The Resource King - Sukanto Tanoto

  • Sukanto Tanoto needs no introduction as the man who pioneered many industries in Indonesia and is actively involved in the socio-economic development of the country for almost five decades. His journey started as a teenager who was forced to leave schooling and went through the rough phases like his father suffering from stroke and the huge responsibility of six brothers younger to him. The only hope was the family business of supplying and trading spare parts and he made the best out of it.

    His idea of business diversification worked as he started getting contracts from the reputed global companies for building gas pipelines in Indonesia. The oil crises of 1972 helped the business to escalate with the expansion of operations by the oil companies. His frequent trips to the foreign lands further provided him with business ideas that also witnessed the initiation of new industries in the country.

    Be it the inspiration of building the country’s first plywood mill during a trip to Taiwan or the motivation of establishing palm oil industry in Indonesia while traveling to Malaysia, Sukanto Tanoto worked against all odds to turn these dreams into reality. He soon ventured into commercial property construction business and gave Indonesia the iconic Thamrin Plaza and Uni Plaza. It was his vision to commence pulp and paper production in the country that became reality in the 1990s.

    Today, he heads the global group RGE that has started building strongholds in the countries like Brazil and China. With assets exceeding US $18 billion, a workforce of over 60,000 people and Tanoto Foundation that contributes towards community building program through education and employment, Sukanto Tanoto is the man every Indonesia is proud of.