Repaying the faith: Sukanto Tanoto’s Scholars Break fast with Orphans

Sukanto Tanoto, is one of Indonesia’s most successful businessmen. Beginning his entrepreneurial journey at the tender age of 17, he has spent the past 50 years building an empire for himself. Today, Sukanto Tanoto sits as chairman of RGE, which manages the biggest names in the natural resource industry such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas. With his companies collectively employing 60,000 workers and having assets worth US 18 billion dollars, Sukanto Tanoto is a bona fide success story.

Sukanto Tanoto, steadfast in his belief

Repaying the faith: Sukanto Tanoto’s Scholars Break fast with Orphans

Most impressively, Sukanto Tanoto has done all that while adhering to the principle of creating shared value for the Community, Country, Climate, Customers, and Company. It is known as the 5Cs principle, and has served as the compass on which all of his companies have operated on. Throughout 50 years of business, Sukanto Tanoto’s belief in the 5Cs has never wavered, and has helped him build up a reputation for being one of the most respectable names in business.

Giving Back, Giving More

Following the tradition of doing good for the community, alumnus of the Tanoto Foundation Scholarship Programme recently broke fast with the orphans from Pondok Tahfidz Al Quran. The event, which received a strong turnout, was symbolic of the close bonds formed between the scholars through the Tanoto Foundation, which was founded by Sukanto Tanoto and his wife, Tinah Bingei Tanoto. More than that, it was a clear expression of the values inculcated within all the scholars. The event was only a continuation of the alumnus’ tradition for giving back – they have for a long time been active in lending their efforts, time, and money towards social causes.

“This activity is very important because after graduating from college and work, our friendship should not be interrupted, when this Ramadan we use to meet again,” said chairman of the alumnus committee, Ridho Famajra, who is now an employee of PT RAPP’s, Sukanto Tanoto-owned APRIL’s Indonesian subsidiary. Also present were Head of HR for PT RAPP Fibre, Fahrizal Tampubolon, Head of HR for PT RAPP Mill, Willim, Head of Talent Management for PT RAPP Bumantara Gani and the representative for Tanoto Foundation Riau, Asri

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Empowering the Community: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Improves Lives Through Scholarships

Sukanto Tanoto is a staunch believer in education; in its power to enhance and empower lives, and the need to be a lifelong learner to stay ahead. Despite all of his successes – he is after all, chairman and founder of RGE, which manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas – it has remained one of his passions. In part, it is a passion borne from the disruption of his education at the age of seventeen. Far from dampening his desire to learn, it has made him a more voracious and motivated learner. Not only has he taught himself English by translating Readers’ Digest and Newsweek, he has also undergone further studies at one of the world’s top business schools, INSEAD.

Turning passion into a cause

More than just a spirited learner, the billionaire entrepreneur is also adamant that no one else should ever have to suffer the same fate as he had as a seventeen year-old. Through Tanoto Foundation, the philanthropic foundation he founded with his wife Tinah Bingei Tanoto, they have dedicated time, effort, and resources into educating, empowering, and enhancing the quality of lives to alleviate poverty. Even for his companies, Sukanto Tanoto has worked hard to ensure his companies do their part too.

Empowering the Community: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Improves Lives Through Scholarships

Effendi’s dream, APRIL’s mission

PT RAPP, the Indonesian operations arm of APRIL, has been active in this regard. A staunch supporter of the country’s brightest young talents, RAPP offers scholarships to deserving young students. 25 year-old Effendi is one beneficiary of APRIL’s help. Coming from a poor family in Riau’s countryside, Effendi worked hard in school in the hopes of improving his family’s financial circumstances.

His determination wasn’t in vain, and APRIL soon recognised his potential. It was enough for the pulp and paper giant to offer him a scholarship back in 2011. Since then, Effendi has only gone from strength to strength. Graduating from Yogyakarta-based agriculture college Institut Pertanian Stiper (Instiper), today he is a researcher at RAPP. He focuses on peatland research, a vital aspect of the sustainable peatland management philosophy that Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL espouses.

Safe to say, Effendi has made the right choice in accepting RAPP’s scholarship years ago. Not only is he not required to pay back for the scholarship, he is now able to support his parents and siblings.

The Books We Read as Children: Sukanto Tanoto Encourages Education Through Tanoto Education

Sukanto Tanoto is a firm believer in education. The self-proclaimed lifelong leaner is mostly known as the founder and chairman of RGE, which manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri and Pacific Oil and Gas. Less know about his difficult beginnings; he was forced to give up his education when he was seventeen, to take over his family’s business. It remains a big regret of the billionaire entrepreneur, whose companies collectively employ 60,000 people and own assets worth US$18 billion.

