Growing Crops, Growing the Community: Sukanto Tanoto Empowers Locals with Community Programmes

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

Growing Crops, Growing the Community: Sukanto Tanoto empowers locals with Community Programmes

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.

Advertisements

Investing in Tomorrow: Sukanto Tanoto’s Tanoto Foundation Grooms Future Leaders

Sukanto Tanoto is a business giant often known for his natural resource empire. As chairman of RGE, he manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas – all industry giants in their own rights. With over 60,000 employees under his charge and assets worth 18 billion dollars, Sukanto Tanoto is an oft-cited success story who inspires with his grit, determination, and spirit. While many have heard of his success in business, much less has been mentioned of his philanthropy.

How Tanoto Foundation started

Investing in Tomorrow: Sukanto Tanoto’s Tanoto Foundation Grooms Future  Leaders

The 68 year-old, often characterised by success and all its trappings, wasn’t born into all that he has today. As a seventeen year-old, Sukanto Tanoto had his education cut short – it left him with little choice but to strike it out on his own as he started his own business. While that has arguably turned out well for him, Sukanto Tanoto has always counted his unfinished education amongst his greatest regrets.

Sukanto Tanoto’s belief that everyone should have an equal right to do better in life ultimately laid the foundations for his philanthropy. Together with his wife, Tinah Bingei Tanoto, they started building kindergartens and schools in Besitang, Sumatra, back in 1981. As life-long learners themselves, the power couple deeply believed in the power of education, and have geared their philanthropy as such. Today, Tanoto Foundation (TF) prides itself on being a leading philanthropic organisation that has done much good for society.

An eye on tomorrow

Lestari Boediono, TF’s Head of Corporate Communications, most recently affirmed this, as she revealed the foundation’s plans to focus on grooming the next generation of Indonesian leaders. Through TF’s multitude of programmes, over 6,700 scholarships at 35 different universities have already been given, said Lestari at the fast breaking event in Medan.

The scholars of TF’s programmes are not just paid to study either; scholars are often provided with supplementary capacity-building training workshops, and often participate in networking sessions through the annual Tanoto Scholars Gathering. The scholars are also encouraged to pay it forward to spread the good to more people. The aim ultimately, said Lestari, is to fulfil the vision and mission thought of by Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Bingei Tanoto – to educate, empower, and enhance the quality of lives.

Fighting Fire with Film: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Uses Innovative Approach to Cultivating a Fire Free Community

Sukanto Tanoto is one of Indonesia’s most famous and well-regarded businessmen. The Founder and Chairman of RGE, the global resource-manufacturing giant that manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas, his companies collectively employ 60,000 people and own assets worth over US $18 billion. Growing from a small business by the busy streets of Medan to the global behemoth operating in Indonesia, China, Spain, Canada and Singapore, Sukanto Tanoto’s story is one of going from rags to riches.

Sukanto Tanoto’s 5Cs Philosophy Does Good

Fighting Fire with Film: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Uses Innovative Approach to Cultivating a Fire Free Community

His success is not the only thing Sukanto Tanoto is known for, however. Sukanto Tanoto is well-known for his corporate philosophy of the 5Cs, to create good for the Community, Country, Climate, Customer, and Company in whatever he does. It is a philosophy focusing on the creation of shared value, and is one his companies have imbibed. Today, his companies are known for their insistence on doing good for those around them. Palm Oil giant Asian Agri, for example, is known for its strong support of government initiatives. Pulp and Paper behemoth APRIL, on other hand, is well-regarded for its community-based initiatives.

APRIL Uses an Innovative Approach to Promote Fire Prevention

Most recently PT RAPP, APRIL’s Indonesia subsidiary, kept up this tradition when it carried out one of its community outreach programmes to inculcate in villagers the importance of fire safety and prevention. Notwithstanding the immense threats of health hazards and economic loss, using fire to clear land is an unsustainable practice that APRIL has consistently tried to stop. Through programmes such as the Fire Free Village Programme and the Fire Free Alliance, APRIL has committed itself to preventing and stopping forest and land fires.

To further promote the idea of only using sustainable production methods, APRIL recently engaged local villagers and farmers of Tumang Village, Siak through the movies. The innovative idea, which successfully captured the attention of both the young and elderly, managed to impress upon locals the many drawbacks of using fire as a production method. It seems to have worked, too. Head of Tumang village, Muhammad Tahir, described how his villagers are now much more alert and aware of the need to keep the lands free from fire.

