How It All Started: Sukanto Tanoto’s Investments in the Palm Oil Industry

Sukanto Tanoto‘s plans on starting out in the palm oil industry in Indonesia did not come all at once. While the already successful entrepreneur was seeking a new business opportunity, an exceptional idea came to him while he was vacationing in Malaysia, having noticed the remarkable strategies used there to leverage the advantages of palm oil production.

Inspired by Malaysia’s Success

Despite not having gone to business school yet, Mr. Tanoto managed to realize the remarkable potential of investing in the palm oil industry in Indonesia, after having seen the success that Malaysian entrepreneurs and corporations have had, despite living and operating in a country where the population and the potential assets that the palm oil plantations have to offer are far less than what you’d find in Indonesia at that time.

As he stated during the Wharton Global Modular Course in Singapore, Mr. Tanoto has always placed great emphasis on learning how a potential business works through practical steps, and applying those steps to improve business ventures, while keeping in mind the big picture on how it could improve the local community.

A Successful Venture in the Palm Oil Industry

After learning more about the local industry in Malaysia and doing a simple comparison on the market, Mr. Tanoto quickly started his strategy of acquiring the help of European companies and investors, and set up a plan for community plantations that would eventually grow much stronger than all their competitors in South Asia.

He managed to find financing options that were extremely advantageous both for RGE Group and for the smallholders they aimed to assist. Smallholders would end up receiving training and new business opportunities to increase their incomes, while the company managed production and export to achieve higher yields.

In time, with the help of Sukanto Tanoto’s remarkable policy of helping local smallholders, the RGE’s plan on launching a successful venture in the local palm oil industry truly took off, creating a win-win situation for everyone involved.

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