2020 Top Ten Innovator Richardo Petricius

Hailing from Surabaya, Indonesia, Richardo Petricius holds a degree in physics engineering, with a concentration in renewable energy technology. With a combined dedication to science and positive impact, he aspires to be a successful social entrepreneur, driving change in rural areas and supporting local economies.

Richardo, like many entrepreneurs, is driven by a desire to succeed and control his own destiny. In his words, “owning a business gives me no limits on the social impact I can create for others and opportunities that I can create for myself.”

Enter Bionika (CV Bionika Integrasi Teknologi). Bionika is a renewable energy company focused on the agricultural sector, whose vision is to provide access to clean energy and build local potential by developing sustainable businesses and communities. The company’s technologies transform organic waste produced by livestock into biogas while simultaneously optimising the fermentation process to generate valuable electricity for rural areas. They then transform any remaining fermented waste that does not contain methane into derivative products, including organic fertilizer, hydroponic media, and maggot cultivation media (a substitute for livestock feed). In addition to this service offering, Bionika’s educational arm, Bio-Farm, seeks to help farmers improve livestock management and transform agricultural products into other products with higher economic value.

Bionika was born out of Richardo’s identification of a problem – namely, that there was a surplus of biogas fuel transformers in East Java. Richardo knew he wanted to work in the field of biogas, so he decided to focus his energies on biogas electrification instead. Although the company was off to a strong start, one of its main challenges was addressing the realities of operating in different Indonesian localities. For example, the Bionika team had to adjust their technology to the characteristics of local waste in each region. To persevere when the going got tough, they made sure to seek out feedback from their beneficiaries, to better understand their needs and abilities. This interactive and inclusive means of operating has been critical to Bionika’s success.

In the end, Richardo credits much of Bionika’s successes to Shell LiveWIRE Indonesia as well, which taught him “how to build a startup and [foster] relationships with similar businesses.” His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs would be that “theory is important in entrepreneurship, but the most important thing is practice. Take the time to understand the problems of your customers and find the right and efficient solution.”