Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Prabowo Subianto is not only known as a retired military man, politician and public official. Long before living that life, Prabowo was an entrepreneur. Even so, Prabowo is not like other entrepreneurs who have been trading since they were young. He just started doing business late in life. Precisely in his 50s.
However, age is not a barrier for Prabowo to be successful in business. In fact, from this business he was able to accumulate wealth of up to IDR 2 trillion. What’s the story?
As explained by George Aditjondro in Presidential Corruption (2006), Prabowo only started doing business when he retired from military service in 1998. He came into contact with the business world while living in Aman, Jordan. It is known that he was a representative of his younger brother Hashim’s business group, namely PT Tirtamas.
Not much is known about Prabowo’s business footprint in Jordan. According to Femi Adi in Prabowo: from Cijantung Move to the Palace (2009), news spread that Prabowo was exploring the oil business there. Because, in the early 2000s, oil production was increasing there.
However, Prabowo’s business activities only came to attention when he returned home to Indonesia around the 2000s. Quoting A. Pambudi in If Prabowo becomes President (2009), five years after retiring, Prabowo succeeded in leading a business fleet under the Nusantara Group umbrella. Its business area stretches from East Kalimantan to Kazakhstan.
Bisnis Nusantara Group initially operated in the paper industry, PT Kiani Kertas. This company, which is located in Berau, East Kalimantan, was originally owned by the ‘King of the Forest’ Boss Hasan. However, in the 1990s, this company was taken over by the state because it was considered unhealthy. And it is for this reason that Prabowo wants to revive the paper company.
Photo: Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto during his visit to Padang, West Sumatra. (UN Doc.)
Candidate for President Prabowo Subianto during his visit to Padang, West Sumatra. (UN Doc.)
He bought Kiani Kertas for IDR 1.8 trillion and turned it into PT Kertas Nusantara. Unfortunately, in Prabowo’s hands the company was not very successful.
After playing in the paper industry, Prabowo switched to other business sectors. It was recorded that this former Kostrad Commander had played in the palm oil business at PT. Tidar Kerinci Agung. This company was founded by his father, Sumitro Djojohadikusumo, in July 1984. Then he also ran a fisheries business through PT Jaladri Nusantara and the oil and gas sector through PT Nusantara Energy. Meanwhile, in the security services sector, he owns PT Gardatama Nusantara.
In general, the companies under Nusantara Energy are divided into five business units, namely paper, forestry and agriculture, mining, commercial fisheries and professional services. All companies in the Nusantara Energy Group accommodate no less than 10 thousand workers, with total assets of US$ 1 billion.
According to A. Pambudi, the secret to Prabowo’s success in business is due to precise momentum. He is good at seeing business opportunities from the bankruptcy of large companies that collapsed after the 1998 economic crisis. When these large companies went bankrupt and were taken over by the state, Prabowo was present as a new investor to restart the company’s operations.
Not infrequently, Prabowo also bought the company’s assets. For Prabowo, business is a field of service that must be taken seriously. Not only for yourself, but also for other people and the country.
Apart from that, another secret to success is collaboration. It is known that while running the business, Prabowo was not alone. He placed great trust in his political colleagues and family. Fadli Zon on his official personal website mentioned names such as Hashim Djojohadikusumo, Widjono Hardjanto, Bambang Atmadja, and himself as executives who grew Prabowo’s business.
Based on these two things, cleverness in seeing opportunities and collaboration, in the end Prabowo’s business grew bigger. It is not surprising that this retired general is classified as the richest minister with assets of around IDR 2 trillion. And every presidential election, Prabowo’s wealth is always in the spotlight.
Shh… This is the secret why most barbers are from Garut