Business Accomplishments for a Better Community

Friday, February 28, 2014

Tanoto Foundation’s Donation to Education and Research at HKUST

Again, another concern of Sukanto Tanoto towards educational aspect is shown in generous donation to Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). This university received respectable donation from Mr Sukanto Tanoto, the director of RGE Group and founder of Tanoto Foundation and Mr James E Thompson, the chairman of Crown Worldwide Group.

Supporting and improving educational system

This donation is aimed to support and improve the service of education for Asian family business, entrepreneurship and business cases. As a reminder of this generosity, the university names the Business Center as Tanoto Center for Asian Family Business & Entrepreneurship Studies and Thompson Center for Business Case Studies.

As the top school of Business and Management in Asia, HKUST respectively aim for socio-economic development through innovative researches of their students. This university also intends to create something different in education methods to rise excellent future generation with leadership capability as future global leaders. This innovation is needed to excel the students’ capability and ability to solve problem with creative and different approach.

Encouraging research and practical skills in business

At the present time, many business schools including HKUST apply case study teaching that will let the students get the real opportunity in managing business and learning the management of case studies. This will be very advantageous as the students can experience the real business environment. Students at HKUST are encouraged to develop their business capability from accounting, finance, management, marketing strategies, and social science that will enhance students’ understanding in multi-disciplinary subjects, bridging the gap between theoretical and practical experience.

The students will also learn how to develop leadership skill, which is very important in today’s global business competition. In his speech, Mr. Sukanto stressed the commitment of his foundation is to help the university and the students to conduct qualified researches especially for various subjects like Asian family business and entrepreneurship. He believes that the donation can be used to facilitate the students to have better understanding about distinctive characteristic in management, and take advantage of opportunity that widely open in global market.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Anderson Tanoto’s Outlook about Learning Environment and Instruments

In conjunction with the National Teachers Day in Indonesia, Anderson Tanoto received award from Indonesia’s Museum of World Record for the production of educational instruments made from straws. With the commitment to improve education quality in Indonesia, Sukanto Tanoto and the family through their foundation never stop promoting education.

Belief about creative learning environment

The prospective heir to the throne of Tanoto’s kingdom, Anderson Tanoto, believes that creative ideas and workforce can improve not only the quality of education, but this can also be seen in the learning processes that are easily absorbed by the students. He also has faith that the human development needs more than just smart information providers, but also one that can manage to create creative learning environment.

Creative learning environment, he believes, not only capable to improve the students’ ability to absorb the information, but they can also practice directly what they learn. The teachers should be able to implement effective learning methods with learning facility so that the students understand the point and capable to apply in their study.

The importance of creative educational instruments

In the event, Anderson Tanoto with Tanoto Foundation held various competitions, art performances, and gave awards for teachers, school principals and supervisors who have excellent performance in doing their job with the event entitled “Creative Teachers of Indonesia”. Together with 1569 teachers from rural and urban areas of Riau province, they tried to break the record by producing educational instruments made of straws. As the result, a new record was listed with the 9778 pieces of educational equipments with different shapes and forms.

To encourage the teachers in doing their job, Anderson also stressed that they need to be professional, by continuing to improve their knowledge and skills. Students are also needed to be freed to solve their problems to make them more independent and think creatively with creative learning method. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Another Side of Belinda Tanoto

The second daughter of Sukanto Tanoto, Belinda Tanoto, is now the member of Board of Trustees at the Tanoto Foundation. It is no wonder that she is busy with various kinds of economic and social activities to realize the mission of Sukanto Tanoto’s enterprises to make the societies prosperous and have better life. However, Belinda Tanoto always allocates some of her time for leisure and private activities.

Belinda Tanoto: a yoga lover

During the last two years, Belinda Tanoto regularly has yoga exercises with duration of at least 90 minutes. She does it every day; it is not surprising that she can do 26 different yoga positions. Actually, yoga is not simply a physical exercise for Belinda. She admitted that Yoga helps her to be more focused on a certain thing. Yoga enhances her ability to concentrate.

