Baking Up a Storm in Riau: Under Sukanto Tanoto’s Leadership, APRIL’s CD Programme Empowers Local Mothers

Sukanto Tanoto has always been a firm believer in the community – in harnessing its potential, in doing right by the people who are engaged with the company. Believing that it is a promise any company worth its salt should firmly keep, he has led his companies by the 4Cs philosophy: creating good for the Community, Country, Climate, and the Company.

Empowering the Community: Something to Believe In

It is a philosophy that has become deeply ingrained within the culture of RGE –of which Sukanto Tanoto is chairman –and the companies managed by RGE, including APRIL, Sateri, and . Developing, sustaining, and propagating a sense of responsibility to the community is something his companies have always focused on – often to commendable results.  APRIL, in particular, has been widely-lauded for their highly successful Community Development (CD) Programme. Over the past 2 years, one initiative by the CD programme has helped local mothers start small-scale businesses with their culinary prowess.

Having Your Cake, and Eating it too

Initiated in PKK Village Lukit, District Merbau, District Meranti Islands, Riau Juliana, local mothers were taught on ways in which they could translate their mastery of cooking into a profitable business. The training organised by the CD programme, a manifestation of Sukanto Tanoto’s vision, was conducted for the second year running; this year’s session in May taught the domestic goddesses to produce delectable cookies, pastries, and cakes. Unsurprisingly, the training has been a hit with the local mothers, who are proving equally adept at picking up the required skills. Culinary instructor Farida Hanum was notably impressed with the with proteges’ abilities. “Mothers are enthusiastic about the practice of making (cakes and pastries). I also enjoy teaching them because they understand quickly’, he said.

The training has proven popular, and timely. With Ramadan just around the corner, Syafri Edi, Coordinator of the Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Programme CD, was confident the mothers could immediately practice their skills by selling their delicious cakes. It’s early days, but it seems that at least under Sukanto Tanoto, you can have your cake and eat it too.


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