Sukanto Tanoto is a man of strong will and audacious dreams. After all, as a seventeen year old whose education was just cut short in the early 60’s, Sukanto Tanoto decided to find his own success by starting his own business. Since then, the go-getting businessman has built a name, and an empire to match, for himself. Today Sukanto Tanoto helms the global resource giant RGE, which manages companies such as APRIL, Sateri, Asian Agri and Pacific Oil and Gas. With businesses worth a mind-boggling 18 billion dollars and over 60,000 employees, it’s almost safe to say that dreams do come true.
Forging ahead: No rest for the ambitious
The 68 year-old is renowned for his work ethic and focus on efficiency. Even as he prepares to celebrate 50 years in business this year, he is focused as ever. Waste in Sukanto Tanoto’s businesses is frowned upon; to that end, his companies have displayed a fervent obsession with productivity which has brought tangible results. Most recently, Asian Agri revealed its aims to increase productivity by 45%for the year.
Asian Agri places its trust in science
As one of Indonesia’s, and Asia’s, largest palm oil producers, Asian Agri continually seeks to outdo itself. This year, it aims to increase palm oil productivity to 35 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches per hectare. If reached, it will mark a 45% increase from the previous year. The surprising confidence with which Asian Agri has set its target, however, is not unfounded. The company, led by Sukanto Tanoto, believes this aim is not as lofty as previously imagined, not with the help of its scientifically-produced Topaz seeds anyway. Designed and engineered through the efforts of its indefatigable research scientists, the Topaz seeds are believed to be the key.
Asian Agri’s trust in its scientifically-backed Topaz seeds seems to be a commonality present across all of Sukanto Tanoto’s business groups. At the heart of Sukanto Tanoto’s companies operations, is an implicit trust in science to lead the way. With science’s advance guaranteed, that trust looks set to be repaid sooner, if not later.