The Journey of a Visionary Leader – Sukanto Tanoto
An inspiration for many, Sukanto Tanoto is an influential personality, not just in his home country Indonesia, but also across the world. He is the founder and chairman of RGE (Royal Golden Eagle), a group of companies belonging to different industrial verticals. However, that is not the only way the world knows him. As a visionary, pioneer, skillful entrepreneur, business leader, philanthropist, and a community development participant, he continues to earn recognition at the global level.
Born on the Christmas of 1949 in Medan, Sukanto Tanoto had to give up schooling. Another blow came with his father suffering from stroke, leaving the entire responsibility of the six younger siblings and the family business of spare parts supplying and trading came to his shoulders. It was then that this young man in his early twenties took the lead and developed sharp sightedness and judgment.
The initial success came with his idea to diversify and win contracts from multinationals for constructing gas pipelines in the country. A visit to Taiwan inspired him to establish a plywood mill in his own country. President Suharto visited the mill in 1975 and got impressed by how Sukanto accomplished the big feast.
It was followed by the pioneering of palm oil business in 1979, commercial property construction in the late 1980s, and establishment of pulp and plant production throughout the 1990s. Coming out unaffected by the Asian Financial Crises, Sukanto Tanoto pushed his limits by setting up operations in China and Brazil.
Tanoto Foundation, with its scholarship, funding, training, educating, and job-creating programs, is another milestone in his glittering success story. For him, an ideal business is the one that brings good for the community, the country, and the climate, which ultimately makes a company successful.