“Billionaire Michael Hartono: A Life of Success”

Michael Hartono 1


Michael Hartono is a billionaire entrepreneur and businessman from Indonesia. He co-founded the Djarum Group, one of Indonesia’s largest cigarette manufacturers, with his brother, Robert Hartono. He has since diversified his business interests to include banking, real estate, and telecommunications, among others. Hartono is one of the richest individuals in Indonesia and Asia, with a net worth estimated by Forbes at $39.1 billion as of 2021.

Early Life and Education

Hartono was born on October 27, 1939, in Kudus, a small town in Central Java, Indonesia. He is the son of Oei Wie Gwan, a successful Chinese Indonesian businessman who owned a small tobacco company, and Tan Kiem, his wife. Hartono attended primary and secondary school in Kudus before moving to Jakarta for further studies. In Jakarta, he attended Yayasan Perguruan Belanda, a Dutch-language school.

After graduation, Hartono joined his father’s tobacco business, where he learned about the industry and gained hands-on experience. He worked various jobs within the company, from rolling cigarettes to managing operations. Hartono’s entrepreneurial spirit soon led him to explore other business opportunities outside of the tobacco industry.

Career and Achievements

In the early 1960s, Hartono and his brother, Robert, founded the Djarum Group, which initially sold hand-rolled kretek cigarettes. The company grew rapidly and later diversified into other industries such as real estate, banking, telecommunications, and palm oil plantations. Today, Djarum Group is one of Indonesia’s largest and most successful conglomerates, with operations in more than 50 countries.

Under Hartono’s leadership, Djarum Group expanded its business interests beyond Indonesia, investing in telecommunications in Asia and the United States. The company’s telecom business, called XL Axiata, is now one of the largest mobile phone operators in Indonesia. Hartono also started a successful bank called Bank Central Asia (BCA), which is now one of the country’s largest banks.

Hartono’s business acumen and leadership have earned him numerous honors and awards over the years. In 2014, he received the Ernst & Young World Entrepreneur of the Year award for his contribution to the business community in Indonesia and beyond.

Personal Life

Hartono is a private individual who rarely gives interviews to the media. He is known to lead a quiet and reclusive lifestyle, focusing on his business and philanthropic activities. Hartono is a devout Buddhist and is known to be a generous philanthropist, giving back to his community through various charitable initiatives.

Hartono is married to Siti Hartono, and they have four children together. Their eldest son, Budi Hartono, is also a billionaire businessman and co-owner of the Djarum Group.


Name Michael Hartono
Born October 27, 1939
Country Indonesia
Sector Diversified
Companies Djarum Group, Bank Central Asia, XL Axiata
Net Worth $39.1 billion
Forbes URL
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