Jusuf Kalla attended the Tanoto Entrepreneurship Series on 30 April 2013 at University of Indonesia. Tanoto Entrepreneurship Series is a joint effort by Tanoto Foundation and University of Indonesia to prove that young people in Indonesia have the capabilities and potential to be a successful entrepreneur. Tanoto Foundation was founded by Sukanto Tanoto, an entrepeneur from Indonesia, Medan. His son, Anderson Tanoto was present at the event together with Jusuf Kalla.
More than just a hindsight, statements made by Jusuf Kalla during the event has many strong relevance to the current leadership that he holds, as a Vice-President of the world’s 10th largest economy by share of world GDP in 2011. Details can be found here.
On Entrepreneurship, Jusuf Kalla mentioned that even though the government manages, provides the facilities, and develops the infrastructure, entrepreneurs are the ones who build the country. Without entrepreneurs, the country will not run. This is in line with Sukanto Tanoto’s belief in running his business – it is important not to rely on special privileges from the government and use it as your main success factor. A business has to own a strong competitive advantage in order to outlast and outrun competitions in the long run.
Jusuf Kalla also mentioned that Entrepreneurship is an attitude that requires adjustments to a particular situation. Similar to Nike’s slogan, it is about ‘Just Do It’, because more often than not, when we think too much, it is not going to happen. JK’s emphasis on “Just do it”, flexibility and result orientation is aligned with RGE’s “Think, Act, Learn” and “Achieve results through systems”. Sukanto Tanoto believes that these 3 principles are the basic foundation of building a strong enterprise.
Lastly, JK mentioned that entrepreneurship is a combination of several key characteristics; one of the most important ones is to be logical. However, that does not mean that formal education is not important. As emphasized by Tanoto Foundation’s active involvement in the education sector, Sukanto Tanoto and all business under RGE are strong advocates of education.
With these understandings in mind, we can see that Jusuf Kalla knows the Importance of entrepreneurship as the foundation of the country’s economy and he knows that there needs to be a practical and tangible support provided to build the entrepreneurs landscape in the country through practical experience and education.