This Is How Stefanie Kurniadi, A Millennial, Founded An F&B Empire In An Oversaturated Market

STEFANIE KURNIADI, MARKETING DIRECTOR OF CITA RASA PRIMA GROUP & CEO OF UPNORMAL

At only 33, Stefanie Kurniadi has accomplished so much. We speak to the hustling entrepreneur about her F&B empire in Indonesia to find out more about what keeps her motivated.

Her age has never been a factor in deterring her from success. At 19, she started her first business in branding and marketing. The business lasted for 8 years before opening what is now the Cita Rasa Prima empire in Indonesia.

Under the CRP group, there are 5 culinary brands, namely Warunk Upnormal, Bakso Boedjangan, Sambal Khas Karmila, Nasi Goreng Rempah Mafia dan Fish Wow Cheesee.

And this is how it all started:

So, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Jakarta, and I really love design, so I majored in Architecture. One of the best architecture university in Bandung, actually. So, I moved to Bandung and did my education there. When I was entering university, there was a monetary crisis. I could only finish my degree by funding it myself.

How did you eventually get into F&B?

After running my brand and marketing agency for 8 years, I wanted to run a business that was more related to basic human needs, like food. Businesses related to basic human needs will stay and keep growing in a sustainable manner. Plus, my partner and I are both passionate about food and travel!

You’re under 35 and you already have 114 food outlets. How do you feel about that?

Now, we have 1,800 employees in our company. I’m really happy that I can give value to other people. Every day we just want to make sure that our business continues to grow, so we can support our employees and their family and add more value to our customers and society as a whole. That’s what makes me very happy.

How did you manage to fund all of these businesses?

We did what any typically local business would do with fundraising, so, we funded our first store with our own money.

After opening, we had several stores and other brands, we started inviting the investors. The investors started from our inner circle, from our relatives, our clique and even ex-clients from our past business.

But, after we had several numbers of outlets and the company had good financial performance, we wrapped it up in a good proposal and we started having professional investors.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

I really love my typical day.  After I go to the gym, usually I go to one of my coffee shops, Upnormal is one of our brands, where we sell coffee, so every morning I sit and drink my coffee there, and then prepare for my work day.

Because I rarely stay in my office, so usually when I’m in my head office in Bandung, I have lots of meetings. But whatever it is, I try to only do work from 9 AM to 5 PM. Usually I try to stop working after 5 or 6 PM, so I can be refreshed the next day. 

What advice would you like to share with other women?

One great book that I read and recommend to women entrepreneurs is, the book by T. Harv Eker book called The Secret of Millionaire Minds. So, I study a lot about how rich people think.

What do you like splurging on?

Interesting question! I love travelling, and I spent a lot on travelling, Because there’s always something to learn about new places, like culture. I really love culture and different cultures. And I really love food experiences. Travel is one of the things I really recommend.

Favourite country?

I really recommend Jordan.