Paving the Road to Success: Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL Fuels Local Entrepreneurs

Mention the word entrepreneurs, and Western luminaries such as Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates readily spring to mind. Much less emphasis or attention, surprisingly, has been placed on their no-less-impressive Asian counterparts. Asian giants such as Mochtar Riady, Li Ka Shing, or Sukanto Tanoto have often been overlooked, in part due to their proclivity for privacy.

Building a legacy for a lifetime

The latter, Sukanto Tanoto is quite simply a one man force of nature. Starting his first business as a seventeen year-old school-dropout (though not by choice), his zest and verve were clear to see. Combined with a sharp and entrepreneurial mind, there was only one way he would go – up. Today Sukanto Tanoto is chairman of global resource giant RGE, which manages several other companies such as APRIL, Sateri, and Pacific Oil and Gas. It has only been through that entrepreneurial and fighting spirit of his, that Sukanto Tanoto has the success he may rightly claim today; his companies boast a workforce of 60,000 and assets worth over 18 billion dollars. While the 68 year-old is clearly an example of entrepreneurship gone right, Sukanto Tanoto is determined to ensure he gives back to the society from which he has benefitted, and has done much in this regard.

Sharing the legacy, giving back

Most recently, Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL was featured by Indonesian publication Metro Riau. Specifically, the company’s well loved community development (CD) programme – which seeks to help locals begin their own entrepreneurial journeys – was covered. One beneficiary of the CD programme, Budiono, was interviewed. Budiono, now the proud owner of a motor garage, was given a life-changing opportunity through the CD programme run by Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL. Not only did APRIL provide Budiono with training on managing his own business, the company helped Budiono with his applications for bank loans. The rest, as they say, is history – and today Budiono is yet another success story in an Indonesia that growingly entrepreneurial.

APRIL’s CD programme is just one of Sukanto Tanoto’s many commitments in ensuring that his businesses’ presence in local communities remains beneficial for everyone involved. It is in line with his business philosophy of creating shared value in a sustainable manner, and looks set to continue for a long time more.

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.

Making Learning Fun Again: Under Sukanto Tanoto’s Philosophy, APRIL Opens New Eco Green Park for Sekolah Global Andalan PT RAPP Estate Logas

Education has come a long way since the days of poring over books, stuffy classrooms, and learning by rote. Learning, today, is an interactive process geared towards making the transfer of information between teacher and student much more efficient. A good foundation in skills important for the future – such as reading, writing, and a sense of responsibility – is a key goal of all schools, and Sekolah Global Andalan PT RAPP Estate Logas came one step close to that goal recently, as Sukanto Tanoto’s APRIL helped opened a new eco green park right within the school compound.

Sukanto Tanoto’s Motivation for Learning

APRIL, a global player in the pulp and paper industry, was founded by Sukanto Tanoto. The businessman, who turns 68 this year, has built an empire for the ages – he is currently chairman of RGE , which manages several industry giants such as APRIL, Sateri, Pacific Oil and Gas. An out-and-out self-made man, he grafted and toiled for his success, made all the more difficult by his incomplete education. While an inspiration in itself, his experience isn’t one he’d like others to go through. The dedicated philanthropist, who founded the Tanoto Foundation with his wife, Tinah Bingei Tanoto, has worked tirelessly to ensure the less-privileged will still have an equal opportunity at life; his foundation seeks to empower, and enhance the lives of others, through education.

Making Learning Fun Again: Under Sukanto Tanoto’s Philosophy, APRIL Opens New Eco Green Park for Sekolah Global Andalan PT RAPP Estate Logas

Sukanto Tanoto Makes Loving Nature Fun

The recently opened Eco Green park is a learning space co-located with a forest and features a host of learning resources designed to foster a curiosity about the fascinating world of forestry. Comprising of a green house, a compost production house, and learning huts, the facility will also house a “bank sampah”, or trash bank. The trash bank will allow the more creatively-gifted students to showcase their handicrafts made from trash. With an eco-minded slant, the park will hopefully engender a sense of responsibility towards nature.

