A Note on Mrs. Mooryati Soedibyo’s Struggle to Globalize Jamu Products

""Thanks to her role in the world of jamu, Mooryati Soedibyo is currently recorded in the Museum Rekor Indonesia (MURI, Indonesian Record Museum) as Empu Jamu. Not only that, in 2007 Mooryati was ranked 7th in the list of 99 Most Influential Women in Indonesia by Globe Asia Magazine"

Published by : Farida  -  01/10/2021 09:23 WIB

3 Minutes read.

Mooryati Soedibyo is known as a culturalist, once a politician, and the successful businessman behind the name Mustika Ratu.  Starting from her love of traditional herbs for jamu and cosmetics, Mooryati Soedibyo started a business under the name PT. Mustika Ratu, which is now a well-known manufacturer of jamu and cosmetics.

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The owner of the full name Hj. BRA. Mooryati Soedibyo, S.S., M. Hum was born in Solo on January 5, 1928. Mooryati Soedibyo is 93 years old. The daughter of KRMTA Poornomo Hadiningrat and GRA Kussalbiyah is the granddaughter of King of Kasunanan Surakarta Paku Buwono X. All Mooryati’s ability in dancing, understanding Javanese culture, concocting herbal medicine and traditional cosmetics, she aquired during her childhood to adulthood at the Keraton Kasunanan Surakarta.

Quoted from the Kumparan,  Mooryati often shares jamu compounds to her fellow childhood friends. She also often did her own makeup or did to other princesses of the palace when there are special guests or when they were going to dance.

Mooryati married Soedibyo Purbo Hadiningrat in 1956. In 1965 she joined her husband’s service to North Sumatra. Because of boredom at home alone, the mother of five children was looking for activities by re-exploring the hobby of concocting jamu and traditional cosmetics. Initially the results of Mooryati’s concoctions were distributed to acquaintances in Rukun Istri Department of Industry. Starting from there, the order began to come in.

Seeing the high demand, with capital of Rp 25,000, Mooryati made a determination to do jamu and traditional cosmetics businesses. Mooryati used her garage as a storage and compounding of jamu. She was helped by two friends. Of course, Mooryati business is not always smooth. At the beginning of production, she often got complaints because the product has not been consistent. Since compounding still uses very traditional tools, the texture and size of the product often differ from each other. The quality of the product also changes frequently after storage, the color of the product changes, until the water and sari (jamu extract) separate.

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Those problems did not make the Mooryati give up. She continued to innovate until she found the most effective and efficient way to mix jamu and cosmetics. The business kept going and finally in 1975 Mooryati officially established PT. Mustika Ratu. It has the meaning of the precious gems of the kings, the name PT. Mustika Ratu is taken from Javanese philosophy, Trahing kusumo rembesing madu, turuning sinatrio, tedake wong amorotopo, mustika ning ratu, lan mangayu hayuning. That is, from the descendants of noble knights the king’s precious gems were born.

At the beginning of her business, Mooryati produced five types of jamu, namely; jamu perawatan (Herbal medicine care for young ladies), perawatan wanita (care of women), kesepuhan (jamu for the elders), sepetan sari, sedet, and a sedet saliro. In addition to jamu, this vice chairman of the MPR period 2004 – 2009, also produced several cosmetics products.

To expand the distribution of its products, in 1978 Mustika Ratu already had an agent system. Existing products began to be distributed to major cities such as Jakarta, Semarang, Surabaya, Bandung, and Medan. Initially the agents came from beauty salons.

In 1981, Mooryati established a factory in ciracas, East Jakarta. The factory is able to accommodate 150 employees and becomes the first largest jamu and cosmetics factory in Indonesia. Now Mustika Ratu products are not only marketed in the Indonesia. Other countries, ranging from Malaysia, Australia, Middle Eastern countries, to Europe, also enjoy the efficacy of Mustika Ratu products.

Through her role in the world of jamu, Mooryati Soedibyo is currently recorded in the Indonesian Record Museum (MURI) as Empu Jamu. Not only that, in 2007 Mooryati was included in the 7th position in the list of 99 Most Influential Women in Indonesia by Globe Asia Magazine.

Although no longer young, Mooryati Soedibyo is now still healthy and fit. At the 92nd birthday celebrations in 2020, Mooryati shared the secret of her looking youthful and always fit. The secret is to drink jamu regularly.