Indonesian conglomerate Lippo Group chairman Mochtar Riady, second right, and chief executive James Riady, right. Lippo Group plans to shift two real estate investment trusts (REITs) with 35 trillion rupiah ($2.6 billion) in assets from Singapore to Indonesia in order to benefit from tax breaks offered by Jakarta, its chief executive said. (Investor Daily Photo/David Gita Roza)

President Awards Lippo Group Founder Bintang Jasa Utama Medal


AUGUST 13, 2015

Jakarta. Mochtar Riady, the founder and chairman of one of the most prominent conglomerates in Indonesia, Lippo Group, has been awarded an honorary medal for his services to the country.

President Joko Widodo granted the Bintang Jasa Utama medal to Mochtar and 12 other leading figures during a ceremony at the presidential palace in Jakarta on Thursday.

Among the other recipients were the late diplomat Burhan Muhammad, who was killed in the Pakistani military helicopter crash in May while serving as the Indonesian ambassador to Pakistan, National Alms Agency (Baznas) chairman Didin Hafidhuddin, and the Mayapada Group founder Tahir.

More than half of the medals went to regional leaders and politicians, such as Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo, West Kalimantan Governor Cornelis, East Nusa Tenggara Governor Frans Lebu Raya, West Java Governor Achmad Heryawan, South Minahasa district head Christiany Eugenia Paruntu, Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini and Sorong district head Stephanus Malak.

Two Japanese nationals -- Shoichiro Toyoda of Toyota Motor and Toshihiro Nikai, the chairman of the general council of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party -- were also among the medal recipients.

The Bintang Jasa Utama is the highest medal of honor in its class and is awarded to Indonesians and foreign citizens to acknowledge their extraordinary contributions to the development of the country.

Humble beginnings

an award given to people for their services to the country. - See more at:
an award given to people for their services to the country. - See more at: the founder and chairman of one of the most prominent conglomerate groups in Indonesia, Mochtar is considered to have contributed significantly to the economic sector.
Mochtar, who founded the Lippo Group in 1958, was born in the East Java town of Batu on May 12, 1929. He studied philosophy but began his career as a small retailer in East Java's second-largest city, Malang.

He entered the banking world when relocating to Jakarta at the age of 25, joining Bank Kemakmuran, Bank Panin and Bank Central Asia (BCA) before founding his own Bank Lippo.

Mochtar was involved in the merger of four banks -- Bank Kemakmuran, Bank Industri Jaya, Bank Industri and Bank Dagang Indonesia -- which merged into Bank Panin. He also contributed to the expansion of BCA, now Indonesia's largest private lender by assets.

Mochtar, now 86, pioneered the use of computer and information technology in Indonesia's banking sector. BCA was the first bank in the country to utilize an online system and centralize financial information, in cooperation with Multipolar, a subsidiary of Lippo Group and among the oldest IT companies in Indonesia, founded in 1975.

Lippo Group then entered the property sector and has since become one of the largest property developers in Indonesia. Its subsidiaries, Lippo Karawaci and Lippo Cikarang, have been listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX).

Lippo Group has built a total of 65 shopping malls across Greater Jakarta and in a number of other big cities in Indonesia.

Continued growth

Over the past few years, Lippo has begun focusing on accelerating development in eastern Indonesia -- having built a number of shopping malls and other stores in the largely undeveloped regions. Through its Matahari Department Store and Hypermart supermarket chains, Lippo has pioneered the development of the retail sector in the eastern part of the country.

Lippo also has entered the education sector with its Pelita Harapan and Lentera Harapan Schools, as well as Pelita Harapan University. Lentera Harapan has also been established in a number of regions in eastern Indonesia.

Mochtar was elected as the chairman of the trustee assembly of the University of Indonesia (UI) in 2002. After serving two years in the assembly, he managed to boost the top public university's revenue from Rp 300 billion a year to Rp 1.2 trillion a year. He helped UI transform into an entrepreneurial university by optimizing its property and financial assets, as well as by introducing corporate culture -- emphasizing transparency and efficiency in the organization.

Mochtar, who holds several honorary doctorate degrees, also contributed significantly to the health sector in Indonesia, including with the development of Siloam Hospitals. Lippo will soon operate 50 hospitals across the archipelago.

Lippo also has further diversified into the media and IT sectors -- having entered the broadband business through its subsidiary Link Net and developing its own media company, BeritaSatu Media Holdings, of which the Jakarta Globe is part.

The conglomerate is also one of the few Indonesian businesses that has expanded internationally, having developed businesses in Singapore and several other nations, such as Hong Kong, China, the United States and, most recently, Myanmar.