Yukka Harlanda: Co-Founder & CEO of BRODO

Yukka Harlanda: Co-Founder & CEO of BRODO
Magani unites tradition with the new; reimagining the traditional batik shirt for the needs of our contemporary society. We combine Indonesia’s rich cultural heritage with the latest innovation in performance wear material to build the ultimate durable and comfortable shirt for the modern Indonesian man who is constantly on the move.

As we celebrate Indonesia’s heritage, we also celebrate the individuals who are unintimidated by the sweat and hard work required to defy challenges, push boundaries, and move Indonesia forward.

Meet the #MaganiMen who have inspired us that with grit and endurance, there are no limits to what you can achieve. #NOSWEATNOLIMIT


#MaganiMen: Meet Yukka Harlanda, Co-Founder and CEO of BRODO. Learn more on how Yukka is building the next great global brand.
Yukka Harlanda Brodo

Yukka wears Spring Royale. 


Why did you start Brodo? What was the motivation? 

Growing up, I dreamed of being the CEO of Nike. I love sneakers, especially Jordans. I was inspired by Michael Jordan's saying: “Everybody has talent, but ability takes hard work”. One day the stars aligned and I met a co-founder who was into business and basketball, and we decided to start something together -- to build our own Nike.
What is the biggest challenge you faced when starting Brodo? What is the biggest challenge you are facing now?

Starting was actually easy -- I enjoyed the journey and process. Rejected here and there but I loved every minute of it. We like to design things and seeing someone buy our own creation gives us satisfaction. As you know retail is a tough business because you have to deal with inventory and production. We realized that when we grow the company, we will face challenges regardless, and it's a continuous learning process since the challenges will not go away. 
What is your vision for Brodo?

Beat Nike. At least in Indonesia first. 
What would you do differently if you could start Brodo all over again? 

Nothing. But if I had to choose one, it is to have better finance people in the beginning. When we started, I wondered why there was no money in the bank even though sales were rising, which compounded with issues regarding taxes, fraud, and vendors. Actually, what is usually considered all the “boring” stuff is really important.

Yukka Harlanda Brodo 
How do you think Brodo plays an important role in the development of Indonesia’s sneaker culture?

We achieved a certain market position and customer demographic that will be substantial for Indonesia's future. We have this opportunity to direct a narrative about what makes a Indonesian brand cool and what makes an Indonesian gentleman cool. We want to play that very carefully because when you try to bring that message you have to balance between your brand and sales. If it is all about sales it would just be pushing products. But you have to take time to make sure your message is received properly. So for us, the legacy aspect is very important.
What is one thing you didn’t expect in the purchasing habits of the Indonesian consumer?

Well on the business side it’s all expected since our product is essential, core, simple products. The buying habit is not 10 purchases a year and we don't expect our consumers to do that. But something unexpected we didn’t see is for the sneaker culture to blow up as it did, especially with Jordans. I have been in the sneaker scene since the 90’s and I thought I was the only sneakerhead. I didn’t think it would be this fast for the sneaker community to grow to the masses. I do believe Instagram and social media played a big role in spreading the culture.
Do you feel Indonesia’s sneaker culture happened around the same time as America’s sneaker culture?

When the US market was rising in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, Indonesia did not follow since it was only in magazines and not on the internet. Now it's instantaneous. Even the reselling culture in Asia is more insane than the US. The question is “how long will this sustain?” A trend life cycle is something that will eventually die out, but for sneakers we don't know where we are in the cycle currently.

Tell us a fun fact about your industry that outsiders wouldn't know.

We [Indonesia] are the 4th largest shoe producer in the world. There is this particular football shoe called “Adidas Predator” that was endorsed by Zidane, David Beckham, and Roberto Carlos. That shoe was actually made in Indonesia. In fact, the molds of the players’ feet are still here in Indonesia, but you cannot access the Adidas R&D factory in Central Java -- probably even President Jokowi would have difficulty going into the development center because it’s a super secure facility and that’s where Adidas makes all their special shoes.
What about Magani resonated/appealed to you?

I hate wearing formal attire because the fabric feels uncomfortable. Sports fabrics are very comfortable and combining it with formal wear really meets my needs. People have seen me wear Magani to every formal event, like my daughter’s graduation, my friends’ weddings, and so on. Magani’s batik does not make you look old, which sometimes normal batik does. Also Magani’s pattern looks expensive and unique, which is important to me too. 
Is there anything in particular that you would like us to highlight about your brand?

If you need awesome shoes buy Brodo. Just try it. It's comparable to foreign brand shoes, since we use the same facility and we are more affordable. You will also look cooler and people will notice you.

Yukka Harlanda Brodo

Click here to follow Yukka on Instagram.

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