Last week Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas took you through the inspiring journey of Trisna Wardah Ningsih, the creator of ‘Sabi’s Sweet Potato Pizza.’ Today we share the final winner of the ‘Best Progress’ award at our Business Incubation Program - Dini Jayanti’s ‘Good Farm.’
Dini Jayanti always had a green thumb. Her love for nurturing plants started as a neighbourhood hobby back in 2018 when she dabbled in hydroponic farming. It was a small venture, just enough to supply her friendly neighbours with fresh produce. She never imagined it would blossom into something more significant until November 2022.
Dini runs ‘Good Farm,’ an all-women hydroponic farming group based in Tangerang, Banten province. APP’s Indah Kiat Tangerang mill identified the community-driven initiative for its CSR program and encouraged its founder to scale up by joining the Business Incubation program. The program itself was held in the Riau province, which meant that it was too far and pricey to attend offline. So Mrs Dini attended the program fully online, ready to apply her learnings to grow her hydroponic business.
The Incubation program challenged Dini's preconceived notions. “The program changed my mindset completely. I learned that it is very much possible to run my hydroponic farm as a social enterprise.” claimed Dini. Good Farm, comprising 30 housewives, became the embodiment of this transformation. Dini initiated an organisational overhaul within the farm, turning it into a well-structured business entity.
Theis approach worked wonders. Profits were distributed directly to active members after each harvest. Dini established separate divisions, each responsible for a specific task. Marketing, order processing, and cultivation were now finely tuned operations. The change was swift and effective.
With the farm running efficiently, profits soared to IDR 6 million (USD 390). It was a remarkable improvement from the modest IDR 2-3 million (USD 130-195) they used to make. “Since having a proper business plan, we’ve also been able to see our profits better, which is very motivating to all the women in the farm. Of course the profits didn’t grow overnight. It took many strategies to be able to run this business well,” she said.
Their hydroponic crops included kangkung (water spinach), kale, and pak choy - vegetables loved by all. Dini and her team weren't afraid to adapt. If a particular vegetable didn't sell well, they'd stop cultivating it, focusing solely on what their customers demanded.
Despite the newfound success, there were challenges. Dini's mentors were uncompromising, pushing her to change her mindset about the farm.
“The mentors were tough, no doubt. One even said that I’m running my farm like a charity and I’m not interested in making profits. I had to convince my mentor that I want to look at this as a business while also benefiting all the women on the farm,” recalled Dini.
The dream of entering the e-commerce market loomed large, but Dini knew there was much to learn about the fresh produce requirements. For now, they rely on platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram for sales, and eagerly participate in bazaars and public events, hoping to convert new acquaintances into long-term customers.
Dini's journey from a modest neighbourhood hydroponic garden to the head of a thriving all-women farming group is a testament to her determination and the power of entrepreneurship. Good Farm has evolved into a beacon of success, proving that even the humblest of beginnings can grow into something remarkable with dedication and the right mindset.