Sukanto Tanoto: Entrepreneurial Journey and Legacy

Sukanto Tanoto 1

Biography of Sukanto Tanoto


Sukanto Tanoto is a self-made Indonesian billionaire entrepreneur and businessman with interests spanning across palm oil, pulp and paper, and energy. He is the founder and chairman of the RGE Group, which consists of several companies, including APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International Limited) and Sateri Holdings. Tanoto’s net worth is estimated at $3.8 billion, according to Forbes’ real-time billionaire tracker.

Early Life and Education

Sukanto Tanoto was born on December 25, 1949, in Belawan, North Sumatra, Indonesia. He was the youngest of seven children in his family. His parents were immigrants from China who moved to Indonesia in search of a better life.

Tanoto dropped out of school at the age of 17 to help his family’s business, which manufactured spare parts for oil and gas equipment. However, he continued to educate himself through self-study, reading business books and attending seminars.

Career and Achievements

At the age of 23, Sukanto Tanoto founded his first business, CV Raja Garuda Mas, which started as a spare parts manufacturer and later diversified into building mini hydro power plants. He later ventured into the pulp and paper industry, establishing PT Inti Indorayon Utama in 1974. In the early 1980s, he founded the RGM Group, which became one of the largest producers of plywood and paper in Indonesia.

In 1995, Tanoto founded APRIL, which became one of the world’s largest fiber, pulp, and paper manufacturers. He also established the Asian Agri Group, which is one of the largest palm oil producers in Indonesia. Moreover, he founded Sateri Holdings, which is a leading producer of viscose rayon.

Tanoto’s entrepreneurial success is attributed to his business philosophy known as the “3Cs”: Good for the Community, Good for the Country, and Good for the Company. This philosophy emphasizes the importance of balancing the interests of the community, country, and company for sustainable growth.

Personal Life

Sukanto Tanoto is married to Tinah Bingei Tanoto, and they have three children. He is known for his philanthropic activities, and in 2010, he established the Tanoto Foundation, which supports various initiatives in education, poverty alleviation, environmental conservation, and disaster relief.


Name Sukanto Tanoto
Born December 25, 1949
Country Indonesia
Sector Palm Oil, Pulp and Paper, Energy
Companies RGE Group, APRIL, Asian Agri Group, Sateri Holdings
Net Worth $3.8 billion
Forbes URL
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