Forbes magazine compiles its list of the 50 richest people in different countries each year, so we decided to round up the list of the richest people in Indonesia to refresh your memory as well as to give those wanting to start a business the right motivation. So hang in there, and use these individuals’ achievements as positive reinforcements to keep going.
Robert Budi Hartono and Michael Hartono (estimated net worth: US$32.3bn)
The Hartono brothers are reportedly worth US$32.3 billion, with more than two-thirds of their total fortune coming from their shares in Bank Central Asia (BCA). Luck found them when they bought a stake in BCA after the original owners of the bank, the Salims, lost control of the company during the 1997-1998 Asian economic crisis. However, the Hartonos’ wealth hasn’t come from BCA alone, as it also stems from their father’s kretek company Djarum, one of the leading cigarette makers in Indonesia.
Eka Tjipta Widjaja (estimated net worth: US$9.1bn)
Starting out as a Chinese immigrant in Indonesia, Eka Tjipta Widjaja got his start in life by selling biscuits during his teenage years. Some time later, he founded Sinar Mas Group, which now has business interests in paper, real estate, financial services, agribusiness, and telecoms. He also founded Bank International Indonesia (BII), which is now owned by Maybank Malaysia. Now, at the age of 97, Eka is no longer active in his company having left his sons Franky, Indra, and Teguh, as well as grandson Eric Oei Kang, to run his businesses.
Susilo Wonowidjojo (estimated net worth: US$8.8bn)
Susilo Wonowidjojo made his fortune from his father’s kretek company Gudang Garam, producer of some 70 billion cigarettes a year. The business has been in the family since 1958, starting with Suryo, his late father, as the original founder. Older brother Rachman Halim then continued the business operations, and now the reins are held by Susilo Wonowidjojo as President Director and his sister, Juni Setiawati, as President Commissioner.
Sri Prakash Lohia (estimated net worth: US$7.3bn)
Sri Prakash Lohia began his journey to become one of the country’s richest people when he immigrated to Indonesia with his father, where they later co-founded Indorama as a producer of spun yarn in 1976. Now, Lohia’s large fortune comes from his business in producing the basic components needed to make plastic bottles. Indorama is now a petrochemicals powerhouse making a range of industrial products including polyethylene, polypropylene, and medical gloves. Currently based in London, Lohia remains the Chairman of Indorama, but lets his son Amit run the business on a daily basis.
Anthoni Salim (estimated net worth: US$6.9bn)
Anthoni Salim currently serves as head of the Salim Group, a family-run investment holding with interests in food, banking, and telecommunications. His father, Lim Sioe Liong, was the founder of Bank Central Asia but lost control during the Asian financial crisis, leaving the majority of the shares to the Hartono family, now Indonesia’s richest. Not only focusing their attention on Salim Group, the family also holds a majority stake in Hong Kong-listed investment firm First Pacific, which owns assets of around US$17 billion in six countries. On top of that, the Salim Group is also a majority stakeholder in Indofood, one of the world’s largest instant-noodle producers.
Chairul Tanjung (estimated net worth: US$3.7bn)
Chairul Tanjung is not only known as the former Coordinating Minister for Economics but also as a renowned businessman. He dropped out of dentistry school and went on to build CT Corp, best known for issuing credit cards, managing hypermarkets, and operating TV stations. He operates megamarts such as Carrefour and Transmart, as well as the Wendy’s franchise. When it comes to luxury brands, the group also has control over the Versace, Mango, and Jimmy Choo franchises in Indonesia. Not stopping at the fashion luxury world, CT Corp entered the hospitality industry by inking a deal with AccorHotels of France in November 2017 to operate 30 hotels across Indonesia.
Boenjamin Setiawan and family (estimated net worth: US$3.6bn)
It all started in a simple garage in 1966. Inside that humble setting, Boenjamin Setiawan, who has a doctorate in pharmacology, founded Kalbe Farma. Now, Kalbe Farma is the largest pharmaceutical company in Indonesia, and it does not stop there as Boenjamin, more commonly known as Dr Boen, also controls Mitra Keluarga, one of the largest hospital groups, which operates 12 hospitals around Indonesia.
Tahir and family (estimated net worth: US$3.bn)
Dato’ Sri Prof. Dr Tahir MBA is the founder of Mayapada Group, a company with interests in banking, hospitals, and real estate. Tahir not only owns several properties in Indonesia, but also owns the Strait Trading Building in Singapore. The businessman often uses his wealth for good causes, donating millions to fight the worldwide refugee crisis and promoting education in Indonesia.
Mochtar Riady and family (estimated net worth: US$2.9bn)
Mochtar Riady is the man behind the illustrious Lippo Group. He begin his journey with a humble bicycle shop at the young age of 22 years old, and the rest, as they say, is history. With his wit and business savvy, he went on to create a successful banking career until the 1997-1998 financial crisis. Now 89 years old, he has left most of the group’s operations to his sons James and Stephen Riady. Currently, Lippo Group is involved in real estate, retail, healthcare, media, and education. It is notable that Riady’s son Stephen also counts Singapore as his home and runs the property outfit OUE, which owns the iconic US Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles. Mochtar’s grandson John Riady, who now heads Lippo’s e-commerce venture MatahariMall, is also overseeing a digital banking drive through Bank Nobu.
Jogi Hendra Atmadja (estimated net worth: US$2.7bn)
Jogi’s family are third-generation Chinese immigrants who started producing biscuits in 1970. Now, Jogi Hendra Atmadja is at the helm of Mayora Group, Indonesia’s biggest food processor, which produces everything you see in your daily life from coffee, candy, biscuits, and many more. Currently, we can find Mayora brand in an estimated 90 countries.