Last week, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas shared the story of Mariana and her “Liberina” dodol kopi. Today, we will be introducing another winner of the Business Incubation Program – Trisna Wardah Ningsih.
Trisna is the owner of “Dua Bersaudara” bakery, located in Sungai Baung, Riau Province, which she runs with the help of her parents. Prior to opening her bakery, she was an ordinary office worker, working in a notary office. However, after giving birth to her child, she decided to give up on her job to focus on looking after her child. Yet, she struggled with this change, as she was used to working.
So, she took a leap of faith and opened her bakery in 2018. Having no prior experience, she relied on YouTube and Google to learn and eventually in 2019, she joined a government-sponsored training program where she was able to improve her skills.
This year, Trisna was invited to join the Business Incubation Program, replacing a participant who had dropped out. At the start of the program, participants were asked “What is the value of the product you’re selling?” This prompted Trisna to think about the products she was selling in her bakery, which were all flour-based baked goods.
“I wanted to make something different while still using sweet potatoes. And I wanted to make something international,” she laughed. So, she consulted with her mentors who suggested that she incorporate local items and delicacies into her products. In the end, she came up with “Sabi” – a pizza made with a sweet potato base and topped with smoked fish. Not only does it taste “very local”, all the ingredients from the sweet potato to the smoked fish are locally sourced.
When asked about her thoughts on the Business Incubation Program, she said that she found the classes useful, as it was hands-on and she found the mentors open and approachable. Eager to learn from these mentors who were entrepreneurs themselves, she asked them many questions and found it especially valuable when they would give examples from their own experiences.
However, the feedback from mentors could be harsh at times. “The mentors spoke very openly, which was a tough pill to swallow sometimes. But I found it useful. I digested what they said but I didn’t take it to heart,” Trisna confessed. Instead of feeling demoralised, she used it as motivation to continue improving her business.
Her enthusiasm earned her the “Best Progress” award, which she found to be a pleasant surprise, as she had joined the program late and did not even know that the participants were being judged.
“I was very happy to win, it feels like my hard work was noticed and appreciated,” Trisna shared.
Today, her Sabi is well-received amongst the local community, and she sells around 50 mini-pizza pies daily. However, she is unable to sell to customers who are far away, as these pizzas are fresh food items and cannot be kept for more than 5 days.
Trisna’s main takeaway from the Business Incubation Program is that she should map out a 10 year plan for her business. “I had never thought so far ahead. This class taught me that raw materials, working technique, and so on must be sustainable for at least 10 years and customers must be convinced that your product is here to stay, not just a passing fad,” she said.
The Business Incubation program is part of APP’s collaboration with Yayasan Doktor Sjahrir (YDS) – Womenpreneur Community (WPC). Through this program, APP Sinar Mas strives to empower entrepreneurs like Trisna by sharing knowledge and equipping them with the necessary skills. We hope that in turn, these individuals can inspire other women in the community to become entrepreneurs as well.