Foresight has made Gufron Syarif – supported by his colleagues – succeeded in bringing Thirst! sped up fast. Launched in 2018, this food and beverage brand has spread through 110 outlets in Greater Jakarta and Bandung, and is ready to expand to many cities.
Gufron (37 years) is called a jelly because when he launched Thirsty! he looked at the market first. In 2016-2017, the market was fairly busy with palm sugar coffee products, from milk coffee to boba. Seeing that, he entered a different battlefield. “I decided to play in segment C, (because) the players of coffee milk and boba are in the upper middle class,” he said.
Together with his friends, PT Inspirasi Bisnis Nusantara (IBN) was established and hurried off! By the way , why is that brand name?
“Because we don’t want this brand to be associated with one particular type of product, such as tea and coffee. We want to be thirsty! associated with contemporary drinks that are very affordable , “he explained.
Thirsty! opened for the first time at Bina Nusantara University. Initially, they only targeted a turnover of IDR 4 million per day. But unexpectedly, they could reach Rp 15 million per day. Seeing that response, Gufron et al. also ran fast. This is done by using a crowdfunding system at each outlet. “We invite investors to invest in outlets , not to holdings ,” said Gufron.
The pattern is like this: investors only invest IDR 200 million at the beginning. Furthermore, all aspects are managed by the IBN team, from locating to operational management. Financial reports are provided every month and profit is divided in half between the investor and IBN.
This pattern has been responded positively by the market. Within a year and a half, IBN managed to create 67 Haus!
Getting that trust, Gufron et al. manage his business as best as possible. The founders share jobs: Gufron as CEO & CMO, Yonathan Augustine as CFO, Ferry Ardian Akbar as COO, Daman Wijaya as CHRO, and Sigit Sribawono as Deputy COO. They go directly to the outlet to interact directly with consumers in the field.
Then, in order to win over consumers’ hearts, Gufron et al. presenting quality products. So, product variants were born quickly (now 35 variants). “In the F&B business, the key is product innovation, packaging , and how to order. So, once every three months we launch new products, both seasonal and permanent. Or, once every three months we launch a new packaging. The goal is that consumers don’t get bored, ”Gufron explained.
Then, realizing that their target market is in the lower middle class, they communicate directly and in easy to digest language. Among other things, making a large banner with an attractive drink image with the words “Only Rp. 5 thousand”. This communication model was successful in luring people to come so that word of mouth was created .
A positive market response makes Gufron et al. increasingly step on the gas. Even after taking market conditions into account, they are upgrading their Haus! “We decided to make a bigger shop. Finally, the Thirsty shop appeared! 4.0 which is 2-3 times larger, where the capex reaches Rp. 400 million, “he said.
This policy was taken because it turned out that the middle class also came to the Haus! Unlike the previous outlets, Thirsty! 4.0 has a parking lot. Now, Gufron explained, the market share is already 50:50 between middle-lower and middle-income people. They are buyers of 1.2 million cups per month at Thirsty! (before the Covid-19 pandemic, it reached 1.8 million cups ).
In the end, the situation is like the adage “there is sugar, there are ants”. With a turnover of Rp. 14 billion per month, Thirsty! provoked a number of venture capitalists to come. December 2020, the Sembrani Nusantara Venture Fund from BRI Ventures injects IDR 30 billion into IBN for the development of Haus! “There are several venture capitals who contacted us. The most suitable and strategic one is from BRI Ventures, ”Gufron emphasized.
IBN will use these funds to develop its business: 80% for expanding branches and 20% for creating applications for customer loyalty . Especially for the addition of outlets, this year IBN will add 100 new outlets spread across Cirebon, Semarang, Yogyakarta and Surabaya.
The entry of venture capitalists has made the IBN team more confident. They have now set a high target. “(We) want an IPO in the next 3-4 years,” said Gufron confidently.
“We are also targeting expansion overseas, such as Malaysia, the Philippines and several countries in Africa,” added the alumni of Master of Business IT from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Like the product brand (Thirsty!), Gufron et al. also increasingly thirsty to continue to grow