Ramly Burger & The Founder Behind This Iconic M’sian Brand
Ramly burgers are one of my favorite for supper whenever I crave something fatty and moist.
Their burgers are an all-time Malaysian favorite and their patties have been loved by many generations.
It’s hard to imagine Malaysia without Ramly today, but back then, even the government couldn’t predict how far this venture might go.
Ramly’s annual sales reached RM1 billion last year and is targeting 20% growth this year.
The Ramly Group will also invest over RM500 million to expand its production capacity, as it aims to produce 6 million hamburger patties per day.
That’s 6 times more than what they currently produce per day and 60 times more than at the start, or 100,000 hamburger patties per day.
Ramly bin Mokni, the founder and CEO of the Ramly Group, has come a long way from where he started.
Introducing Malaysian Palaces to Western Cuisine
Ramly was born in Tanjung Piandang, Perak and was the 8th child of 16 siblings, he shared in an interview with Orang Perak.
He grew up in Sekinchan and then moved to KL to seek better employment opportunities.
Ramly and his wife, Shala Siah binti Abdul Manap, started this business from their home in 1978.
“The idea came from when I was working in a supermarket. This comes from a customer who asked if any of the hamburger patties sold at the supermarket were made by a bumiputera.
“At the time, the demand for food made by bumiputera was very low,” he said in an interview with Astro Awani.
It was also a time when there was a dispute over whether hamburger meats were halal or haram.
Therefore, Ramly saw this as an opportunity to start a business to create halal hamburger meat at the time with his wife.
He applied for a loan of RM7,000 from Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) but was rejected.
“I think the Malaysians weren’t interested in burgers back then,” he suspected.
When his loan was turned down, he decided to start his business with only RM 2,000 capital and produced 200 hamburger patties per day.
Since he didn’t have a lot of funds, he created these patties manually, using his hands and knives at home.
His pancakes weren’t too well received at first; Malaysians apparently just weren’t fond of burgers.
However, Ramly was not discouraged. He then opened his own burger stand near Chow Kit and started selling cooked and uncooked patties. He has also refined the flavor of his pancakes to suit the local palate.
The demand for their patties then increased and they started producing 3,000 meats per day – 15 times more than they originally produced per day.
People just can’t get enough of Ramly
Ramly had created a business 2 years after starting to make pancakes at home.
In 1984, he succeeded in opening a factory in Bandar Tun Razak of approximately 100,000 square feet.
In 5 years, Ramly found that he had reached the maximum production capacity of this factory, but the demand was still growing.
He knew he needed to accommodate these requests, so they expanded to a larger factory in the Batu Caves that was about 3 acres.
With this larger factory, they went from 100,000 cakes per day to 1 million cakes per day.
They also started to introduce nuggets, sausage, meatballs, minced meat and more, along with their patties.
This expansion of the Batu Caves factory was not the end of their growth, however.
In 2018, they built an even larger factory in Pulau Indah, Selangor, covering an area of 5.6 acres.
His expansion in Pulau Indah is due to the loan he obtained from Agro Bank and Bank Pembangunan Malaysia, with whom he signed an agreement for syndicated financing worth RM 275 million.
“I borrow from Agro Bank because the agriculture and farming sectors are a profitable business. It’s an industry that can make someone a millionaire, ”he shared in the interview with Astro Awani.
“People back then said it’s not good to be a farmer when they don’t realize that it’s actually a business that can make your life easier.”
Encourage the emergence of small businesses
Ramly’s empire has already opened up opportunities for nearly 30,000 micro-entrepreneurs, but they aim to reach 100,000.
“If a business can sell around 100-200 hamburgers per night, that means it can make a net profit of RM200 per night. Imagine if they can sell 1,000 of them. ”
“What if they go up to 3000 a night?” If their net profit is RM1 per hamburger, it will be RM3,000 per night. They can in fact reach nearly 10,000 RM per month, ”he calculated in an interview with Berita TV9.
From the way he put it, it looks like starting a Ramly burger stand seems pretty lucrative.
But then again, it is important to take into account the initial start-up cost, which is estimated to be between 5,000 and 6,000 RM by CompareHero MY.
1 pack of Ramly Chicken has 6 slices and costs RM7.50, so if you were aiming for the 200 mark, you will need to purchase around 33 packs, which will cost you RM250.
Let’s say if you were to operate 6 days a week you would have to operate 24 days a month, so buying the patties alone would cost 6000 RM per month, but the wholesale price is probably cheaper than that.
Additionally, location, marketing, and customer retention are important factors in the success of your Ramly burger stand.
Realistically, it’s actually better to sell your burgers for at least RM5 if you want to cover these costs and be in business.
How far will the Ramly group go
With their current production of 1 million cakes per day, 70% are destined for the local market while 30% are exported.
Their products have been exported to Thailand, Singapore, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia.
There are already 16 Ramly Halal Marts and 12 Ramly Halal Kiosks in the country, but Ramly wants to expand to 450 branches in the coming years.
Given the promise of their growth and expansion over the years, I wouldn’t be surprised if they managed to hit that prediction.
Ramly is iconic and accessible Malaysian cuisine whose popularity is unlikely to end anytime soon, not even with competition from gourmet burger stalls.
- You can read more about the Ramly group here.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Ramly bin Mokni, founder and managing director of Ramly Group & SelangorKini
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