Mr Bey Soo Khiang, Vice Chairman of RGE, was on hand to witness the opening of the park. Speaking at the ceremony, he remarked that the initiative was a testament to Sukanto Tanoto’s commitment to the 4Cs philosophy – creating good for the Community, Country, Climate, and Company.

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.

 

RAPP Poised to Become Second Largest Paper Producer in the World

The Indonesian Pulp and Paper industry contributes an estimated 5.6 billion US Dollars per year to the national revenue.

One of the largest pulp and paper producers in Indonesia is Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), a subsidiary of Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL) founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist Sukanto Tanoto. Sukanto Tanoto is also founder of Sateri and Pacific Oil & Gas. With the completion of the construction on its third paper mill in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau, it is poised to be the second largest paper producer of the world.

RAPP’s two existing paper mills have the combined capacity to produce 850 000 tons of paper per year; however, with the completion of the additional third mill completed in 2017, production is estimated to increase to a combined 1.1 million tons per year. These projected figures will make RAPP one of the largest paper producers in the world, second only to International Paper, a paper producer from the United States.

Three different types of paper are currently produced in RAPP factories for both domestic and international markets:

  • A shaped customer roll.
  • A cut to size paper such as the international A4 size.
  • A shaped folio, which is a large sheet of paper.

The international markets expand to 75 countries, which include the Middle East, Japan, Australia and India. With the new production capacity in 2017, RAPP is expecting to export up to 10 000 tons of cut to size paper every month to India.

According to Assistant Communications Manager of RAPP, Budhi Firmasyah, testing had already begun on the new plant in November 2016, and production is expected to begin at the end of January 2017.

PaperOne products

RAPP Pulp Production

In addition to becoming the world’s second largest paper producer, RAPP is ranked the 9th largest producer of pulp, with a production reaching 1.2 million tons of pulp in 2016. Of the 1.2 million tons produced, only 20% was used domestically for the production of paper in their own factories, the rest was exported to over 20 countries.

For more information on RAPP and its founder Sukanto Tanoto visit:

http://www.aprilasia.com/en/sukanto-tanoto

https://www.facebook.com/SukantoTanoto

http://www.sateri.com/sukanto-tanoto/

Sering Village Becomes Agricultural Focal Point

Since 2012, the Tanoto Foundation has worked through its corporate partner Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP) to develop sustainable agriculture projects to benefit the people of Riau Province. Currently, the foundation supports a demonstration farmland plot that it hopes will become a source of community empowerment.

RAPP, one of the companies under the flagship of Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), maintains large-scale pulp milling operations in Riau. By supporting the cultivation of a two-hectare plot of peat land in Sering Village as a pilot program, RAPP has demonstrated its ongoing concern for the wellbeing of the communities in which it does business.

Honeydew harvest in Sering Village
Honeydew harvest in Sering Village

In addition, RAPP has furthered its community involvement through a partnership with Bogor Agricultural University’s research projects on tropical horticulture. The collaboration focuses on best practices in the cultivation of peat lands, like those so plentiful throughout Riau Province.

So far, the demonstration plot has cultivated, on a trial basis, honeydew melons, tomatoes, bananas, chilies, and other produce. Over the long term, RAPP plans for the project to provide economic empowerment and self-sufficiency for the residents of the village. Sering has the potential to become a central hub for the harvest of a variety of produce.

APRIL and RAPP make up one of the major lines of business within the $15 billion RGE Group headed by Sukanto Tanoto, whose personal and professional dedication to fostering healthy communities is exemplified in his family foundation. The Tanoto Foundation is committed to alleviating the stresses of poverty in Indonesia by supporting higher education scholarships, entrepreneurship training, and a range of social service and local infrastructure development projects. Furthermore, APRIL, through its corporate focus on wise management of the forests and woodlands that drive its profits, works to further the adoption of environmentally sustainable business practices throughout its industry.