Regular jogging for health

In addition to yoga, Belinda Tanoto also loves jogging; she does it on her leisure time. “I do jogging in front of my house in Singapore, since I feel less comfortable doing jogging in a fitness center,” she admitted. For her, jogging has some therapeutic effects, just helping her to concentrate. The woman, who was born on August 7, 1985, realizes the importance of having regular exercises for her health. She needs health to help managing and implementing the Tanoto Foundation’s programs for social welfare and education.

Unique Leisure activities

However, she still has some other unique hobbies she does during leisure time. She loves cooking pastries and cookies. However, she and her siblings also frequently spend vacation abroad. Belinda Tanoto is not simply a member of the Board of Trustees that spends most of her time behind the desk. The Magna Cum Laude graduate of Bachelor of Science in Economics – Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania in 2006 is actively participating in field visits, even to isolated areas in Riau, North Sumatera, and Jambi provinces. Shortly, fresh mind and body are extremely necessary to do all of these activities.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Andre Tanoto’s View about Business and Education

Sukanto Tanoto’s eldest son, Andre Tanoto, may receive less attention than his other kids may. Andre Tanoto was born on 1981. He finished his primary school in Jakarta, Junior High School in Singapore, and Senior high school in Pittsburgh, USA. Unlike his brother Anderson Tanoto who took business chool, Andre Tanoto took Engineering Department in Carnegie Mellon University, and finished his study in 2005.

Learning business in Indonesia

After finishing his study, andre Tanoto spends most of his time in Indonesia. SukantoTanoto even sent him to learn much about business in all of his father’s business enterprises in Indonesia, such as in North Sumatra, Borneo inland, and Kerinci, Riau. He joined Asian Agri and learnt much in it. However, even though he is active in helping the family business, Andre Tanoto chooses to focus on running his own business in food and beverage products.

“I am interested in business, but I want to work independently by trying to run a different business. I want to develop it with by own skills and knowledge,” he said in an interview in Tanoto Library in Prasetya Mulya Business School in Jakarta. That is probably why he receives less attention than his brother, Anderson, does.

Andre Tanoto’s View about Education

Instead of spending much time helping his father’s businesses, Andre Tanoto also works to support Tanoto Foundation. He is now the member of Board of Trustees in Tanoto Foundation. Like his father, who pays much attention to education, he puts much care on education, social welfare, and life quality of the society.

Andre Tanoto chooses to focus on Education since he agrees that it is the best ‘weapon’ to improve the future. “Education is a long-term investment. To get rid of the poverty, the kids must be smart. Education enables them to improve the living standard. My father did not even finish senior high school. We do not want the other Indonesian kids have the experience,” he admitted. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Profile of the Tanoto Family

Sukanto Tanoto Family has a growing popularity due to the growing businesses in some sectors in both Indonesia and abroad. Sukanto Tanoto Was Born in Medan, North Sumatera, exactly on December 25th, 1949. He was an immigrant from Fujian Province of China. He was married to Tinah Bingei, a woman who as also grown up in a business family and who plays an important role in supporting her husband, children, and family business and foundations.

Andre Tanoto, the Eldest Son

Sukanto Tanoto has four children. The eldest son in Andre Tanoto, who was born in 1981 and now focuses on running his own business and supporting Tanoto Foundation, particularly in education programs. Andre Tanoto finished his study in Engineering in 2005. Then, he learned about business and finally realized that he is more interesting in food and beverage business.

Imelda Tanoto, The Eldest Daughter

The Board of Trustee member of Tanoto Foundation, Imelda Tanoto helps much in Tanoto business and decision making process. She participates much in asset allocation. Graduate of Deerfield College in 2001, and Wharton in 2004, Imelda Tanoto is also the founder for RGE, but before, she worked for in a bank in New York. She is also responsible for networking education programs for the scholars and students who receive funding from Tanoto Foundation in all of the Provinces.

