Sukanto Tanoto is the founder and chairman of RGE Pte Ltd, a resource based company incorporated in Singapore. RGE comprises of a group of world class companies, exceeding in US$18 billion in assets value and a total workforce of 60,000 people worldwide. Under the leadership of Sukanto Tanoto, RGE has grown from humble beginnings in Medan, Indonesia to the global stage. As of today, RGE business is strong in Southeast Asia, China, India and Brazil, where half of the world’s population resides.
RGE’s guiding philosophy is driven by triple bottom line approach to People, Planet and Profit. As such, each company operates on the basis of sustainability and high social and environmental responsibility in every sector and operation. Today, RGE business groups’ manufacturing facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and have Environmental, Social, Health and Safety policies integrated into all aspects of their operations. They have been awarded the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications.
Sukanto Tanoto is also the co-founder of Tanoto Foundation with his wife, Tinah Bingei, taking care of the local communities they operate in. Through the foundation, they have given numerous scholarships to enable needy students to get quality education that change their whole lives. Despite the countless ongoing business activities that seem to fill up Sukanto Tanoto’s schedule, he never fail to free up some time to share his experiences with these scholars. There are also several activties specially designed for these scholars such as a meet and greet session. Sukanto Tanoto will use these precious moments to impart some important values to the scholars and to understand each student’s life personally, finding out their aspirations and dreams.
Sukanto Tanoto also engages in a broad range of social programs through his companies and foundation. These programmes include school construction in impoverished remote areas, provide advanced teaching equipments and facilities, build libraries, organise vocational trainings for local villagers, provide medical services/facilities and other economic assistance. As his businesses expand, they also strive to promote socio-economic prosperity in the local communities for the good of the people.
Sukanto Tanoto resides in Singapore with his wife, Tinah Bingei Tanoto and his 4 children. His 4 children form a very promising second generation, getting personal guidance from their father on how to run a business. Graduating from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the knowledge they learn in school will complement their hands-on experiences at work, forming a very solid foundation to their future business journey.
Unlike his children, Sukanto Tanoto did not have a smooth-sailing childhood. In fact, he did not have a proper education that taught him about business skills or even english language. It is shocking that these life conditions did not stop young Sukanto Tanoto from his dreams and visions, but instead, spurred him even further to do well. Even today, Sukanto Tanoto is at his retiring age but his passion for learning is still as fresh as 40 years ago.