Supporting Indonesia in the Global Market
Sukanto Tanoto and Tinah Bingei Tanoto (center) together with recipients of Tanoto Foundation Scholarship.
Sukanto Tanoto has built Royal Golden Eagle (RGE) Group into a group of businesses with products that are made in Indonesia and marketed in more than 80 countries. He has developed RGE Group to be one of the biggest groups in integrated natural resource management in Asia Pacific.
“In 1966, my school was closed as a result of the political conflict then. But I could not move to another school because of my family’s financial condition. Instead, I had to work in Medan to support my family,” said Sukanto Tanoto. “I started the RGE Group business 48 years ago in 1967. It was a small business. We only had three employees.”
Sukanto Tanoto gradually built his business and started to diversify in different industries such as palm oil, pulp and paper, and natural gas. Although there were challenges and difficult times along the way, his tenacity, consistent focus on hard work, and habit of learning from his mistakes helped him through the trying times.
Sukanto Tanoto stressed that, as a country that has different types of natural resources, Indonesia must be able to compete in international market effectively. One of the products of the Group’s business units, PaperOne, could lead the trail as one of Indonesia flagship products because it has been exported to many countries.
“I would like for Indonesia’s products to be acknowledged in the world. When people talk about Japanese technology, they remember Toyota. The same can be said about South Korea and Samsung. Indonesia and its products must be recognized in that way as well,” said Sukanto Tanoto.
As an entrepreneur, Sukanto Tanoto also believes that Indonesia that is supported by such young population and big market should be able to achieve more.
In managing his businesses, Sukanto Tanoto implements the principles of sustainability. The guiding philosophy of RGE is based on the Triple Bottom Line approach of People, Planet and Profit. This means the RGE operations must be “good for the community, good for the country and good for the company”.
Sukanto Tanoto and his wife, Tinah Bingei Tanoto, established Tanoto Foundation to support efforts to alleviate poverty in Indonesia. This is carried out through three pillars of activities namely improvement of access and quality of education, empowerment of communities, and enhancement of quality of lives.
For more information about Sukanto Tanoto’s business journey, please read here.