Written by Bi Yajun of Chinese Businessman’s Strategy
Diligence establishes the demeanor of a great person through several decades’ cultivation.
“President Sukanto Tanoto is farsighted and good at practicing. He can put the foresight into practicing ……”
“President Sukanto Tanoto is a person who can create miracle ……”
“President Sukanto Tanoto has willpower and firm faith ……”
“President Sukanto Tanoto is very close to the staff, and care for the staff ……”
To speak of Sukanto Tanoto, several old officials who have already followed him for nearly 20 years have endless words to talk. Sukanto Tanoto interposed a remark often, which makes the atmosphere very active. Some staff said President Sukanto Tanoto was full of energy and others couldn’t catch up with, Sukanto Tanoto asked with a smile ” why can’t you surpass me?” When some staff said they never see that President Sukanto Tanoto was tired, Sukanto Tanoto added:” Why am I not tired, that’s because you didn’t see. ” To the statement of having daring and resolution, Sukanto Tanoto corrected and said:” Daring and resolution, do you calculate it, I have calculated very clearly. ” What the staff said are verified by pieces of facts.
“When the factory was built in 1988, an Englishman was responsible for capital construction. When I get to the site for check at 11 o’clock one Sunday and found there was something wrong, I required him to rush to do well the project. I asked him what he needed. He said: I want to sleep. “Sukanto Tanoto said.
Sukanto Tanoto established the paper pulp factory from zero directly to 1 million tons. It is only one of its kind in the whole world.
“The design consultant invited from foreign countries looks down upon us, even withdrew later. The staff all took to heart, I encouraged them not to be angry, but try to make a good showing. A few years later, the atomic bomb exploded. ” Sukanto Tanoto and all the staff of RGM took great pride in the miracle of the world paper pulp industry created by himself.
“Have no experience does not equal to I can not do. Chinese people are so. There is no atomic bomb, they can make one. There are no satellites, they can make one too relying on their own efforts. But don’t be crude and impetuous. Before we do, we spent two years studying from others, investigate and study more. Use more talents. Those who do not understand don’t pretend to know. Think carefully before action. Once you make the decision, you should stick to.”
Those who do not understand don’t pretend to know. During the interview, Sukanto Tanoto emphasized several times: “I like observing and studying, draw experience from practice. When I do something each time, I would consult the most successful person in the trade and also look for the person who failed. Everybody said that this person has failed, why do you look for him? We should consult his advice, but don’t repeat his mistake. The positive and negative should be combined together. This is Chairman Mao’s contradiction theory. ”
Sukanto Tanoto summarized his reasons for success as 3. One is friend, the second is idea, and the third is diligence. When he was asked how to arrange time after work, he referred to studying two times: reading, when I have time, I will read books.”
Sukanto Tanoto reads all-embracing books, both in Chinese and in English. He liked reading ” talking about protracted war ” and “contradiction theory “of Chairman Mao since childhood and learns much history and intelligence of China. “Later I also read books of the west and of the Chinese Mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan. Some books of Taiwan about management were good. I taught myself English, mainly through buying the magazine, and I had courage to speak, I could read English books two or three years later. “
He said: “If we want to do things well all the time, and are promoting ourselves constantly, you can get repayment naturally after a longer time. “Till now, Sukanto Tanoto takes three weeks to study in the world-famous universities every year, participates in some short-term training courses of economy and management.
Because of these, Sukanto Tanoto can always look far and plan completely.
“20 years ago, President Sukanto Tanoto said after 2000, the three-ply board factories of Indonesia could not maintain because trees of Indonesia are limited. When he said so, these factories were all making a lot of money, now things are really like this. At that time he said that we must plant trees because in the future resources would get the upper hand. Everything is confirmed.” An employee on the senior level of RGM said.
Speaking of resources, Sukanto Tanoto said: “We enjoy three kinds of resources, abundant natural resources, advanced technological resources and outstanding talent resources. “
“Take talents as the foundation and rely mainly on working. ” is Sukanto Tanoto’s principle of choosing the right person. He said: “China uses talents, I use them to work. There are a lot of talents, but they must work. It needs efforts to build up enterprises. ” At the same time he said with sincerity:” The biggest challenge lies in talents while developing. “
For this reason, RGM allocates the world-class equipment, offers the world-class chance, and enlists the most outstanding talents from the whole world. RGM is like the United Nations, the staff are not only from China Mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, but also from U.S.A., Britain, Canada, India, Singapore, etc. These talents of different nationalities and cultural backgrounds gather in RGM. They are innovative and do solid work and are the most valuable resource in the fast development of RGM.
