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Grab and Go: Edward Tirtanata of Kopi Kenangan | The Indo Tekno Podcast

Kopi Kenangan has grown to more than 350 stores in less than three years, a scale that global juggernaut Starbucks took 23 years to achieve.

The Indo Tekno podcast is hosted by Alan Hellawell, who is the founder of Gizmo Advisors and a venture partner at Alpha JWC Ventures. In this episode, Alan talks to Kopi Kenangan co-founder and CEO Edward Tirtanata.

Indonesian grab-and-go coffee chain Kopi Kenangan has grown to more than 350 stores in less than three years—a scale that global juggernaut Starbucks for instance took 23 years to achieve. Kopi Kenangan’s growth moreover has been achieved with consistent profitability at both the store and company levels.

In his chat with Alan Hellawell, co-founder and CEO Edward Tirtanata talks about the unique balancing act of blitz-scaling while preserving key elements such as company culture and customer satisfaction. Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, Kopi Kenangan continues to grow rapidly, and profitably, at the pace of roughly 30 new stores per month. Having founded Kopi Kenangan’s first outlet amidst three of its biggest competitors, Tirtanata believes that squaring off early with competition is imperative in order to accelerate product-market fit, and ensure the ability to scale successfully.

Having originally risen to popularity in its ability to offer high-quality coffee at an affordable price, Tirtanata envisions successively layering new offerings on top of the current menu. Kopi Kenangan’s broader mantra is “Product is king, but distribution is God.” Tirtanata also touches upon the importance of technology—it has driven order frequency and average order value (AOV), and has been a powerful enabler in customer targeting as part of its new loyalty programs.

​He wraps up by offering the following useful advice to young entrepreneurs in the consumer tech space: Do not compromise in your early pursuit of product-market fit. It is essential in managing customer acquisition costs, and in ensuring scalability in the longer term.

Listen to the full podcast here.