the economy here in the U.S. things have been slow. What makes your business interesting is I am married to a woman who spent 11 year in Indonesia and we are both looking to start a business .
To make a long story short she is very interested as I am in starting a franchise here. We live in Ann Arbor Michigan a college town home of the University of Michigan. The town has a very divers population and would be a great place to have one of your smaller restaurants. Being Filipino here in the states you don't have much opportunity working in Corporate America. That's why I became interested when I read about your business.

Thank you for your time and I wish you continued success!


Richard Crispo

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