Sukanto Tanoto established the Tanoto Foundation to alleviate poverty around the world through education, job training, and entrepreneurship initiatives. True to this mission, the Tanoto Foundation held a student entrepreneurship tutorial in conjunction with the Magister Management program in the Fakultas Ekonomi at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta. Entitled “Entrepreneurial Opportunities in e-Business,” the tutorial looked at ways of generating income on the Internet and using digital resources to launch and build companies.
Anderson Tanoto, a member of the Tanoto Foundation’s Board of Trustees, opened the event by speaking of his father’s accomplishments. He noted that, in building the Royal Golden Eagle business group, Sukanto Tanoto embodied the idea of survival entrepreneurship, because he persevered with determination and never gave up, even in the face of great adversity. In addition, Anderson Tanoto explained that his father practiced growth entrepreneurship, which involved establishing good corporate governance principles and best practices while continually focusing on improvement. His example made clear that entrepreneurs succeed when they are motivated by a drive to create the best product or service available on the market.
Entrepreneurship, however, involves more than drive and perseverance, Anderson Tanoto pointed out. True entrepreneurs must take calculated risks and recognize that failures happen. The important thing is to learn from these mistakes, rather than push them under the rug.
Martin Hartono, director of business technology for the Djarum Group, also spoke at the event. He emphasized the importance of entrepreneurs understanding their own strengths and weaknesses and of finding a business partner that complements them well. In addition, he encouraged attendees to focus on the mission of their business as a source of motivation during difficult times.
The third speaker, fashion designer and entrepreneur Anne Avantie, told aspiring entrepreneurs to keep learning throughout their careers and never to underestimate what another person can teach. Although she only completed junior high school, she continued her education outside of school and became an expert in her field. Over the course of her career, she has secured nearly a dozen contracts as a Miss Universe fashion designer.