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Ngehe: Ali Muharam’s zero-to-hero journey

Erica Fransisca Thajeb

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Sun, September 15, 2019  /  02:07 pm
Ngehe: Ali Muharam’s zero-to-hero journey

Self-made: Ali Muharam works on his macaroni snacks known as Makaroni Ngehe. (Ali Muharam/-)

Growing up in a small town called Tasikmalaya, Ali Muharam had dreams of becoming a writer but fate took him in another direction to become a successful snack entrepreneur. Arriving in Jakarta with only a high school certificate, Ali's is one of those rare zero to hero stories. During Ali’s early days in the highly competitive megalopolis and concrete jungle of Jakarta, he worked various odd jobs like selling sandals, washing dishes, being an office boy, serving at a warteg (Tegal food stall) and scriptwriting. He was even homeless for some time, but none of these deterred the young Ali from his conviction that he would eventually make it big. “I didn’t know how I would get there [...] but I knew exactly who I was going to be,” Ali said. With such a conviction and self belief, Ali mustered up the courage to borrow Rp 20 million (US$1,430) from a fr...