Archipelago

Textile giant Sritex owner
Lukminto dies

Muhammad Lukminto, whose company PT Sri Rejeki Isman, known as Sritex, is famous for producing military uniforms for the Indonesia Military (TNI) and NATO member countries, died at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore on Wednesday night, local time, at the age of 68.

The body of Lukminto, the founder of Sritex, Southeast Asia’s largest textile producer, arrived in Surakarta, Central Java, on Thursday evening.

The funeral is scheduled for Feb. 16, 2014. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will reportedly attend the funeral ceremony, which will be held according to Islamic tradition.

Born as Ie Djie Sien in Kertosono, Nganjuk, East Java, on June 1, 1946, Lukminto displayed his talent for business from a young age by selling snacks.

At the age of 20, he traded clothes in Klewer traditional market, Surakarta. Two years later he established a simple textile factory in Baturono 81A, Surakarta, or Solo as the city is also known.

Ten years later the simple factory had become a limited company and on Oct. 16, 1978 it was declared Southeast Asia’s largest textile company.

In 1992, Lukminto established a textile factory worth Rp 300 billion (US$24.7 million) in Sukuharjo, which produced uniforms for the TNI, police and civil servants. Two years later it started producing military uniforms for NATO member countries.

Sritex has now grown into a business empire with over 26,000 employees. It has 21 factory units including nine units of spinning factories, three units of weaving factories and nine units of convection factories.

There is a total combined number of more than 40,000 workers within Sritex Group.

“Sritex has been the only integrated textile factory in Indonesia in cooperation with NATO for over two decades,” Sri Saptono Basuki said.

Sritex military uniform products have been marketed in more than 30 countries, including Indonesia, the UK, the US, Australia, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway and Saudi Arabia.

Sritex’s fashion products are marketed across 40 countries.

Lukminto was converted to Islam in May 1995 by Muhammad Amir, a cleric of the Lailatul Qodar Islamic boarding school in Sukoharjo, to whom he was introduced by then information minister Harmoko.

Since Friday morning, mourners were seen heading to the funeral home. Among them were Harmoko, former TNI commander Gen. (ret) Djoko Santoso and Military Regional Command IV/Diponegoro commander Maj. Gen. Sunindyo.

“I am proud that Indonesia has a textile company as big as Sritex,” Djoko Santoso said when visiting the Thiong Ting funeral home on Friday morning.

Lukminto is survived by his wife and five children.

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