Among many Indonesian taipans who achieved success and amazing worth net of wealth, Sukanto Tanoto is one of those resilient business people who started his business kingdom 100 percent from the bottom. From a youth who did not even finish school to business owner with position among Forbes list of richest Indonesian people, Sukanto Tanoto prove that hard work and resilience are big factors that determine success.
He also has many positive qualities; even now he resides in Singapore to take care of his international business more easily, he is still an Indonesian citizen who contributes greatly to Indonesia’s economy. Despite what negative publications say, he is still a businessman who contributes greatly to economy and prosperity of local communities around his facility’s communities.
Sukanto Tanoto’s Contribution to Local Economy
Sukanto Tanoto’s corporate group, Golden Royal Eagle, has several companies that expand to several countries such as Brazil, Norway, Singapore, China and Philippine. In Indonesia, his most famous company is definitely the palm oil company Asian Agri. Besides producing palm oil in huge quantity for various industries in Indonesia and other countries, Asian Agri is also famous for its numerous social activities. Sukanto Tanoto uses the CSR program budget of Asian Agri to some of amazing programs designed to build resilience and independence of local communities around the facility.
For example, Asian Agri not only created high quality oil palm seeds in its research center, but also introduced them to local farmers so they can avoid loan sharks when trying to get high quality seeds. Asian Agri also has training center to help local farmers upgrading their knowledge and skill in oil palm cultivation. Also, the company helps independent farmers getting sustainable certifications, building schools and providing healthcare service for local communities.
Many local farmers who previously worked for Asian Agri or got support from the company now earn financial independence. Some opened their own business, while others are able to buy vehicles, start family investment and send their kids to school. These alone prove that Sukanto Tanoto is not just a rich businessman that leaves for Singapore without thinking about local communities.
Recent Activities of Sukanto Tanoto
The most recent activities of Sukanto Tanoto through his CSR program and Tanoto Foundation include Proyek Sukacita in Riau and the building of new pre-school in Jakarta for students from low income families. The Proyek Sukacita involves ongoing education, social and healthcare programs, and the new pre-school is aimed as an educational place where parents can also be active in various activities to support their children’s learning. Education has always become the main concern of Sukanto Tanoto’s various philanthropic programs.
His recent activity also included scholarship program for medical students at National University of Singapore, but this is not simply a program for Singaporeans. Several of the scholarship recipients were involved at the first steps of Proyek Sukacita, in which they came to Indonesia and contributed their skills and knowledge while interacting in daily basis with local communities. This proves that even though Sukanto Tanoto now lives in and runs his business from Singapore, he is still a nationalistic businessman that contributes well to his homeland and local communities.