03/15/2021, 12.54
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Reality for three Indonesian tycoons amid the pandemic, leadership and faith

by Mathias Hariyadi

Armand Wahyudi Hartono is vice CEO and director of BCA Bank, Anne Patricia Sutanto is vice CEO of Pan Brothers, and John Riady is vice CEO of Lippo Karawaci. They spoke about their work and their Christian faith to an agency of the Archdiocese of Jakarta.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) – This was indeed an extremely rare opportunity for three big Indonesian tycoons to speak freely on a virtual platform about leadership, pandemic-affected business and their Catholic faith as they advance the core values of their companies.

These three tycoons are:

1. Armand Wahyudi Hartono, (picture 1), vice CEO and director of the BCA Bank, the largest private bank in Indonesia. He is the youngest son of Michael Hartono, owner of PT Djarum, the nation's largest cigarette manufacturer and Indonesia's richest man with personal assets estimated to be worth US$ 37.3 billion. His big family is Catholic.

2. Anne Patricia Sutanto (picture 2), vice CEO of Pan Brothers. Born a Protestant, she later became a Catholic after marrying one. Ms Sutanto chairs at least 28 large clothing and textile factories across Java. She is probably Indonesia's largest clothing exporter.

3. John Riady (picture 3), vice CEO of Lippo Karawaci. He is the son of James Riady, widely known as one of President Clinton's financial sponsors in his first campaign for president. He is now the new leader of the Lippo Karawaci business groups.


The trio of young Indonesian tycoon talked about their passion for life, how they live their fundamental values in their work environment, and their Catholic faith.

Their video was broadcast to Indonesian viewers via Zoom and YouTube by BKK PKK KAJ on Saturday, 13 March. BKK PKK KAJ is an agency that belongs to the Archdiocese of Jakarta.

Here's their story.

BCA director Armand W. Hartono

He belongs to the third generation of PT Djarum and has adopted the family's tradition of leading a simple life, despite his great wealth. Armand is indeed a very humble and soft-spoken person.

“The year of the COVID-19 pandemic was a good opportunity for BCA Bank to redesign our performance to serve our customers. We are nothing without our loyal customers,” he said, indicating that the pandemic forced BCA to find new solutions in banking systems and implement new initiatives to satisfy customers.

He presents his personal “touch” to keep the loyalty of BCA customers. This includes, among other things, getting to know them personally, greeting them with a great smile, and showing them a lot of respect; in short, creating better relations and good ethics with all customers.

For most employees, BCA Bank is considered a homy office after graduation and starting to work. It is at BCA Bank that they would like to end their career to start retirement.

Anne Patricia Sutanto, president and CEO di PT Pan Brothers

Raised in a traditional Javanese Chinese family in Central Java, for Anne gender equality is far from everyday life.

She really enjoyed living and spending her childhood among the workers at her father's plywood mill in Solo. She also enjoyed travelling to Indonesia's vast forest region, in this huge island nation, when her late father ran a plywood business and factories.

“I saw the grandeur of God's power in the forest,” she said when recalling her younger years.

But she never had the opportunity to join the family business, simply because “I'm a woman.” Everything changed when the family started producing textiles and garments.

She was chosen to run the family business as her brother was still a minor when her father suffered a stroke and needed a new captain to run the family business.

She said she was not prepared for such work as she initially wanted to pursue a professional career in other fields. But in the end, she joined the family business in making textiles and garments under the label PT Pan Brothers, the largest textile manufacturer in the world.

What makes her strong in a working environment - especially in factories - dominated by men? Lessons learnt from her traditional family, she said: “Praying to God is the best solution, asking for his blessing to comfort and strengthen our limited strength to face challenges.”

Being Catholic since her marriage, reciting the Rosary has become Anne's new tradition to find the best solution to overcome a variety of challenges.

“I find solace and happiness when I recite the Rosary. I found God in the silence of a vast forest where the grandeur of our Creator is reflected in the presence of clean water from natural springs, forests, large uncontaminated and unpolluted rivers - the natural life deep in the forest. My past years, when I was still very young, kept me alive with good memories of the greatness of our God.”

John Riady

For John, “Every person has their own personal calling.”

He was brought in a Buddhist family until his father James Riady converted to Christianity.

Now he represents the third generation of the Riady clan that owns the Lippo Karawaci business group with interests in banking, property, entertainment, shopping malls and wireless communication services.

“I felt like I wasn't ready to run the family business. I joined the group and experienced it as an administrator until I was chosen as the new leader in the business,” John explained. In the end, “this is my personal calling to join the family business.”

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