UBS x ANGIN Women’s Spotlight: Evy & Mulyati Gozali: Co-Founders of Sababay Winery

Tell us about your journeys.

Mulyati Gozali (Mother): I love Indonesia: it’s culturally rich and people are kind. For decades, I worked in a public company dealing with tire factories, petrochemicals and mining. I decided that I didn’t just want a pension; I wanted to reach more for people and at the same time to teach my daughter to be strong, meet challenges and turn the tables in her favor.

Evy Gozali (Daughter): I worked in a Kalimantan mining company and I didn’t like it! I was happy to move to Bali with mom and become an entrepreneur.

Why did you choose the wine industry?

MG: First, I considered property; however, I really care about helping others. Sometimes, I’d do a road trip from South Bali to East Bali to see what it offered. While rich in natural resources, farmers were poor because they didn’t have fair pricing. The middlemen bought their crops; no one would buy direct. Farmers would leave ripe fruit hanging as they couldn’t get a good price.

We conducted an extensive field analysis. Indonesia saw 10 million tourists in 2015 annually, half of them in Bali. They spent around USD 140 daily – IDR 32 trillion per year – but Bali’s national income was only IDR 4 trillion. Why? Bali imports commodities like fruit, beef, and rice. The money went straight overseas.

So I thought, okay, that’s a problem. Most Balinese live on the 90% of land that tourists never visit, where farmers should be planting the fruit instead of us importing it. There was no ‘bridge’ between rural farmers and their markets, so, I built one: Sababay. Now farmers come to our winery to make wine. In 2015, based on Bali tourism data, 21 million litres of wine are consumed annually, only 1% made locally. In 2017, it grew to 25%.

Why is it so necessary to create businesses in Bali? What is the situation in Indonesia?

MG: People in rural Bali have little money. Approximately 60% have only been educated to middle- and elementary school. High school leavers only earn min wage of 2,7 mio rupiah which is about IDR 27 million Rupiah (roughly USD 1,846) annually. Just 10% of Indonesians can afford decent education to get high-level jobs, like banking. Only now is the President introducing free education.

How is working with your daughter, compared to other staff?

MG: It’s the same. I gave my daughter the required education, and she studied just like the other staff.

How is working with your mother?

EG: I was given the opportunity to run the business as the CEO as I co-founded the business. I know I skipped many steps that people go through in this industry, so I have a lot to learn. I like working with her because it feels natural. We’re a business, yet we have a family culture. I understand her vision and mission. Her passion in agriculture potentials, I learn so much from her, we share the same values and she listens to me too.

What challenges and hurdles have you faced while starting your company?

MG: In Indonesia, the alcohol industry can be viewed negatively. I knew Bali was good for grapes and that I could help people through income from wine production. I called a French winemaker to work with our local team for transferring technology and presented to the government the grape potentials and how farmers can benefit from the partnership.

There is a kilo of grapes in a bottle of wine. After I presented to the government they said: “We have grapes?” “Yes”, I replied, then told them about the 2000 hectares of lands belong to grape growers and that if the grapes weren’t sold, they would become cow food and they remain underprivileged. It still took three years to get the license.

You had no previous wine experience; how did you acquire this knowledge?

MG: If you are focused and determined to help people, you do your research then support will come from people with the same passions. We learn and share ideas and knowledges. Soon, I was teaching farmers how to manage plantations and harvests. Bali has the right kinds of grapes, but not the right industry.

EG: I’m glad that we can inspire others. We have so many capable Indonesians here, just from my mom’s crazy idea. She’s perfect for this job: well-connected and with a great eye for details. That’s how we do it!

What challenges do you face in this industry? How can other women learn from these?

MG: The wine industry has been male-dominated, but times are changing. Here at Sababay, we are training a female winemaker, a local one. I don’t think there’s any form of discrimination. We have women hand in hand working as a family. We just all learn along the way.

EG: We should all work together. As a woman, I can do anything, yet people sometimes see us as purely maternal figures. Indonesian women are strong – see the way they carry themselves and work. Sometimes, we take the responsibility of three people: a mother, wife and businesswoman. We’re changing roles constantly, which makes us tough.

What does wealth mean to you?

MG: I believe that all money and assets are gifts from God. Knowledge is a great asset that you use by teaching others. I wanted to share my abilities with farmers so they could prosper too.

What are your goals in life moving forward?

MG: I want to help this generation to bring Indonesia’s potentials forward by improving life for everyone. We must give back to our country.

What’s it like to have a mother that is so accomplished, ambitious and successful?

EG: I’m very blessed and proud to have a mother like her, but there’s also pressure because the next generation is supposed to do better. She built this for her children, grandchildren and her country. You see family wine businesses that are 200-years-old. We want to continue the legacy and benefit more people around us.

Do you have any words of advice to inspire other Indonesians?

MG: Indonesia has so much potential; the younger generation should tap into it. Bali is a really easy place to showcase products to tourists: local leaves and trees can be used for cosmetics, for example. People just need ideas, passions and integrity.

What would be your advice to other mother-daughter teams?

MG: Do not compete, because you and the next generation are different. You already have the experience, so share your knowledge and don’t expect younger people to know everything from the start.


 

UBS x ANGIN Women’s Spotlight is a special collaboration project between UBS Unique and ANGIN to celebrate strong Indonesian women who are exemplary leaders, unique changemakers, and role models. The project celebrates and reflects upon the individuals’ personal anecdote and professional journey and how they are challenging, reinventing and innovating their workplace in order to improve gender equality and be a force of change in their respective community and industry.

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