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Robert Budi Hartono born 28 April, 1941 is a Chinese Indonesian tobacco billionaire who owns and runs the privately held Djarum, the world’s third largest maker of clove cigarettes. Djarum has reportedly recently grabbed shares from the number two cigarette firm, Sampoerna. Budi Hartono also has a stake with his brother, Michael Bambang Hartono in one of Indonesia’s biggest banks, Bank Central Asia, formerly controlled by billionaire Liem Sioe Liong. As of June 2019, Hartono’s net worth was estimated at $18.8 billion according to Forbes.
Budi Hartono was born on 28 April, 1941 in Jakarta, Indonesia to Oei Wie Gwan his father, who was the founder of Djarum in 1951. Oei began marketing cigarettes under the brand ” Djarum ” which turned out to be successful in the market. After a fire nearly gutted the company in 1963, Djarum was restructured and modernize equipment were installed in the factory. Robert and his brother Michael Budi Hartono inherited Djarum after the death of their father in 1963. At that time the company Djarum factory just burned and suffered an unstable condition. But then in the hands of the two brothers Hartono, Djarum company grew into a giant corporation. In 1972 they began to export the Djarum cigarette products overseas.
Three years later the market Djarum Filter, which produced the first brand to use the machine, followed by brand Djarum Super was introduced in 1981. Currently, in the United States, the cigarette companies have a large market share. And in his own native country, Indonesia, Djarum production reached 48 billion cigarettes per year or 20 % of the total national production. Along with its growth, this cigarette company was transformed from a tobacco company to a Business Group which invests in various sectors.
Robert Budi Hartono expanded Djarum Group to many sectors including banking, property, agribusiness, electronics and multimedia. Business diversification and investments made Djarum Group strengthen its Business Empire that began in 1951. In the field of Agribusiness, Robert and Michael have palm plantation area of 65,000 hectares located in the province of West Kalimantan in 2008. They move under the umbrella Hartono Plantations in Indonesia, one part of the Djarum Group. In the property sector, many projects are executed under the control of Djarum ‘s CEO, Robert Budi Hartono. The project includes a hotel (renovation of Hotel Indonesia), shopping centers, office buildings 57 floors and apartments.
Globe Asia magazine stated Robert as Indonesia’s richest man with a fortune of 4.2 billion dollars, or about 37.8 trillion Rupiah. In the same year, R. Budi Hartono with his brother, Michael Hartono under the banner of Djarum Group expanded into investment in the banking sector and they became the main shareholders, controlling 51 % stake in PT Bank Central Asia (BCA) which is one of the largest banks in Indonesia today.
Besides, with his brother Michael Budi Hartono, they became owners of Grand Indonesia and electronics companies. One of the Djarum Group businesses in this sector moves under the banner Polytron which has operated for more than 30 years. Polytron company is now also producing phones that were previously only making air conditioner, refrigerator, video and audio products, and dispensers. Through the company’s newly created Ventures Global Digital Prima, they also bought Kaskus, which is one of the largest sites in Indonesia.
In a January 2018 billionaires’ personal information, Budi Hartono and his brother Michael Hartono were reported by Forbes magazine as the richest men in Indonesia in 2018 with a combined wealth of $US 25 billion. Budi Hartono was listed by Forbes as being worth $US 12.6 billion, while in 2012 was $US 6.5 billion.