Belinda Tanoto, Sukanto’s Favorite Daughter

Belinda Tanoto is the second daughter of Sukanto Tanoto. She graduated from Deerfield College in 20014 and Wharton in 2006. She is different in that she loves philanthropy. She also plays a crucial role in Tanoto Foundation programs, particularly in poverty alleviation, which is conducted through education community empowerment, and life enhancement.

Anderson Tanoto, Second-Generation King

At the age of 24, Anderson Tanoto receives much attention due to his popularity as a young businessman with a lot of talent. He graduate from business school and now focuses on helping in managing the family business. He is said to be the next “king” in Sukanto Tanoto business kingdom. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tinah Bingei Tanoto, the Woman behind Sukanto Tanoto's Success

“There is a great woman behind a successful man.” The saying really applies to Tinah Bingei, a woman who plays a great role behind Sukanto Tanoto. The wife of Sukanto Tanoto gives substantial support to her husband and her children, one of the richest businesspersons in Indonesia. Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Bingei Tanoto were married in North Sumatera. She is a mother of four children. She is a loyal companion for Sukanto Tanoto in achieving success in business.

A Loyal Wife and Mother

Tinah Bingei plays a crucial role in supporting the family business. She helps her husband managing business in palm plantation, pulp, and energy. Business is not something new for her. She was born in a business family. The Bingei family is the owner of Sumatera Tobacco Trading Company (STTC). She also plays an important role in some prominent enterprises managed by the family, including Global Energy, Pacific Eagle Fund, and Real Estate. She is even one of the stakeholders in Pacific Oil and Gas. Therefore, it is not surprising that all of Sukanto Tanoto’s kids have a good intuition in business since they were grown up in a business family and they really get full-support from their parents.

Tinah Bingei’s Role in Tanoto Foundation

Along with her husband Sukanto Tanoto, Tinah Bingei Tanoto participated in the establishment of Tanoto Foundation. The foundation focuses on several sectors, including health, social welfare, and economy. The programs include establishment of health and educational facilities in the poor, and even isolated, areas.  With the foundation, Tinah Bingei is pursuing her targets in training and education local communities.

Tinah Bingei works based on a belief that family plays a crucial role in education of children. Only a solid and mutually supporting family can contribute to the society. That is Tinah Bingei Tanoto, a strong woman behind Sukanto Tanoto.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

One Man’s Ambition for Poverty Elimination and National Economy

Being one of the richest persons in Indonesia does not make Sukanto Tanoto satisfied with his life. He still has a great ambition for his country. Even though he lives and spends most of his days in Singapore now, he is still committed to lifting prosperity of the societies, particularly those communities surrounding his enterprises and in his hometown, Pelalawan, Medan. This is a manifestation of corporate social responsibility to the surrounding community.

Vision for Poverty Elimination

In Pelalawan, he established a large-scale industrial complex, Riau Complex, where PT. Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) is located. He recognizes that many of the society members in this area live below the poverty line. His target is getting rid of poverty within a radius of 5 kilometers from the Riau Complex. In longer term, his mission for poverty elimination was a radius of 100 kilometers from Riau Complex area. He has explicitly told about his mission; the next step is formulating the company policy to achieve the mission. “Of course, it requires substantial human resources and financial resources,” he admitted.

Vision for National Economy

Sukanto Tanoto’s greater vision is to help boost the national economy. He has set a plan to achieve the target within the next 2 or 3 years. “I used the poverty line specified by the government as the indicator,” he said in a recent interview in Singapore.  He will begin with massive corporate social responsibility programs for the communities where his businesses are located.

Living in Singapore does not necessarily mean that Sukanto Tanoto forgets his country. He chooses to live in Singapore since it is more efficient given that many of his enterprises are located abroad. However, he admitted that he would return to Indonesia. This is evident from the fact that he renovated his house in Jakarta. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Anderson Tanoto, the Second Generation of Tanoto’s Business Kingdom

SukantoTanoto has been running his business for almost 40 years. He realized his business must be at the right hand when he finally retires. That is why Sukanto Tanoto is reportedly preparing the second generation for his kingdom, and his youngest son, Anderson Tanoto is one of the candidates. Despite being young, Anderson inherits the business talent from his father. The 24 years old man has completed his business study in the University of Pennsylvania, where he had studied for 4 years.