Unfulfilled dreams turn into motivation

His inability to complete his education shaped his passion for philanthropy, and he has been actively within it. Through Tanoto Foundation, which he founded with his wife Tinah Bingei Tanoto, he sought to educate, empower, and enhance the quality of lives of the unfortunate. Sukanto Tanoto knows that education has and always will be a driver of change, and is fully behind any intiative to promote it. A good education is important, but often out of reach for the poor. Often, children suffer the same fate Sukanto Tanoto experienced, in having an education cut short. It is an experience he is determined to prevent anyone else from suffering.

Tanoto Foundation makes it easier to read

To this end, Tanoto Foundation most recently conducted reading programes from their Pelita Pustaka initiative for the children of SDN 013 Simpang Sigaruntung. The event was organised in conjunction with PT RAPP, APRIL’s Indonesian subsidiary. The programme aimed to introduce reading as a passion to children early, in the hope that they may develop the passion for reading early. This time round, thousands of books were distributed to schools in the Inuman-Cerenti sub-district.

The Books We Read as Children: Sukanto Tanoto Encourages Education Through Tanoto Education

Such activities according to Estate Manager for PT RAPP, Jordan Valioano, should hopefully motivate children to develop an interest in reading. Even in the digital age, he stressed, reading should and must be campaigned for. He further added, saying, “Tanoto Foundation and RAPP will continue to support this activity for the advancement of education in the region.”

The aid of organisations like Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL and Tanoto Foundation remain all the more important. In a world where companies are allowed to become bigger and bigger, they retain their social license to operate only by  fulfilling their duty to the communities they operate in. It is therefore heartening to see businessmen like Sukanto Tanoto who still believe in doing the right thing. The 68 year old strongly believes in doing good for the Community, Country, Climate, Customer, and Company, something he calls the 5Cs. Thankfully, it is something he insists all his companies do to.

Dreams Do Come True: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Helps Entrepreneur Under Community Development Programme

Sukanto Tanoto is a man who wears many hats. He is a dedicated family man, a caring boss, a passionate philanthropist, and a firm believer in community development. Some might even say that he could double up as a part-time philosopher. Yet people more often know him as the charismatic chairman and founder of RGE, the global natural resource giant. It’s not hard to see why. RGE is truly an empire; it manages several other big names in the industry such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas – the companies collectively employ 60,000 people and own assets worth over USD 18 billion. That Sukanto Tanoto built all this in just 50 years, only affirms his legend amongst those in the know.

Breeding success, together, for everyone

More impressive than his staggering success, however, is his principle-based approach throughout. The billionaire entrepreneur espouses the 5Cs: creating good for the Community, Country, Climate, Customer, and Company. It is a philosophy of creating shared value, one that Sukanto Tanoto firmly insists on. And his companies have taken heed too, with many community development initiatives sprouting up as a result. Consequently, individuals and communities have benefitted from Sukanto Tanoto’s philosophy – one such example is Husni Thamrin.

Local entrepreneur soars with APRIL’s Community Development Programme

Dreams Do Come True: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Helps Entrepreneur Under Community Development Programme

Today Husni is a successful businessman who runs PT Nilo Engineering, a heavy equipment and truck rental company, with his wife Rohani. His company is a relative behemoth in the local area, with assets totalling Rp 100 billion. While he may have success today, it wasn’t all rosy for Husni. The 37 year-old first joined APRIL’s Community Development programme in 2001, with only his father’s truck to kickstart a garbage transportation company. As a result of the structured approach used by Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL in the Community Development Programme, Husni received both training as well as avenues to beef up the economic resources available for him to beef up his business. In addition to his natural savviness for business, it was only a matter of time before Husni would take off.

Today, Husni’s fleet includes 30 heavy equipment and 25 trucks, all of which are rented by PT RAPP, APRIL’s Indonesian subsidiary. He is thankful for the Community Development Programme, for having nurtured many other entrepreneurs like him.

Securing the Future, One Book at a Time: Under Sukanto Tanoto, Tanoto Foundation Sparks Interest in Reading

Sukanto Tanoto is undoubtedly one of the success stories of our time. The 68 year old, dubbed the resource king of Asia, built an empire worth over 15 billion dollars in assets in 50 years – his personal wealth alone is estimated to be about 2 billion dollars. He is the current chairman of RGE, which manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, Pacific Oil and Gas – all of which he founded. That he achieved all of this is impressive in itself. That he started everything as a seventeen year old without a completing his education, is reminiscent of a classic rags-to-riches, fairytale story come true.

Sukanto Tanoto Turns Regret into Motivation

 

Securing the Future, One Book at a Time: Under Sukanto Tanoto, Tanoto Foundation Sparks Interest in Reading

For all his success, Sukanto Tanoto has often mentioned that his interrupted education remains one of his few regrets. While some would suggest all’s well that ends well –he is a billionaire after all – the entrepreneur extraordinaire continues to be determined to ensure no one else suffers the same fate again. To this end Tanoto Foundation, the philanthropic arm of his empire he set up with his wife Tinah Bingei Tanoto, has worked tirelessly to improve education and literacy standards globally. One way in which it has been doing so, has been through its Pelita Puska Programme, which aims to foster an interest in reading amongst Indonesian Children.

