Alex Tena has just completed his master’s degree in English at the University of Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM). Behind his flashy new degree, there is a struggle to pay for college.
Alex, his nickname, said he paid his own way through college by selling refillable gallons of water. Initially, he started selling refillable water because he often hung out with a businessman.

Alex talked several times about his business and was interested in learning. Apart from wanting to open a business, Alex also inevitably has to find additional costs for his studies. Finally the idea emerged to create a water refill depot.

“Incidentally, during college, my boarding house was close to a water refill place. There, I saw the seller just sitting in the shop. Seeing that, I tried to develop it by delivering to various ordering locations,” he said on the UMM website, quoted on Friday (21/ 10/2022).

Selling Bread to Get Business Capital
The business of opening a water refill depot is not easy. He needs to open another business to get capital to sell.

Alex worked selling bread for three months to be able to pay the down payment for the water depot equipment. On September 14 2019, Alex opened his water refill business.

“When I first started selling, it wasn’t easy, initially I only sold one to six gallons. Until finally I changed my marketing method by distributing brochures to every student and opening an online gallon delivery service. I am grateful that this strategy has been successful so that now sales of refillable water can penetrate 150 per day,” he explained.

Time Management
It’s not easy to study while doing business. The young man born in West Sumbawa realized that careful time management was one of the keys to his success in doing these two things. He divides his time from morning to afternoon to focus on selling and studying, while in the evening he does college assignments.

“Actually, I feel tired if I have to do activities from morning to night. But I do all that because there are degrees that I have to raise and insults that I have to prove,” he stressed.

Selling while helping friends.
What’s interesting is that the proceeds from the sales can also help friends who are experiencing economic difficulties. He is grateful that by selling water refills he can also help fellow students who are in trouble. Finally, occasionally he gives discounts, even freebies.

“I set a minimum price of five thousand rupiah. Then for shipping costs I add two thousand, so it’s seven thousand. Meanwhile for non-students the price is ten thousand rupiah. Not infrequently I only give a price of five thousand for students when they have difficulties. There are also quite a few that sometimes owe it first,” he said.

Message to Students
Finally, he advised us to use the time we have with useful things and live a planned life. Dividing your study time with work can improve your quality of life.

“Use time with good planning. When to study and work. When we encounter a challenge, don’t give up, because challenges will lead us to have broad insight to improve ourselves,” he said.