Taking The High Road

The rise of Astra International shows that being a good corporate citizen also makes excellent business sense.

“There is no superman at Astra. We value super teams more than supermen,” says Prijono Sugiarto, president director of PT Astra International. Photos by Ahmad Zamroni

When Prijono Sugiarto, president director of PT Astra International, hands out his card, on the back, in black small letters, it reads “printed on recycled paper.” One of the many differences, some small and some large, that set Astra apart—be it recycled paper for business cards or building dozens of schools in rural communities. As the largest private company in the country by several measures—largest market capitalization, largest profits, largest revenues outside the state firms—Astra is living proof that being a good company doesn’t mean one can’t also be profitable. Continue reading


Going South

Some of the best residential investments can be found in Jakarta’s southern half.

By Pudji Lestari & Ardian Wibisono

Jakarta’s property market, along with the rest of the economy, is booming, with the prices for residential housing in many prime locations up by at least 10% last year, sometimes as high as 20%. The residential market, defined as landed houses, condos and apartments, is doing especially well in the southern end of Jakarta. Areas popular with expatriates, such as Kemang, Kebayoran, Pondok Indah and Jalan TB Simatupang have seen significant price gains as they are close to international schools and also are relatively close to Jakarta’s main business districts. Continue reading

Leaves of Life

Cigar factory PD Taru Martani is one of the many surviving historical icons in tradition-steeped Yogyakarta.

In a place known better for its cigarettes, PD Taru Martani is the country’s oldest and the largest cigar maker. Built in 1918 under the name N.V. Negresco by a Dutch company Mignot & De Block Cigar Company. After World War II, the factory was taken over by the late Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono IX and renamed Taru Martani, a Javanese term for the leaves of life. Continue reading

Technology and Community

Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X wants Yogyakarta’s residents to all benefit from its development as a cyber-province.

Yogyakarta is one of the special regions in the country besides Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. It is the second smallest province in Indonesia after Jakarta in terms of area, with just 3,185 square kilometers. The region is led by Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X, 66, the Sultan and governor of Yogyakarta, which is the name of both the province and its famous city. For many, Jogja, the nickname of its capital city, represents the heart of Javanese culture, championed and safeguarded by the Sultan. The city is known for the Sultan’s Javanese palace, the Kraton, and wonderful Javanese cuisine. Some associate Jogja with a sleepy pace, but the Sultan vows to transform the province into something more modern and tech-savvy. In 1998, he announced his vision for the region to develop its tech industry as a way to raise living standards and incomes in the province. He met Forbes Indonesia in the private residential area of the Kraton, tastefully decorated with family portraits, mementos and antique furniture. Continue reading

The Light Fantastic

The lighting design of Paul Gunawan’s Litac Consultant is brightening up Indonesia’s urban landscape.

Jakarta’s central business district has some iconic buildings such as City Tower, the Energy building, FX mall and Senayan City. At night, these buildings are equally dramatic, with their exteriors lit up in a swirl of colors and patterned lights. The interiors are equally exceptional. The lighting of all these buildings is the work of one firm, Litac Consultant. The firm, whose formal name is PT Litac Konsultan, is run and owned by Paul Gunawan and his partner. Continue reading