The man behind Malaysia’s most famous burger was not come from a rich family. He came with no tie, no suit, and no giant swivel chair like he has right now. The only testament to one of the country’s most important entrepreneurs lies in the logo on the wall bearing the celebrated words: Ramly. Ramly Burger does not need introduction for Malaysians, and the popularity of the Ramly brand itself eclipses its very own creator, Ramly Mokni. Ramly is the guy who has almost single-handedly changed the way how burgers are commercialized via the ‘gerai’ concept. Dato’ Haji Ramly bin Mokni started out making burgers from a mobile kiosk in a small lane in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. In the 34 years since, Ramly has built a food empire that boasts annual sales of RM1billion, churning out around 150 metric tonnes of meat, chicken and seafood-based products a day. The Ramly burger itself has become synonymous with late-night snacking amongst Malaysians.
The combination of beef or chicken patty, margarine, onions, eggs and Maggi seasoning packed between two buns are a foodie’s best friend. Some are ordering two at one go from everywhere Ramly burger carts all across the nation. Dato’ Haji Ramly bin Mokni is originally from Tanjung Piandang, Perak and was raised in Selangor. His father was a rice farmer while his mother is a housewife. He has 16 brothers and sisters from one father and two mothers. Ramly has been established for over 30 years. In 1970s, imported meat became very popular in Malaysia and Ramly saw the opportunity to have burger meat locally produced at high volume which could match the standard of the imported meat while maintaining its Halal standard. So he opened up a burger processing stalls which later became hot in town.
He named the product after his very own name, Ramly Burger. He and his wife, Datin Hajjah Shala Siah binti Abdul Manap started the business with just a deposit of RM2, 000 at Jalan Haji Hussein flats in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur. He did not have any machines or equipments to make patties at that time. So the patties that were produced were done manually with the help of his wife, and he managed to churn out around 200 patties a day. At the beginning, the burgers were received a low response from customers because it was considered a Western-type of food product and new in Malaysia. But at the same time, he used to open another burger stalls at Jalan Chow Kit, Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Raja Laut, and nearby places to market the Ramly burger.
Then, Ramly quickly moved to expand the business further by incorporating a company as well as using machines to speed up processing and increase daily productions. They embarked on extensive research to diversify their products and later introduced nuggets, fingers and others. In 1980, Dato’ Haji Ramly set up a company called Ramly Burger Enterprises. Five years later, the production moved to factories operating in Industrial Area Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras and the production of meat burger reached about 100,000 units per day inside an area of approximately 10,000sq. In 1987, business activities focused on manufacturing or producing activities went through Mokni Ramly Burger Enterprises Inc, or now better known by the name of Ramly Food Processing Sdn. Bhd. There are four subsidiaries were also been established, namely: Ramly Food Processing Sdn. Bhd, Pemasaran Ramly Mokni Sdn. Bhd, Ramly Food Services Sdn. Bhd and Ramly Halal Mart Sdn. Bhd.
Today, Ramly Burger Processing continues to produce millions of burgers with its revenue raking up year after, and with many accolades to its core. The company’s annual revenue is now exceeding RM100 million per year. The Ramly Burger brand is currently not only popular in Malaysia but also selling like hot cake in Singapore. The brand has also stamped its reputation due to its commitment and non-compromising integrity on their Halal status. In 2005, in the wake of public objection on some of the brand which Halal status recognition were highly questionable, Ramly Burger, together with few local food producers like Ayamas, stood out from the crows as those who comply to the highest standard by JAKIM.
Ramly was recently awarded as one of the recipients of ‘Anugerah Melayu Cemerlang’ on May 2006. He has proved that one can succeed without diploma, degree or other higher qualifications. To him, passion and deep interest will carry you on until you reach your goal.