The use of innovative methods such as films to inculcate the importance of fire protection and prevention is part of APRIL’s commitment to sustainability and shared value creation. Sailal Arimi, APRIL’s Fire Free Village Programme Manager, said that such methods of fire prevention are an important avenue for APRIL, given the ease of understanding that films provide and the high level of enthusiasm they manage to create.

A Fresh Start: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL helps Illegal Logger Go Straight

Sukanto Tanoto is an entrepreneur who came good despite the odds. Taking over his family’s spare parts business as a seventeen year-old, he was thrown into deep end. Yet the tenacious Sukanto Tanoto succeeded, cutting his business teeth in Medan, Indonesia and eventually starting the first of his many companies. Today, Sukanto Tanoto is chairman of RGE, a natural resource giant that manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas. With his companies collectively employing 60,000 people and owning assets worth 18 billion dollars, Sukanto Tanoto has indubitably made a name for himself.

Doing good and doing well

More impressively,Sukanto Tanoto is also an entrepreneur with a heart. Throughout 50 years of business, he has advocated the creation of shared value for the Community, Country, Climate, Customers, and Company – a philosophy that has come to be known as the 5Cs. It is something he has always insisted upon, and all of Sukanto Tanoto’s companies have similarly followed suit. There exist many inspiring stories of his companies existing with the community in a symbiotic relationship. One such example is that of APRIL and former illegal logger Tengku Effendi.

A Fresh Start: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL helps Illegal Logger Go Straight

Sukanto Tanoto helps illegal logger come good

47 year-old Tengku Effendi, used to be an illegal logger. Under the Community Development (CD) Programme ran by PT RAPP, APRIL’s Indonesian subsidiary, Tengku finally went straight. Joining the programme in 2006, today the father of three has truly become a role model for all as an award-winning entrepreneur.

Under the CD programme, Tengku received from Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL, in terms of business and management training. APRIL didn’t just stop there, and even helped Tengku secure the loans required for his business. With a supportive framework in place, Tengku’s new transportation business took off, and has never looked back since. Today, Tengku’s business is thriving, and one of their biggest customer is APRIL, for whom Tengku transports fertilisers. In 2014, his company won a PT RAPP award for implementing workplace health and safety principles.

Country Roads, Take Me Home: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Repairs Road for Local Community

Sukanto Tanoto is the founder and chairman of RGE, a resource-based company started in Indonesia that has since gone global. Providing management services to companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas, Sukanto Tanoto’s companies collectively employ 60,000 people and own assets of over USD$18 billion. It is a meteoric rise to success for the billionaire entrepreneur; he was forced to take over his family business at the tender age of seventeen.

5Cs, the Tanoto Way

Country Roads, Take Me Home: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Repairs Road for Local Community

His success, while staggering, is made even more impressive by its foundation in a corporate philosophy known as the 5Cs. Aiming to create good for the Community, Country, Climate, Customer, and Company in everything they do, it aims to create shared value for everyone. The 5Cs are testament to Sukanto Tanoto’s foresight and vision; many of his companies are now known for both their success and responsible practices.

APRIL Helps the Community

APRIL, in particular, has readily answered Sukanto Tanoto’s call. The pulp and paper giant has set in place a host of initiatives under their Community Development (CD) programme, run by its Indonesian subsidiary PT RAPP. As a result of these programmes, communities around the area of PT RAPP’s operations who benefit have had a traditionally positive relationship with RAPP.

Most recently, APRIL helped rebuild a road in Sentajo Raya sub-district of Kuansing, Riau, Indonesia. Mobilising two units of heavy equipment from RAPP, an excavator and motor grader were used rebuild the road that had fallen into disrepair. Village head Koto Tuo, Sumanhijar, was especially thankful, for the poor conditions of the road had previously made the area difficult to access. A spokesperson for the company said that the company remained supportive of communities around it, and that helping them was only in accordance of their 5Cs principle.

Hand in Hand: Under Sukanto Tanoto, Asian Agri works hand-in-hand with smallholders

Sukanto Tanoto is a billionaire entrepreneur renowned for his principles. Notably, he stands by the 5Cs philosophy: creating good for the Community, Country, Climate, Customer, and Company. He is unapologetically loyal to his philosophy too, to the point of insisting that the 5Cs be the compass for all his businesses. It is a decision that has, fortunately, worked out. Today Sukanto Tanoto is chairman of RGE, a resource industry behemoth that manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas. With 60,000 people working under him and assets totalling 18 billion dollars, sticking to his philosophical guns has undoubtedly paid off.

