Kembali Bangkit Setelah Jatuh
I was supposed to continue on in the family business. Being an Entrepreneur was not what my parents wanted for me. But I had an independent spirit…
Conan Sodikin started selling cassava chips, against the wishes of his father…
But in 1986, he sampled a new, relatively unknown snack, ‘Kuping Gajah’, or translated in English, ‘Elephant Ears’. Immediately he was hooked and potential is what he saw. So Conan decided to change his game and start producing and selling Kupin Gajah.
He chose Kuping Gajah based on his business instincts. He was attracted to the unique shape and design, not to mention the addictive flavour. Conan looked at the practical aspect of Kuping Gajah too, it was the type of snack you enjoy munching on in your past time…reading a book, watching tv, catching up with friends. A fun and attractive social snack.
Conan was quick to search for information on how to make Kuping Gajah. With a bit of detective work, Conan found a a man producing Kuping Gajah in Buaran, Pekalongan. He finally had his hands on the secret recipe, but also realized that this delicious homemade snack demanded a lot of helping hands to produce.Admittedly, Conan says the first four years in business was tough. Conan experienced ups and downs, the fledgling business struggled. The greatest difficulty that he felt was a lack of capital. His business began to pick up in the 1990’s, but by 1999 he was struggling once again when the price of wheat flour rose dramatically as a result of the financial crisis. The situation caused a frenzy for flour consumers. In order to continue to operate his business, he needed three sacks of flour per day. With little profit, Conan ran on empty for over 6 months. But Conan didn’t give up. He had worked hard to get where he was, so although plagued by problems, he continued on. He chose this life, against his parents wishes, and he knew he had to make it work.
Marketing was not something Conan often had time for. But he found an opportunity in the smaller towns where his competition had not yet covered. With nothing to lose, he tried his luck in the surrounding towns of Pemalang, Banjarnegara and Purbalingga. Over time, people began to respond to Conan’s high quality snacks, and eventually he salesman lined up to visit his place of business “Yusron Snacks”.Over the years, Conan put in enormous effort to make his passion work. It has been 25 years since he started his business, and with the help and support of his wife, Nur Asyah, and their five children and a lot of prayers, Conan’s snacks are a favourite in Central Java.
He says the key to his success is his unyielding spirit, patience and tenaciousness. He is proud that the tasty elephant ears snack has managed to send put one of his son’s through college.
Although business was struggling to stay afloat, Conan was able to get back on track after meeting with Sriboga in 2000. Through the Sriboga Co-operative program , Conan received invaluable business guidance, and strengthened his working capital whilst receiving a variety of product training. Conan enjoys his association at the members meetings, fully facilitated by Sriboga.Now, with consumption of up to seven sacks of Sriboga flour per day, and with the support of his three employees, Conan reaps a turnover 15 million per week ($1500 approx).
With Sriboga, Conan had the opportunity to join a educational visit to the to the home of ‘Bakpia’, Pathuk in Yogyakarta. Conan enjoys participating in Sriboga’s member events, celebrations and expo’s.
Conan’s story is inspiring to us all, and we wish him continued success. Thanks for sharing you story with us.