Sukanto Tanoto, the 68 year old entrepreneur, is self-assured and masterful in his ways. It is a manner he has had to have; 50 years in the business dictated so. Starting out as a 17 year-old when he first took over his father’s spare parts business, Sukanto Tanoto’s grit, decisiveness, and confidence have been integral to his success. Today Sukanto Tanoto is chairman of the global resources giant that is RGE, a company that he founded, which manages various other resource-based businesses such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas. Very much a self-made man, the business veteran has built in 50 years an awe-inspiring empire, a name, and a legacy for the Tanoto family.
More than a businessman: Sukanto Tanoto, the man with a heart
Like most people, Sukanto Tanoto is very much a product of his circumstances. Moulded by the years of success, failures, and hurdles, he had to be adapatable, yet firm in his own beliefs. Belying the magisterial demeanour that Sukanto Tanoto exudes, is a genteelness and warmth often disassociated; therein lies the core of his person and work. He has conducted the entire spectrum of businesses according to his principle of the 5Cs, to create good for the Community, Country, Climate, Customers, and Company. Sukanto Tanoto is unyielding in his belief that it is possible, and right, for companies to profit by putting the communities first. Most recently, APRIL was again lauded for its community development programmes.
APRIL keeps up the good work
For the longest time, 32 year-old Indra Irawan was a small-time farmer who depended upon seven hectares of land for his palm oil business. With palm oil prices fluctuating at an increasingly regular pace, the father-of-two was increasingly worried about his income flow. After attending the Integrated Farming System programme organised by Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL however, things have undoubted taken a turn for the better. The programme taught Indra and his friends on the most cost, and waste-efficient methods of agriculture and horticulture.
As a result of specialised training and support provided by PT RAPP, APRIL’s Indonesian subsidiary, Indra is consistently bringing home a monthly salary of Rp 4 to 5 million – almost double what he used to make as an employee at Futong Port. Sukanto Tanoto may never meet many of people he has helped, but for people like Indra and many others, they will surely remain very grateful for the gentle resource giant that is Mr. Tanoto.