Tanoto Scholars Aim to Lighten the Load for Mount Sinabung Evacuees

More than 10,000 people were evacuated as a result of recent eruptions by Mount Sinabung, the Indonesian volcano which erupted nearly ten times since 2010. To ease the burden on evacuees, particularly the young who have seen their education halted as quickly as their spirits have been dampened, recipients of the Tanoto Scholarship visited with children who have been displaced by these natural disasters.

The key goals of the visits were simple. The Tanoto Scholars went to provide a positive atmosphere for children, playing games and offering various activities that provided a sense of normalcy to the boys and girls who perhaps don’t understand their current circumstances.

One of the Tanoto Scholars explained the mission, “We hope the children realized that although their current condition was far from normal, there were people who cared for them.”

Tanoto scholarships are offered to undergraduate and graduate students attending both public and private universities full time. Many of the most prestigious universities in Indonesia, China, SIngapore and the US have partnered with the Tanoto Foundation as part of the scholarship program


Keeping an Eye on the Essential Aspects of Business – Sukanto Tanoto’s Diversification Efforts

One of the main reasons for Sukanto Tanoto‘s success in the palm oil industry, as well as in several other industries that the RGE is currently involved with, was the gradually increasing focus on diversification adopted throughout the years by the renowned entrepreneur.

While having started work as a Pertamina contractor in the 1960s, Mr. Tanoto soon realized that, in order for his business ventures to thrive, he had to expand through investments and new business contracts to other profitable ventures.

The Limitations of Being a Contractor

At the Wharton Global Modular Course in Singapore, Mr. Tanoto gave an insightful lecture outlining the importance of diversification and why simply being a contractor wasn’t enough to ensure future success during his beginning business ventures.

He talked about how the lack of a solid, diverse base of clients represented an important risk during the first years of his business. If, for example, a client would choose to buy assets from one of his competitors, the business would suffer greatly, and it would have been very difficult to continue on the same path.

This is what prompted the young entrepreneur to begin investing in new profitable endeavors. By learning about commodities and understanding how producing materials such as plywood and palm oil would be a far more advantageous prospect, than importing it.

The Importance of Diversification

Mr. Tanoto made his first investment in a plywood mill in 1975. This was a symbolic victory for the aspiring entrepreneur due to a demand in the local market that saw no one else trying to solve the problem of the expense and difficulty in importing plywood from places like Taiwan.

After this success, it became clear that diversification was extremely important, and the years that followed came with additional investments in palm oil and acacia plantations, pulp and paper mills, viscose fiber in China and LNG exporting efforts in China and Canada.

By juggling many new commodities and producing their own, Sukanto Tanoto and the RGE Group became widely successful, particularly due to Mr. Tanoto’s effort and engagement in making his investments as beneficial as possible for the Company, Community and Country.