Tanoto Foundation: A Strong Track Record

The Pelita Puska Programme currently targets schools in rural areas, where information is often limited and facilities are poor. Beyond building and renovating the libraries in these schools, Tanoto Foundation also contributes materials to these libraries, and offers training to teachers who could go on to also become librarians. By doing so, Tanoto Foundation seeks to facilitate the maintenance and accessibility of reading materials, which would go a long way in increasing interest in reading and improving literacy rates. As of 2016, Tanoto Foundation has built and renovated libraries in 186 schools, and donated over 32,000 books, and trained over 1800 teachers. The fight might not be won tomorrow, but Sukanto Tanoto’s vision is slowly, but surely becoming reality.

 

Under Sukanto Tanoto’s Leadership, APRIL Continues Commitment to Education

Businessman and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto, founder of RGE, its various business groups including APRIL and Sateri, and the Tanoto Foundation, has always emphasised the importance of creating shared value for the stakeholders. It is best encapsulated in his 4Cs philosophy – to create good for the community, country, climate, and company. It is this same philosophy that has been ingrained within the processes all his organisations; this stakeholder-centric view has allowed organisations led by Sukanto Tanoto to become the best in their fields. In a recent visit to APRIL’s facilities, 26 educators were left feeling thoroughly impressed by the impressive work being done within the company.

Educating the educators: APRIL at the forefront of industry practices

As part of a programme to introduce APRIL’s successful applications of plant nursery technology, the educators were brought on a visit to facilities including the RGE technology centre, the APRIL information centre, as well as the farms belonging to partners from the APRIL Community Development (CD) programme. The visit provided an insight into the processes, initiatives, and achievements of Sukanto Tanoto’s pulp and paper giant.

 

Under Sukanto Tanoto’s Leadership, APRIL Continues Commitment to Education

APRIL’s commitment to education and the community

Needless to say, the educators were left impressed. Een Kostini, a vocational school teacher who was impressed with the technology implemented by APRIL said, “In this industry visit programme, we see RAPP planting plants in accordance with the learning activities in school, then there is the technology we want to learn such as how to give water, maintenance and so on”. More than that, the educators were heartened by APRIL’s conservation work, with their efforts being described as ‘complete’, and ‘beneficial’.

The visit marked yet another example of APRIL’s commitment to improving education in the local communities, with educators given first-hand evidence on how theory was brought into practice. More importantly, these purveyors of knowledge were given a peace of mind that their young charges, some of them apprentices-to-be  at Sukanto Tanoto-led APRIL, would be in safe, and green hands.

 

PM.Haze Report Details APRIL’s Sustainability Efforts

In October 2014, the Singapore-based social activist group People’s Movement to Stop Haze (PM.Haze) toured facilities operated by April Group in Riau Province, Indonesia, as part of an investigation into APRIL’s environmental practices. PM.Haze’s report, issued in February 2015, detailed what members observed on the tour, as well as commendations and recommendations for further action on APRIL’s part.

APRIL has received criticism that it does not adequately control fires on its plantation lands. One of the divisions within the $15 billion RGE Group, the company produces wood pulp, paper, and forestry products on concession lands in Riau. Its paper mill in Kerinci, Riau, produces more than 7 percent of the total world pulp output.

In recent years, agricultural fires on village lands and within the concessions of several companies in Indonesia have generated haze conditions that have affected air quality in Singapore and Malaysia. Late in 2014, Indonesia became the final nation in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to ratify the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution.

APRIL recently launched its APRIL Dialog website in order to respond to questions from the public in a direct and timely manner. The company practices a zero-burn policy and has accepted the creation of an independent Stakeholder Advisory Committee, which issues regular reports on its progress toward increased sustainability.

The PM.Haze report praised APRIL’s willingness to participate in discussion with interested non-governmental organizations and commended its corporate social responsibility programs that focus on improving quality of life for the people who live near its concessions. Among additional efforts, the group also praised the company’s APRIL Dialog project, its fire-management policies, and its commitment to preservation of the peat forest core on the Kampar Peninsula. RGE Group founder and CEO Sukanto Tanoto, among Indonesia’s most successful entrepreneurs and philanthropists, has conveyed his commitment to effective and long-lasting environmental protection policies and social responsibility programs.

PM.Haze also focused on ways in which APRIL could improve. These include publicizing concession maps of APRIL’s and its suppliers’ lands, and clearly indicating areas set aside for conservation and the benefit of communities. The group also advised APRIL to immediately begin to use 100 percent plantation fiber, and to assist its suppliers in engaging more constructively with the public.

In addition, PM.Haze noted that APRIL should continue to rely on stakeholder, researcher, and NGO input as it moves forward to take on a leading role as a model of sustainable practices in its industry.