Robert and Fify Manan formed an outstanding partnership, boasting extensive expertise in managing furniture manufacturing company and expanding its international reach. In 2012, the couple established PT Rifyo Indonesia, offering bespoke furnishings and design solutions for both offices and residences. At the onset of the business, the focus was on the domestic market. Within their venture, Rifyo secured exclusive dealership rights with industry giants like Miller Knoll, a U.S.-based leading office furniture manufacturer, and other global brands such as Walter Knoll, Ligne Roset, Shaw Contract Flooring and USM. Beyond business, this dynamic duo shares their passion for history, culture, and gastronomy, epitomized in their F&B ventures. The couple also owns Indonesian restaurant, WIN Taste of Bali in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The fine dining restaurant features menu that includes exquisite delicacies of Indonesian and Dutch cuisines, along with a selection of beverages.
Story by Iman Hidajat | Photos by Bagus Tri Laksono & Rifyo
How did you come up with the name Rifyo?
Many have asked us about the story behind the name. Rifyo stands for our names – “Robert and Fify”. Whilst some believe it challenging for spouses to navigate a joint business, we are a testament to the contrary. We complement each other as a robust team. Robert is the visionary, and I am more into the executor.
What was the initial idea of establishing Rifyo?
Both Robert and I have a passion for design, and we have been in the furniture manufacturing industry for a long time. Recognising the rise of middle to high-income demographics and their demand for premium branded furniture in Indonesia, we decided to seize the opportunity to establish Rifyo in 2012, catering to the needs of these expanding segments.
How has Rifyo fared after 11 years in the business?
Gratefully, Rifyo has thrived. We started Rifyo from our background in commercial enterprises rather than retail. The business is focused on corporate and governmental projects. We are currently diversifying our portfolio, venturing into providing solutions for residential, hospitality, education and healthcare sectors.
How many global brands does Rifyo represent?
Rifyo now carries all 16 brands of MillerKnoll including Herman Miller, Knoll, Hay, Muuto, CBS, Maars, DatesWeiser, Design Within Reach (DWR), Geiger, Naughtone, Holly Hunt, Edelman, FilzFelt, Maharam, Knoll Textiles, and Spinneybeck. Outside MillerKnoll group, Rifyo was also appointed as the Exclusive Dealer for world- renowned prestigious brands such as Ligne Roset, WalterKnoll, Formcase, and USM.
Has representing these renowned furniture brands elevated Rifyo’s prominence?
Certainly. Whilst our involvement in the furniture realm extended primarily to overseas clientele, our association as the Herman Miller dealer since 2015 has led us to collaboratively doing local projects, thus elevating Rifyo’s recognition. Expanding into residential endeavours further strengthens our brand identity. Our distinctive showroom in Kemang serves as a hub for brand promotion and engagement, attracting visitors with its unique architecture and design philosophy, that’s why we name it Rifyo Design Quarter. Moreover, global and regional accounts have embraced Herman Miller in their commercial ventures.
How do you promote those brands to those who are unfamiliar with them?
Our stronghold lies in B2B markets, and we endeavour to replicate this success in B2C scheme. Expanding our footprint by launching another showroom in the Indonesia Design District (IDD) in PIK, North Jakarta area is pivotal. The aim is to familiarise customers across Jakarta with Rifyo’s offerings and expertise.
An interesting story is when we all required to work from home during the pandemic. People contacted Rifyo to search for ergonomic chairs and later bought them for their home office use. It was when many of the customers knew the Herman Miller brand – known for the global best office chairs.
Could you share with us about the contemporary design incorporated in Rifyo Design Quarter’s showroom?
The showroom’s design draws inspiration from a wooden tree house concept, symbolising our affinity with wood as a primary furniture material. Notably, the building’s facade subtly incorporates an initial ‘M’ from our family name, Manan. Our objective is to entice customers into an exploration, offering comprehensive showroom tours. We share each brand’s narrative, ensuring customers relish an exceptional and memorable experience at the Rifyo Design Quarter.