By Sarah Rashdi
If you’re a Malaysian but have never tasted the Ramly Burger, consider yourself as not Malaysian enough.
The Ramly Burger has become an iconic brand that is synonymous with street food and is a staple among many young Malaysians.
This halal burger is made specially to suit the local taste bud. It is not only affordable, but it is also delicious. Just one bite and you will get hooked.
Being the pride of Malaysian street food, the Ramly brand and burgers appear prominent among the Malaysian community.
Many burger vendors use Ramly brand products in their burgers. However, the majority of them are unaware of the appearance of Ramly Burger’s proprietorship.
The proprietor of Ramly Burger
Ramly bin Mokni, the person behind the success of Ramly Burger, has a very down to earth personality. He was once spotted to buy burgers from street sellers who used the Ramly Burger name. Due to his humbleness, the sellers who did not know him were unaware of his existence.
Ramly was born in Tanjung Piandang, Perak, and is the eighth child out of a total of 16 siblings.
He grew up in Sekinchan before moving to Kuala Lumpur in search of better work possibilities. The future is unpredictable and hence, he had no idea that he was about to launch not only a renowned burger brand, but also a business empire that would assist over 30,000 Malaysian micro-entrepreneurs.
It all started in 1978, when Ramly, who was working as a meat cutter at the time, began reading about halal burgers in the news. Many Malaysians expressed worries about whether the imported burger patties were halal or not at the time.
Ramly and his wife, Shala Siah binti Abdul Manap, saw a business potential and decided to start making their own burger patties.
Never Give Up
It was not an easy journey to start his own business. He struggled to get a loan because his application got turned down by various agencies and banks.
The money constraints faced by the Ramly Burger when it was first established have become the biggest challenge for them to stay in business. The Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) denied its financing application using the reason that only a few Malaysians ate burgers.
Therefore, he was left with no choice but to start his company with merely RM2,000 and produce 200 burger patties every day. Due to a lack of resources, the husband and wife manually prepared it at their flat in Jalan Haji Hussein, Kampung Baru, without the assistance of any supported machine other than a knife.
These patties were not doing very well at the start of their business. There was less of a response because Malaysians did not like burgers at the time. Ramly, who refused to give up, founded a little burger stand in Chow Kit. He also experimented with the patties’ flavours to give them a more regional flavour.
As the demand increased, and before Ramly knew it, 3,000 patties were being produced in a single day. Since his business was flourishing, he then registered his company in 1980.
In 1984, Ramly constructed a 100,000-square-foot facility in Bandar Tun Razak where the production of patties increased to 10,000 in a day.
In 2018, he constructed a third factory, this one larger than the previous two.
He quickly ramped up production to 1 million patties each day. He also expanded the meat frozen food line, making a variety of products for people to choose including meatballs, sausages, nuggets, minced meat, and other items.
Thanks to Ramly and his wife’s patience and perseverance, Ramly Burger now has annual sales of RM1 billion and uses approximately 1.5 tonnes of meat per day to make various Ramly brand goods.
Ramly’s products are now available in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh, among other places. On top of that, he owns 16 Ramly Halal Marts and 12 Ramly Halal Kiosks in Malaysia.***
(This article is written as part of feature writing exercise for Corporate Writing class)