Sukanto Tanoto’s philosophy, strategy, and way of life

Hand in Hand: Under Sukanto Tanoto, Asian Agri works hand-in-hand with smallholders

An important aspect of Sukanto Tanoto’s philosophy dictates that his companies do good for the community. To that end, he has continually worked towards ensuring his businesses continue to have good relations with local communities. More than that, Sukanto Tanoto has advocated a mindset that working for the community makes business sense as well. These efforts have, ultimately, resulted in a mutually-beneficial partnership with tangible results. Most recently, Asian Agri was hailed for its remarkable partnership with smallholders in Indonesia.

Asian Agri’s push to perfect harmony

To date Asian Agri, one of Indonesia’s largest palm oil producers, is working with self-employed farmers who have a total land area of almost 24,000 hectares. It is the result of a massive expansion of the partnership between Asian Agri and smallholders; five years ago, smallholders only accounted for 2,700 hectares of Asian Agri’s plantations. It is a phenomenal increase, driven in part by Sukanto Tanoto’s interest in doing good for the community.

The company’s partnership with self-employed farmers, including Indonesia’s plasma programme, currently stands at 60,000 hectares. Asian Agri hopes to bring that figure up to 100,000 hectares, which including its own core plantation of 100,000 hectares, would mean the company hits its 1:1 goal.

A Promise is a Promise: Under Sukanto Tanoto, PT RAPP Honours its Word

Sukanto Tanoto is a man of his word, who understands the power and significance of a promise. The way he sees it, trust is a trait that no amount of money can buy; it is –as clichéd as it sounds – earned. It is for this reason the chairman of RGE –which manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas – always strives to honour his word.

A heart for the community, an attitude to match

A Promise is a Promise: Under Sukanto Tanoto, PT RAPP Honours its Word

It is an attitude that Sukanto Tanoto brings across through all his dealings, and a mindset that he has sought to instil within all his businesses. Together with his philosophy of the 4Cs –creating Good for the Community, Country, Climate, and Company –it makes for a winning combination; the billionaire entrepreneur has built an empire with over USD 18 billion dollars worth of assets, and a 60,000 strong workforce. It is little surprise then, that Sukanto Tanoto’s companies are often known for their trustworthiness, commitment, and community-centric initiatives. Recently, these same values were on show as PT RAPP, APRIL’s Indonesian subsidiary, was evaluated and found to have kept its promises to the local communities in the Meranti Islands.

Doing good for Meranti

Under the Hutan Tanaman Industri (HTI) programme, companies operating in the Meranti Islands are tasked with being a force for good – to improve the local community through the economy and CSR initiatives. One major part of their task is to ensure part of the plantations they manage is reserved for the growing of crops important to the local community, a promise to ensure the community would not be neglected.

At a recent evaluation by the Parliament of the Meranti Islands, Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL was the only operator to have kept its promise. While PT RAPP had already fulfilled their commitments in 10 villages, it was the only major operator to do so. With over 1,100 hectares of land already used for the plantation of crops required by the community, and IDR 25 billion in grants disbursed out to residents, APRIL is definitely taking its commitment seriously. Sukanto Tanoto simply wouldn’t have it any other way.

Building a Relationship, One Step at a Time: Under Sukanto Tanoto, Asian Agri’s CSR Programme Takes Flight

Sukanto Tanoto is a man of verve, grit, and gumption. Self-possessed even as a seventeen year-old, he was determined to succeed, and succeed he has indeed. Today, he is Chairman of RGE Group; it is a behemoth in the natural resources industry, and manages renowned names like APRIL, Asian Agri, and Pacific Oil and Gas. Despite his staggering success, he remains as passionate as his teenage self was to succeed, to make his mark, and to do good for the community.

Building a Relationship, One Step at a Time: Under Sukanto Tanoto, Asian Agri’s CSR Programme Takes Flight

His personal and corporate philosophy towards any of his dealings has always centred on the 4Cs: creating good for the Community, Country, Climate, and Company. It has become a sort of mantra, and that Community is the 4Cs reflects the importance to which Sukanto Tanoto places on it. He has worked tirelessly to ensure that all his companies have the community in mind –through having sustainable practices, community development programmes, partnerships, and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Asian Agri, one of Asia’s largest sustainable palm oil producers, recently carried out one such activity for the underprivileged in Batubara.

