The King of Souvenirs
    Category: Local Champions By : Anton Muhajir Read : 815 Date : Friday, June 02, 2017 - 17:39:29

    The Krisna souvenir shop is an iconic brand for domestic tourists in Bali, a place to buy cheap but high-quality Balinese souvenirs. The prices are kept low for local tourists with limited budgets, and located in popular spots such as Denpasar and Kuta. With its variety and affordable prices, the Krisna shops have become a local champion for Bali, with five outlets. The group also now operates family entertainment parks, spas, restaurants, travel services and other tourism-related services. Annual turnover for the Krisna group is in the billions of rupiah.

    Krisna was started from zero by its founder, I Gusti Ngurah Anom. The father of four was born 1971 in Singaraja, the youngest of seven brothers. He came from a poor family, so he could not attend high school due to their poverty. He also became known as something of a troublemaker, being rebellious and impatient. While still a teenager, Anom ran away to  Denpasar, not telling his parents where he went.

    Arriving in Denpasar with no money, he walked, hungry, until he stopped in front of the Rani Hotel in Sanur. He had the bright idea to start cleaning up the trash around the front of the hotel, where the hotel owner noticed him and offered him a job of doing odd jobs around the hotel. The next day, he washed the owner’s car, and then Anom suggested that he could wash the cars of the guests and hotel. For two years, he washed cars, earning about Rp 150 for each car. However, after two years, he became sick from constantly breathing the cleaning chemicals and quit his job to work for his relatives who had a small business making candies. While there he met the woman who became his wife, Ni Ketut Mastrining, who was a seamstress.

    In 1994, the young couple started their own company, Cok Konfeksi, with Rp 60 million. They made and sold t-shirts to local shops and offices, with a popular “I Love Bali” t-shirt becoming a sold-out item in many shops. Building on the success of the t-shirts, they expanded to souvenirs. By May 2007, he had enough to open their first shop in Denpasar, dubbing it Krisna, from the name of their third son. To promote his new shop, Anom met with drivers and travel agents in Gilimanuk harbor, an entry point to the island for local tourists. The drivers and agents helped promote Krisna to travelers arriving from the country.

    Read full version of the article