“I administer personnel. People are the most complicated. Chinese call it management. If you pay no attention to them, serious problems will arise; also it is impossible if you use them without arrangement or arrange them without administration. Both administration and coordination are needed. Chinese words are really extensive and profound. “He said.
Sukanto Tanoto, who realized two great improvements at the two time’s great economic depressions of oil crisis and financial crisis, has his own deep experience in the crisis. He said: “There are also good opportunities in the crisis. Whether you could transfer crises to opportunity lies in your solid foundation. You should do things steadily and surely, just like a tall tree needs a profound root; a tall building needs firm ground. Furthermore, at the critical moment, you should be clearheaded, have faith and be confident. When the dark is end, the brightness is sure to come. When you are in the brightness, don’t be proud, otherwise dark will come. Not only confidence is needed, you must see through what will happen next, and have the ability to cope well and get hold of.”
” Don’t put eggs at one basket “ is Sukanto Tanoto’s another strategy. What is valuable is that he never puts the egg in a basket that has nothing to do with his core advantage. In these decades, he has been carrying on long-term, sustainable strategic investment around resources. In the words of staff of his company: President Sukanto Tanoto knows forever what he can do, and what he can’t do.
Sukanto Tanoto’ s own view of this is: When enterprises reach a certain scale, they do not make money, but make an industry. Undertaking should be made interesting and meaningful, deserve pride, and should be useful to society.
“When you do business, you buy at 10 yuan, and sell it at 12, you only know you make two yuan, this is very simple. It is different for a factory. How to run it? Can it run? Whether it is like you have money to buy automobile, but have not money to buy petrol? The risk was higher in plantation, in which only a few years later can you know whether it is good or not. We are engaging in the oil gas now. The business concerning energy is more complicated. It has relations with the political background, and involves international monopoly groups and the vested interests. It is different from others. “
To benefit the society, RGM builds true quality with three “benefits”.
“Now when I do anything and engage in any trade, I will consider ‘ three benefits ‘, that is benefit to government, to local people, and then to enterprise. Pursue harmonious development of people, enterprise and nature in continuous development. If only you can get benefits, and the people and government can’t, your enterprise will not last long. If what the enterprises do is useful to ordinary people and local government, you can survive for a long time and can make money. Though a lot of things are solved through the government, if you have not become one with ordinary people, it is very difficult for you to survive when getting in turmoil period. ‘ It can be said the three benefits ‘is the magic weapon that an enterprise strives for victory in commercial struggle. “Sukanto Tanoto said.
RGM’s community development plan in Indonesia is the best illustration of the power of “three benefits”.
“When the factory was founded, we considered that we should assist peasant’s production. Natural fertilizer should be used in lands there, then we raised oxen first, and the fertilizer can be utilized. Without practical investigation you cannot think out this plan. Who can expect when you want to expand an enterprise, you teach people how to raise oxen first. ” Wherever Sukanto Tanoto builds a factory, he will regard the affluences of common people as an important content of enterprise’s development.
In order to help local common people to get rich, RGM set up the training center at the community where the factory is situated to train nearby peasants free and teach them advanced production technology. At the same time multiple help plans are made and implemented, including comprehensive system of agro-farming, scheme of community plantation, support scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises, job training and educations support and help. It also undertakes the responsibility for helping to build such community infrastructure as road and bridge, electricity, water, medical treatment and culture, etc. In addition, he constructs the school building in the locality, offers the teaching material and teaching equipment, provides subsidies to rural teachers and establishes scholarship to let children of the poor family receive an education. Now more than 12000 students are benefited. Now, the successful mode of sustainable development found out by Sukanto Tanoto was extensively used by companies under command of RGM, and is implemented as its long-term development strategy mode in China.
If “three benefits” are for enterprise’s better management, Sukanto Tanoto’s unselfish participation in public service reflects the sincere heart for his repayment for the society.
He donated 3 million dollars to the Olympic Games; 30 million yuan for fighting against SARS; 14 million yuan to ” the love project of overseas Chinese “; 5 million yuan to support the development of western regions, ……Only in recent years, except the donation of nearly 20 million dollars in Indonesia and Singapore, Sukanto Tanoto donated over a hundred million yuan for supporting the social public service in China. He said:
“A successful person needs opportunities. There are a lot of wise men in the world, but they cannot succeed without opportunity. So after we succeed, we should take out some money to do something meaningful to society and repay the society. “