Passion, essential for young entrepreneurs

Earlier this month, Minister of Trade Airlangga Hartarto encouraged young entrepreneurs to dominate priority industry sectors, which included food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, textiles, transport, electronics, and the creative industry.

As they are currently booming and expanding in the country, these priority sectors can usher in numerous opportunities, he believes.

The young generation is being encouraged to create their own opportunities and start their own businesses, as they also play a strategic role in the countrys economic future.

This is due to a number of factors, including the strengthening of globalization, the growth of a productive young workforce, and the emergence of industries driven by budding businesspeople, according to the Secretary General of Indonesian Young Entrepreneur Association Priamanaya Djan.

To avid baker Harina Bahar, starting a business means more than just economic opportunities. When the 28-year-old opened the doors to her very own Mlati Bakehouse, she knew that she was following her passion instead of a mere number calculation.

“I want to serve people with really good pastries, made from simple ingredients without any fuss, and I want to introduce people in Jakarta to what real bread is,” she said to ANTARA News in her bakery in Thamrin Executive Residence, Jakarta.

Such a simple sentence seemed to carry so much weight when she revealed that she left her job as a consultant in an oil and gas company in London, to open up a homely bakery in the central region of this bustling city.

In this city, people are so used to commercial bread, which unnecessarily contains excessive amounts of sugar and salt as well as chemical preservatives, she said.

“I feel it is not earthy and that is not how it was created thousands of years ago. So I want to re-introduce the authentic version and normalize it here,” she stated.

Her educational background in chemical engineering made her a skilled professional in the office job she did, but she confesses that she finds more satisfaction in seeing her croissants rise as it turns golden brown in the early hours of the day.

It did not mean that her years of study in the United Kingdom were a waste when she decided to switch paths, because the uniqueness of her baked products lay in the mix of chemical knowledge and baking skills.

“When I was little, I used to make fermented cassava yeast with my mom, which kicked off my interest towards mathematics, physics and chemistry, and when I took chemical engineering in the university, I received so many opportunities to learn to make all kinds of yeast, including ones for bread,” she revealed.

From her penchant for yeast making and all its chemical components, her enthusiasm towards baking developed as she lived in an apartment above a bakery when she was studying.

Personal contact

Fulfilling her own pleasure towards baking is one thing that drove her to establish her own entity, but along with that, she is determined to make personal contact with people who could enjoy her edible creations.

“When we start a business, we can do anything, create anything, but more than that, I feel like I would make more of an impact on people as compared to working for someone,” she said.

The impact she wishes to have on people is done through friendly chats with every customer who comes in to her establishment, to whom she explains the concept and specialty of her minimalistic food products.

Her aim to connect with people also shows in the quaint set up of her bakery, decorated with countless little trinkets, all of which belong to her and her family.

The reason behind it is that Bahar wishes for people to come in and feel at home.

“For me, it is very personal. I guess, I want to tell people my story, where I got the inspiration from to create all of this,” she said.

Beyond the Passion

In May, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi), who is an entrepreneur himself, said that passion is indeed an important part of maintaining a business, but while it remains one of the vital aspects, entrepreneurs need to also understand the ever-changing market.

These changes often discourage young entrepreneurs from continuing their endeavor, as fear of failure can sometimes be overwhelming. At that point, it is possible for them to disregard their passion completely and give up what they have created.

A business can succeed only if people have strength, passion and resilience, she says in response.

All of these qualities are indeed what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.

“You also have to believe in your own product, and I have confidence in mine,” she affirmed.

Source: Antara News