Man of Many
Category: Local Champions By : Ardian Wibisono Read : 807 Date : Friday, June 02, 2017 - 17:33:57




Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

Pandawa group co-founder Witjaksono, 35, doesn’t lack for ambition. In just 10 years, he has successfully turned a small fish trading company, PT Dua Putra Utama Makmur, with an initial capital of just Rp 10 million, into an integrated fishing company with a market cap of over Rp 2 trillion. Along the way, he has expanded into businesses such as IT, pharmaceuticals and agriculture, held under two holding companies: PT Pandawa Putra Investama and PT Pandawa Putra Perkasa.

A self-taught entrepreneur, Witjaksono came from the youngest of six children in a modest family. His father worked as a low-level employee at the fishery department—which is how he learned about the fishery industry—and his mother worked as a factory laborer. They were so poor that a single boiled egg would be shared by the eight of them at a meal. His childhood motivated him to make money. During elementary school, he sold marbles and fish he breed himself. He also worked at a bank to learn how they make loans.

“I had no mentor. What motivated me is when I looked at the cover of Forbes magazine, and I said I wanted to be that person,” says Witjaksono. Right now, with Pandawa Putra Investama holding just over 50% in Dua Putra Utama Makmur, and priced at Rp 464 a share in early May, Witjaksono and four other partners and family members in the group are already worth about Rp 1 trillion. Dua Putra Utama Makmur had a record price of over Rp 1,400 per share in January last year, before declining despite constant strong improvement in the company’s revenue and bottom line.

Being an archipelago, Indonesia has always had a strong fisheries sector. Witjaksono and his partners took advantage of this opportunity when they began buying fish from local fishermen in Pati, central Java, and selling them to buyers in Jakarta. The business grew even more when a buyer from Thailand gave them Rp 100 million a day to buy fish. Satisfied with the quality, the Thai customer gave them larger amount, allowing them to buy their own cold storage. 

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