Sukanto Tanoto

Indonesian businessman (born 1949)

Sukanto Tanoto (born December 31, 1949) is an Indonesian businessman and philanthropist. He is one of Indonesia’s wealthiest individuals and has business interests in pulp and paper, palm oil, viscose staple fibre, specialty cellulose and oil and gas.

Quotes edit

1994 edit

  • You Americans bring your accountants and lawyers. We are like Nike -- we just do it."
    • On overseas Chinese doing business in China, versus Americans. Interview, Enter the Dragon: Building the Chinese Powerhouse, Jun 26, 1994. [1]

2007 edit

  • I have always believed that conservation is not a liability to industries. Instead, if done properly, it can be an asset.
    • Interview, China Economic Herald, Nov 30, 2007. [2]

2015 edit

  • I learn by doing, but each time I don’t understand, I will ask… If I don’t understand, I don’t feel ashamed to ask questions.
    • Keynote speech, Wharton Global Modular Course, May 25, 2015. [3]
  • When I was teenager, I wanted to be medical doctor. I would write "Dr" into my name - "Dr Sukanto". After I got married, my wife found out and asked me, "Why did you put a 'Dr' before your name?" I said this was my dream but I couldn't continue my education because the school closed and I was not qualified to go to any school.
    • Keynote speech, Wharton Global Modular Course, May 25, 2015. [4]
  • It doesn't makes sense. Why should we import (plywood)? Why not produce ourselves?
    • On 1960s Indonesia exporting logs but importing plywood from neighbouring countries, keynote speech, Wharton Global Modular Course, May 25, 2015. [5]
  • After you think, you act. After you act, you learn. Make decisions, but decisions will have risks of mistakes. But make sure you avoid disastrous mistakes and avoid making the same mistake twice.
    • Keynote speech, Wharton Global Modular Course, May 25, 2015. [6]
  • The global pulp & paper industry is estimated to be worth $1 trillion while the palm oil business is worth $400 to $500 billion a year. The challenge is to build the business to a large scale.
    • Globe Asia Interview, Sep, 2015. [7]
  • You have to see where the market is going. I always believe there is no sunset business. It’s all in the mindset because if you give up, then you die.
    • On film and Eastman Kodak, Globe Asia Interview, Sep, 2015. [8]
  • My business strategy is either to be geographically focused with lots of businesses or you can be a global player in selected businesses. Since I chose the route of being global, that is where I am going. You have to be competitive. It’s a matter of choice.
    • Globe Asia Interview, Sep, 2015. [9]
  • Life is like this. When I started business 48 years ago as a contractor, I was only looking to survive, cari makan (looking for food).
    • Globe Asia Interview, Sep, 2015. [10]
  • Doing the commodity business with China is like drinking coffee. We enjoyed three spoons of sugar per cup for a long time. Suddenly, when that’s cut to one and a half spoons, we feel bitter — because it used to be so sweet.

2016 edit

  • Our business philosophy is the four C’s. We do business in a way that is Good for the Community, Good for the Country, Good for the Climate, and only then will it be Good for the Company.

2017 edit

  • The plantation is a very long-term business. It takes 5-10 years to start producing and it takes some years to (reach) the optimal level.
    • On the resource manufacturing industry, CNBC [13]
  • Philanthropy is part of our DNA - business-wise and family-wise.

External links edit

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