Focus on Transparency

The founder and owner of Tanoto Foundation, Sukanto has four children, who will be in charge of a business kingdom with an asset of more than US$ 15 Millions. Therefore, Sukanto Tanoto really prepares his children to be able to run the business and to go in line with the changing needs and demands of business environments and consumers. This intuition has been evident in his youngest child, Anderson.

Anderson once said that one of the strategies he and his siblings would apply in the second-generation business kingdom is transparency. This policy will allow the public to find out how the Tanoto family will manage RGE, Sateri Holdings Limited, RAPP, Pacific Oil & Gas, and Asian Agri. They would allow the public to monitor the businesses and their impacts upon the community. He realizes that they run long-term business that needs certainty and support from all relevant parties, including the society, and the survival of their businesses depend upon the public trust. “We are not the guests in the society; instead, we are parts of it,” he said.

Still in the process of learning business

The young man is still far from the top position in his father’s company. Sukanto Tanoto does not allow his son to jump up to top position in his business enterprises (even though he actually can do it). Anderson still has to learn much. He once worked for a global consulting company, Bain & Company, where he learned much about business and conducted field trips to see how the companies works.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Imelda Tanoto and Her Roles in Tanoto Foundation

SukantoTanato, the pulp and palm oil tycoon from Indonesia, built Tanoto Foundation as a part of his social responsibility especially related to education. His eldest daughter, Imelda Tanoto, has a very important role in managing and improving the work of Tanoto Foundation, and helps brining the foundation reach to many provinces in Indonesia as well as wide partnership to abroad universities.

Philanthropy Works of Imelda Tanoto

Sukanto Tanoto started Tanoto Foundation as a means to help children and youths from poor families to get good education, because he believes that education is an important key to get success and strive for a better life. Imelda Tanoto has very important role in expanding Tanoto Foundation reach, especially in her position as a member of the foundation’s board of trustees.

Imelda understands that good education is an important key for her success in life. Her previous works at Citigroup and her current works at RPG Group are only possible because of good education background she got, including at business field at prestigious campus such as Wharton School. Therefore, she strives to help other people reach the same success by helping them getting the education they need.

With her contribution, Tanoto Foundation has managed to reach its partnership from just local universities to universities in Singapore and China, further widening Indonesian youths’ opportunities from poor families to get good education despite their economy condition. By sending potential youths to good universities, including to abroad campus, Imelda and her father believes that they will get good foundation for rebuilding their life and career path.

Education is the Key

Imelda Tanoto grew up with stories about how her father managed to build a successful business and became an entrepreneur despite not being able to finish school. Now, she strives to help Indonesian kids and youths avoid the same thing. Until now, Imelda Tanoto and the foundation has provided thousands of scholarships as well as awards and funds for professors and scientitsts.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Doing His Bit to Improve Indonesian Education

As a person who thinks highly about education, Sukanto Tanoto never forgets his share of contribution to community. Working together with her daughter Imelda Tanoto, the father-daughter duo never stops giving out scholarships to potential students in various areas in Indonesia, by giving them opportunities to study at recognized universities that also become Sukanto Tanoto’s educational foundation, Tanoto Foundation.

Partnership with renowned universities

Since 2006, Tanoto Foundation has maintained partnership with nine renowned universities in Indonesia plus several others abroad, including the university when his name was listed as loyal contributor, Mellon Carnegie. Now, with the help of Imelda Tanoto who is also the Board of Trustees member, Sukanto Tanoto keeps handing out scholarships for students from all provinces.

While Sukanto Tanoto’s main concern is business (and his foundation scholarships are mostly in business fields), he also does not shy away from other fields. Until now, his foundation already handed more than 4,000 scholarship programs to poor students from various provinces in Indonesia, although many of them were from his homeland, Sumatra Island. The students got opportunities to study business, science, social studies and many more at one of partner universities.

