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Trailblazers Edward Tirtanata Founded Indonesia's Fastest Growing Coffee Chain, Kopi Kenangan. Here's How He Did It

Edward Tirtanata Founded Indonesia's Fastest Growing Coffee Chain, Kopi Kenangan. Here's How He Did It

Close-Up Of Hand Pouring coffee Syrup In Glass in a pink background
Getty Images
By Clairice Halim
By Clairice Halim
September 14, 2020
Edward Tirtanata on his bittersweet journey in Indonesia’s F&B industry

In the What Matters To Me series, a Generation T honouree describes what they do, why they do it, and why it matters

Inspired by memories of enjoying a cup of tea with his mum at their favourite teahouse in Boston, Edward Tirtanata wished to create a similar experience for others. He built Lewis & Caroll, an artisanal tea lounge, in 2015 before expanding to the mass market in 2017 with Kopi Kenangan. With its high-quality drinks at an affordable price point, Kopi Kenangan has opened more than 335 branches around Indonesia in less than three years.

In May 2020 Kopi Kenangan secured Series B funding of US$109 million from B Capital, Horizons Ventures and Alpha JWC Ventures.

Here, Edward discusses his work in his own words.

What drove me to build Kopi Kenangan was to address the gap between instant coffee and international “third home” coffee brands. When we first started, affordable quality coffee was nonexistent in Indonesia. This is why I created Kopi Kenangan, with high-quality local beans sold at a significantly cheaper price tag, to reach a bigger market here. While Kopi Kenangan is a grab-and-go concept, the approach for my teahouse, Lewis & Carroll, is a premium ‘third home’ tea lounge.

See also: Inside One Foundation's Fight Against Forced Labour And Debt Bondage Among Domestic Workers

Edward Tirtanata
Edward Tirtanata

Mystery shopper is one of the ways we control quality in every store, besides using technology to monitor whether the employees are following the standard operating procedures (SOP). Furthermore, the Learning and Development team will check and update the SOP periodically based on feedback from every region and area. We also have Quality Assurance and Quality Control teams to create the SOP and conduct quality control methods continuously. All in all, make sure you have a superior product and service because customers always come back for the best product and customer service.

See also: The Gen.T List 2020 In Numbers

Be better than your competitor, even by just a few percent. When starting a business, the sole focus should be on market share and not about cost cutting. First, dominate the market using a customer-obsessed approach; cost-cutting comes later. Promotions help, but it’s not the key ingredient to an intensely loyal customer. Going forward, we would like to digitise the loyalty of our customers and capture their transactions through our proprietary application.

See also: Ayesha And Parag Khanna On Artificial Intelligence And Coding With Their Kids

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lifestyles and behaviour; people have become more concerned about health and good hygiene. Now, consumers are focused on how proper hygiene measures are exercised, paired with contactless commerce. Brands that establish a strict hygiene policy will give a sense of comfort to customers, which will allow them to regain revenue easier post-pandemic. With our app’s delivery feature, Kopi Kenangan has the advantage because customers can choose either delivery or pickup services.


See honourees from the Food & Beverage category of the Gen.T List 2019.

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Trailblazers What Matters To Me Tea Coffee

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