By Evi Ratnasari and JB Soesetiyo
Additional reports by Nia Novella and Calvin Hidayat
The pulp king of Belawan, Sukanto Tanoto did not finish high school, but became one of the largest pulp and paper manufacturers in the world with products sold in more than 60 countries.
THURSDAY, MAY 10 – The weather was fine in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau. The sun was shining brightly. We were scheduled to meet Sukanto Tanoto at Unigraha Hotel, which is located in the complex of PT Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP) in Pangkalan-Kerinci. Prior to the interview, Sukanto showed up, accompanied by his wife, Tinah Bingei Tanoto. They smiled and greeted us warmly by giving their hands to welcome us. Fortune Indonesia is the first Indonesia media to successfully interview Sukanto Tanoto exclusively.”It was nothing 25 years ago,” said Sukanto, starting the conversation and telling us about the 1,750 hectares of the RAPP complex. “Back then there was nothing here. The locals’ livelihoods at that time were either being a fisherman or illegal logging, “he added.