The programme, a partnership with Koramil 04 Talawi, seeks to build better sanitation facilities for the community. It is a small gesture by Asian Agri, recognition that the relationship they have with the community is valuable, and must remain beneficial for everyone. It is a carefully-calibrated symbiosis between both parties; the community trusts Asian Agri enough to allow them to use their resources, while Asian Agri repays that faith by continuously improving the community. It is exactly as Sukanto Tanoto envisioned; everyone accepting their role, commitment, and obligations to others, and doing their best to ensure an inclusive and prosperous environment.

Currently, five of the fourteen latrines planned have already been built. It is only a matter of time before this project is successfully completed, and Asian Agri moves on to the next –continuing their quiet work for the community. Sukanto Tanoto would be proud.

Good News Spreads Like Wildfire: Under Sukanto Tanoto, APRIL praised for Fire-Free Village Programme

The pulp and paper industry has, in recent history, been subject to intense scrutiny – with the problem of haze and environmental protection having become regional and even international talking points. Managing and reducing forest fires, identified as the key to solving these issues, has naturally become a matter of increasing priority of communities, countries, and companies. It is comforting, therefore, to know that progress has been made in this respect; Sukanto Tanoto-led APRIL was recently praised for its efforts, notably the Fire-Free Village Programme (FFVP).

FFVP not a one-off

 Good News Spreads Like Wildfire: Under Sukanto Tanoto, APRIL praised for Fire-Free Village Programme

The FFVP has almost become the crown jewel of APRIL’s initiatives in tackling the much-dreaded forest fires. While the pulp-and-paper giant, owned by businessman Sukanto Tanoto, has had an array of initiatives promoting more sustainable and responsible practices –one only needs think of the Restorasi Ekosistem Riau and the Fire-Free Alliance – the FFVP has definitely received a huge share of the limelight, deservedly so. A multi-stakeholder initiative that focuses on fire prevention and suppression, the project was recently given the stamp of approval by head of National Agency for Disaster Management, Willem Rampangilei. Rampangilei was on hand to launch FFVP 2017, at Pelawalan Airstrip, Riau.

FFVP receives plaudits, support, and faith.

The FFVP is merely one of many examples highlighting Sukanto Tanoto’s community-centric approach to business and, indeed, life. The businessman and philanthropist is chairman of Singapore-based RGE, which itself manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas, and co-founded the Tanoto Foundation with his wife Tinah Bingei Tanoto. At the heart of all his ventures and companies however, is the 4Cs philosophy: creating good for the Community, Country, Climate, and Company. This same philosophy, whilst providing the rock on which his empire would stand, has allowed the communities around his companies to benefit greatly.

The importance of including the community and stakeholders within a company’s plans was also highlighted during the launch. Fire prevention, Rampangilei reminded, requires strong commitment and awareness from various parties. Rampangilei also mentioned that he was sure the FFVP could contribute to the suppression and land and forest fires, and hoped to see the programme further expanded to other parts of Indonesia. Sukanto Tanoto would be proud.

Project Sukacita Changes Lives in Pekanbaru

Pekanbaru is the capital of the Riau province in Indonesia, and the 10th largest city of Indonesia. However, the rural folk of Pekanbaru lead a very simple way of life. Many do not have access to basic healthcare or health related information such as proper hygiene practises or knowledge of nutrition and the nearest medical facilities are often miles away from them.

The 25 volunteer members of Project Sukacita have devised specific programmes and activities that they hope will serve to educate the people in the communities of rural Pekanbaru, as well as address the health concerns of the children. Some of the most common health problems these locals face are infections, diarrhoea, fever, flu, malaria, malnutrition, rashes, and vomiting.

Out of the 25 student volunteers, 15 of the students are from the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of medicine, and the remaining 10 are from the Singapore Management University and Nanyang Technological University’s IndoClub.

Project Sukacita’s Plan of Action

Due to the language barrier some of the medical students encountered, the Indonesian students were relied upon to translate their advice to the mothers and nannies who attended the Project Sukacita educational talks. At these talks, basic ways to manage the more commonly found health problems were discussed, as were early warning signs that caregivers could look out for that would indicate urgent need for medical attention.

Lastly the children themselves were given a lesson in basic nutrition where they learned about important nutrients they needed such as fibre, proteins and vitamins in order to have a healthy balanced diet.

Project Sukacita is a volunteer community service project run by Tanoto Foundation scholarship students as a way to “pay it forward”. The Tanoto Foundation, founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to improve the lives of people living in impoverished and rural areas through education, empowerment and enhancement of quality of life. The Foundation operates in areas the Royal Golden Eagle group of companies, founded by Sukanto Tanoto, operate in.