APRIL Partners with Community on Zero Burning

Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP), a constituent company of Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL), was proud to award a recent community development grant of 100 million Indonesian rupiah to a local village successful in reducing fires on its lands. RAPP and APRIL are responsible for a large share of the production of wood pulp and paper products on the global market, and are part of the RGE Group founded by Indonesian-born entrepreneur Sukanto Tanoto. Because of Mr. Tanoto’s focus on following best practices in corporate citizenship and environmental stewardship, his executive teams place the welfare of local communities at the heart of their business operations. The grant to the village of Teluk Meranti in October 2014 rewarded that community for its efforts to implement RAPP’s zero-burning policy on its lands.

Teluk Meranti, part of the Pelalawan regency in Riau Province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is one of four village communities participating in RAPP’s pilot project, which is held during the summer dry season. Village chief H. Hasan, upon accepting the award from Pelalawan’s regent, described how his community would use the funds to improve local infrastructure. Other villages in the project include Pulau Muda, Sering, and Teluk Binjai.

RAPP Village Incentive Award

Fires in Riau’s villages, both on and outside of pulp- and paper-producing lands, often start as part of traditional community waste management practices. RAPP and APRIL have devoted extensive recent efforts to educating rural communities about the dangers associated with such fires, which can burn out of control and produce haze that reaches across the Strait of Malacca to Singapore.

The first reports received from the pilot project indicate that it has achieved overall success in reducing such potentially devastating fires. The program has gained extensive local government support, including that of the Pelalawan police department, as well as government entities dealing with environmental concerns, disaster response, and forestry.

New RAPP Program Works to Minimize Forest Fires

PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper, or RAPP, has initiated a new fire management program in the Pelalawan Regency of Riau Province, in cooperation with local government agencies that manage forest lands, enforce environmental protections, and deliver disaster response. RAPP selected four villages to participate in a pilot program to curb forest and land fires. Through this “Fire Care Village” program, a village that managed to avoid fires completely from July to September would be awarded a special bonus of 100 million Indonesian rupiah in assistance, the equivalent of more than $8,000 USD. Villages in which fires affected less than 1 hectare of land, and in which residents controlled the blaze within 24 hours, would receive 50 million rupiah.

RAPP, a subsidiary of APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International Limited), is among the constituent companies of the RGE Group, the $15 billion corporation established by Indonesian entrepreneur Sukanto Tanoto. As such, RAPP takes its responsibilities as a corporate citizen seriously. Following Mr. Tanoto’s business philosophy based on keeping the needs of company, community, and the planet equally in mind, the APRIL concessions in Riau practice a zero-burn policy and strive to maintain compliance with all applicable regulations and environmental best practices. Innovating to find new ways of crisis management (in this way is forest fire) is also part of the important criteria of a successful entrepreneur.

RAPP’s Fire Care Village program came in response to extensive forest and land fires that occurred in Riau in the spring of 2014. The situation became so dire that the Indonesian government declared a state of emergency. RAPP executives noted local village residents might need added incentives to take an active role in fire management.

Forest Fire Management

International environmental organizations viewed the spring fires with concern. One group listed more than 3,000 verified fire alerts on Sumatra for the period from late February to mid-March. June through September is typically Indonesia’s dry season, and the country saw very few fires during the early spring of 2013. The spring 2014 figures are far higher than those during a June 2013 fire and haze crisis on the island. Experts believe that unusual drought conditions in Sumatra in the early part of 2014 contributed to the problem, with the majority of the fires occurring in Riau.

Environmental organizations admit difficulties in gathering accurate data on exactly which concession boundaries any particular fire has affected. The situation is a complex one, and the solutions will require better communication between government agencies and companies, as well as better monitoring systems on the ground. RAPP continues to look for ways to take a leading role in fighting this shared problem.