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Jakarta Post

Eccentric entrepreneur Bob Sadino dies at 81

  • Esther Samboh

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 20, 2015   /  09:20 am

'€œI don'€™t want my experience and knowledge to be buried together with my body when I die,'€ Indonesia'€™s noted entrepreneur Bob Sadino once famously said. It seems his wish has been granted.

At 81 years old, Bob Sadino, whose real name is Bambang Mustari Sadino, passed away in Jakarta at Pondok Indah Hospital on Monday after a battle with illness. A close relative said his health had been deteriorating since the loss of his wife, Soelami Soedjoed, in July last year.

Known for his eccentric behavior and sayings, '€˜Om Bob'€™ (as he was often called) has inspired many to '€œwalk the walk'€. One does not have to be smart to be a successful entrepreneur, but having guts is key, he said on many occasions.

'€œEven though they didn'€™t hop through the schooling hoops, they were no less prepared than those with degrees, because they '€” and this is crucial '€” they never stopped learning,'€ prominent businessman Sandiaga Uno said of Bob, who graduated high school but ended his formal education there.

Guts, it turned out, brought Bob places. At 19 years old, he inherited his deceased parents'€™ assets and used the money to travel around the world before settling in Netherlands, where he met his wife.

In the 1960s, Bob took an interest in an overgrown plot of land in Kemang, South Jakarta. He approached the owner and after trading his US$1,000 Mercedes-Benz, walked away a landholder.

The transaction marked the start of what Kemang has become today: a chic, fashionable area and an expatriate enclave.

The land was soon used to develop Kem Chicks high-end supermarket, after Bob sold eggs and domestic chickens door-to-door to expatriates in Kemang.

The land is now being developed into an apartment block by property developer Agung Sedayu Group.

Born in Tanjung Karang, Lampung, in March 1933, Bob worked as a taxi driver before finally settling down to run Kem Chicks, his poultry business and Kemfood, his food business.

'€œInnalillahi wa innailaihi rojiun. Condolences for the passing of Bob Sadino. Hopefully khusnul khotimah [many blessings await] and the family is strong,'€ Vice President Jusuf Kalla wrote on his Twitter account.

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