Indonesians now know Chairul Tanjung as Minister of Economy, but the Jakarta born businessman also has several successful companies before being elected as minister. He is an example of successful people who must go through oppressing era of Indonesian New Order, only to emerge with enormous success through hard work. The owner of Para Group, he now has several companies in various fields, and he does not stop doing acquisitions to expand his business even further.
New Order Era and Starting the Business
Born in 1952, Chairul Tanjung is a son of newspaper publishing owner who found himself in the opposite side of New Order regime. His family later must move to a tiny apartment and live in financial difficulties. Chairul Tanjung got money to pay for university study by selling books and t-shirts, and opening photocopy service. He also opened a store that sold laboratory equipment in Jakarta, but later closed down because of bankruptcy.
Undeterred, he started new business after study with three friends in 1987, PT Pariarti Sindhutama, which produced kid’s shoes for export. However, he later moved out because differences in vision. He later decided to open his own business without intervention.
The Starting of Corporate Group
Chairul Tanjung later started a corporate group he called Para Group, and he focuses on finance, media and property. This corporate group later expanded into several successful banks and companies. For example, in finance, he acquired Bank Karman which he later named Bank Mega, and he also expanded the finance field into several companies such as Asuransi Umum Mega, Para Multi Finance, Bank Mega Syariah (for transaction according to Muslim law), Asuransi Jiwa Mega Life and Mega Finance.
Meanwhile, in media, Chairul Tanjung is famous as the owner of Trans Media Corp, which has Trans TV, Trans 7, amusement park Trans Studio, Trans Lifestyle and Trans Fashion. These are currently big names in Indonesia’s multimedia and produced many of Indonesia’s popular TV shows. Meanwhile, in property, Chairul Tanjung also built Bandung Supermall in West Java with around IDR 99 billion of cost. In 2010, Trans Corp even made big decision of acquiring 40% of Carrefour stocks, with the MOU signed in France in March 2010.
He was finally elected as the Minister of Economy by the 6th president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to replace former Minister of Economy Hatta Rajasa, who decided to run for vice president in this year’s election with Prabowo Subijanto.