Sukanto Tanoto’s Mission for Education in Indonesia

The goal of scholarship program is to break the chain of poverty that often roots from the lack of good education as well as economy. Sukanto Tanoto stated that although he stopped his formal education at very young age, he decided to pursue higher education once he got enough money to do it, including signing up for management courses every year.

He hopes that with the help of his foundation, many other kids in Indonesia who never have good opportunities to get education can finally enjoy the education they deserve, and then give back to community and increase their family’s economy life. Right now, Sukanto Tanoto’s foundation also focuses on scholarship program for students in provinces such as Papua.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Special Award for Professor and Researcher

Everyone who follows Sukanto Tanoto life story knows that he was cut from his formal education abruptly because of anti-Chinese policy during President Soeharto era. This pulp and paper tycoon makes education and research as two of his many philanthropic programs through his foundation, Tanoto Foundation. The foundation itself focuses on improving of education and research in Indonesia through funding, scholarship and awards.

Sukanto Tanoto’s Commitment for Education

As a person who never enjoyed full formal education when young, Sukanto Tanoto decided that one of his foundation’s missions should be the improvement of recognition toward professors and researchers, who have very important roles. This can only be achieved through formal education.

Tanoto Foundation originally started as an organization that strived to increase education by providing scholarships and schools. Later, the foundation broadened its scopes by adding awards and funding for researchers and professors. This is to further increase awareness in the importance of formal education, because people can only become researchers and professors through formal education.

Researcher Grants and Awards from Tanoto Foundation

By awarding professors and researchers as well as granting funds to potential researches, Tanoto Foundation wants to make sure that people will appreciate the role of education more, starting from youth education and finishing at the best goal: making the education result beneficial for the community.

So far, Tanoto Foundation has give funding and awards to various recognized local professors and scientists, including Prof. Dr. Heri Susanto from Bandung Institute of Technology for his energy alternative research, and Dr. Ir. SM. Widyastuti, Msc for her research about root and trunk diseases in trees.

By funding and giving award to professors and researchers, Tanoto Foundation continues to increase national awareness in education, and supports many potential individuals to achieve the best education before give back to their communities. This is one of Sukanto Tanoto’s biggest goals in his CSR projects.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Progress from Racial Discrimination to International Recognition

Chinese descendants in Indonesia had unpleasant past. Many of them experienced racial discrimination under the regime of the second president, Soeharto. The same thing happened to Sukanto Tanoto, a successful entrepreneur from Medan, North Sumatra, and one of the richest Indonesians according to Forbes. He was able to overcome difficulties caused by racial discrimination and he emerged as one of leading figures in business.

The Rise after Racial Incident

Sukanto Tanoto’s first encounter with racial incident in Indonesia happened in 1966, when the Chinese school where he studied at was closed by President Soeharto due to his anti communism sentiment that made him abolish everything related to China, including Chinese public schools. At that time, he had not even gotten any chance to learn Indonesian and English languages formally. At the tender age of 17 years old, Sukanto had to stop his education and started earning income.

Like many Chinese people in Medan, Sukanto first worked as a common trader, but then had his own oil pipeline contractor company. His second business started to gain success when oil crisis happened in 1972, as he suddenly got a lot of orders from oil companies. However, his true success happened when he opened his third business, Inti Indorayon Utama, in which he built the first pulp mill to enter potential business of pulp export.

Now, he is the leader of two giant company groups, Raja Garuda Mas International and Asia Pacific Resources International. He was even able to be listed as Carnegie Mellon Highlands Circle, thanks to his generous regular donation to the university.

Secret of Success

Since he was abruptly cut off of his formal education, Sukanto Tanoto always keeps his passion for learning for a long time. After acquiring enough money, he was finally able to study at a university in INSEAD Jakarta, before continuing to a business school in France. He often goes to international management courses at leading international universities. Sukanto Tanoto believes that unending passion to learn is one of his keys of success, and he will never stop learning.

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