Back to Batiks: How Sukanto Tanoto’s Vision of Community Empowerment Improved the Batik Trade in Riau

Mention Indonesia, and the term Batik would invariably pop up somewhere amidst the conversation. The traditional fabric art of Pelawalan –  in the Riau province of Indonesia –has charmed many, and is indubitably synonymous with Indonesia’s vibrant culture. And thanks to PT RAPP (the main subsidiary of April group, founded by Sukanto Tanoto), Riau’s locals have managed to contribute even more to both the culture and economy of the community.

Bringing out the best of Riau, the Tanoto way. 

PT RAPP’s  Rumah Batik Andalan Programme has played a huge role here. The programme, initiated in line with founder Sukanto Tanoto’s 4Cs principle – to create Good for the Community, Country, Climate, and the Company – seeks to create a mutually beneficial relationship for both the company and the society. To this end, Rumah Batik Andalan has created an avenue, for enterprising and talented Batik artists to channel their craftsmanship. To date, the programme has supported ten such craftsmen and women, who have created bold and exquisite designs characteristic of Riau’s vibrancy.

PT RAPP: Fighting for Riau’s rights

PT RAPP’s efforts and commitment towards to the community in Kerinci (where founder Sukanto Tanoto’s highly-successful paper mill operates), have been well-received amongst the residents. One example of the strong commitment towards Kerinci, which PT RAPP’s has shown, was in how the project aided the craftsmen in gaining intellectual property (IP)  rights for their designs. The designs, featuring motifs of plants such as the Eucalyptus leaf, the Acacia leaf, and the Timun Suri (a local cucumber) – all unique to the region or community. With protection now in place for their designs, the craftsmen may now, finally, profit fully from their designs.

Sukanto Tatono’s vision for a community that benefits from his company’s good performance, has come one step closer to fruition with PT RAPP’s initiative. Under the programme, craftsmen and women alike may stand to earn an income between Rp 2 million to Rp 4 million each  month. It would surely go a long way towards empowering and improving the economy of the local communities

To learn more about the range of community projects initiated by the RGE group of companies, its many world-class businesses and its chairman, follow Mr Tanoto via social media on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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