The Jakarta Post
Ciputra, the chairman and founder of major property developer Ciputra Group, died in Singapore in the early hours of Wednesday. He was 88 years of age.
“Ciputra Group chairman and founder has passed away in Singapore at 1:05 a.m. Ciputra Group is saddened by this great loss and sends the deepest condolences to the family, “the company wrote in a statement.
Born in 1931 and raised in Parigi, Central Sulawesi, by his parents, who owned a small grocery shop, Ciputra went on to found family-run company Ciputra Group in 1981 with only five employees.
Ciputra Group has since thrived into one of the country’s most diversified developers. With dozens of business subsidiaries and tens of thousands of employees at present, Ciputra Group has ventured outside property into business lines from telecommunications to health care, brokerage and the media.
Considered one of the country’s wealthiest businessmen and philanthropists, Ciputra, called Pak Ci by those close to him, was listed as the 23rd richest Indonesian by Forbes in 2016. He is widely known as one of the biggest philanthropists in Indonesia.
“Condolences on the passing of Bapak Ir. Ciputra. He is a recipient of the Satya Lencana [award] for development. Peace be upon him on and his family ~ #Spokesperson,” wrote presidential spokesman Fadjroel Rachman on his Twitter account.
Ciputra was the recipient of the prestigious Satya Lencana Karya Satya award in 1986 and 1995 by then-president Soeharto in recognition of development work Ciputra has done. He was also the first Indonesian to get an award from the Asia Pacific Real Estate & Federation (APREF) in 1975, and in 1977, then-Jakarta governor Ali Sadikin awarded him as a model entrepreneur.
The young Ciputra went to school in downtown Manado, North Sumatra, before he left Sulawesi for Java to pursue a bachelor’s degree from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB).
“In fourth grade, he and Budi Brasali and Ismail Sofyan set up an architecture consultancy headquartered out of a garage,” business news portal kontan.co.id wrote in its obituary. After graduating as an engineer in 1960, Ciputra moved to Jakarta to kick-start his career at the Jaya Group, a joint venture between the Jakarta administration and the private sector.
One of Jaya Group’s early projects is the development of the Ancol integrated recreational complex on the shoreline of the Jakarta Bay that houses the capital city’s biggest theme park, Dufan.
After his early Jaya Group days, Ciputra founded the Metropolitan group, which developed the Pondok Indah premium housing complexes and initiated the development of satellite cities through Bintaro Jaya and Bumi Serpong Damai.
His experiences at Jaya and Metropolitan led him to found the Ciputra Group family business, which quickly rose to prominence in the property development business. Ciputra Group went public in 1994, with parent company PT Ciputra Development Tbk, and subsidiaries PT Ciputra Surya Tbk and PT Ciputra Property Tbk.
The 1997/1998 Asian financial crisis, however, hit hard on many conglomerates, including Ciputra, as economic output contracted by 17 percent.
“I believe the crisis can be overcome, although that will mean betting on all businesses that have been developed since 1960,” Ciputra said with regard to the crisis, as quoted by kontan.co.id.
By 2004, all business groups he founded, Pembangunan Jaya, Metropolitan and Ciputra Group, were standing firm. Seven years after the crisis, the businesses’ revenue had doubled from pre-crisis values. To date, the Ciputra Group has developed 100 projects in 44 cities and, through partnerships, has expanded into Vietnam, Cambodia, India and China, according to its website.
The internet was sweeping with condolences from entrepreneurs, celebrities and general citizens. “Farewell, Bapak Ir. Ciputra, founder and chairman of Ciputra Group. My condolence is Indonesia’s condolence in losing its property maestro. Pak, may you rest peacefully by His side,” wrote Handoko Wignjowargo, co-founder of Maestro talent development consultancy, on his Instagram account @handokowignjowargo. (rfa/est)