Bengok Craft at Forbil Institute
Credit: Instagram @forbilinstitute

Firman Setyaji, the CEO of Bengok Craft, is a bachelor’s degree majoring in Criminology at Universitas Indonesia. After completing his study, he returned to his hometown around Rawa Pening, Semarang Regency to build a business by reviving the ecosystem for the local community. The business is called Bengok Craft. The community empowerment effort processes water hyacinth into various crafts. Bengok Craft consists of “Bengok“, which is the local name for water hyacinth, and “Craft” from English which is expected to bring the local business to the international market.

In the podcast, Firman Setyaji was also asked why he founded the business. He explained that one of the reasons for establishing a water hyacinth craft business was because in Rawa Pening there was a lot of water hyacinth which only became weeds which were harmful to the aquatic ecosystem. For instance, water hyacinth absorbs a lot of oxygen which is a compound needed by fish, so many fish cannot survive in such circumstances.

In addition, with this criminology background, Vicky Afris, the host, asked why instead of being a researcher or expert in the field of criminology, Firman was more interested in developing a craft business.

“Actually, the development of this water hyacinth craft business has something to do with what I have learned in criminology, namely from its sociology. There is a professor named Prof. Muhammad Mustofa there (University of Indonesia) who put forward the theory that reducing deviant behavior or crime can be in the form of improving people’s welfare. Therefore, by establishing Bengok Craft, we provide space for the local community to be creative so that the results of these creations can be used to improve their standard of living.”

Firman Setyaji, the founder of Bengok Craft answered

Besides that, he added that he was actually motivated by the Javanese philosophy that “Urip Iku Urup”, meaning that life is a flame to enlighten.

Thus, life must provide many benefits for others, not just personal gain,” he emphasized.

InterTalk is a podcast series provided by Forbil Institute. It is a research institute that connects the business and government sectors and advocates for correct policies to improve Indonesia’s competitiveness.

You can listen to the podcast below.

InterTalk #1 From Criminology to Selling Weed
Credit: Spotify

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Do not hesitate to purchase our water hyacinth creations at

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