Ciputra: A Big Shot Entrepreneur with an Artsy Side

Ciputra: A Big Shot Entrepreneur with an Artsy Side


Ir. Ciputra, the brains behind the Ciputra Group, said his goodbyes to the world on November 27, 2019, at 88 years old, hanging up his boots at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore. This guy’s life was a rollercoaster of wins, and right in the middle of all that business hustle, he had a soft spot for painting.

Early Hustles and What Shaped Him

Born Tjie Tjin Hoan on August 24, 1931, in Parigi, Central Sulawesi, Ciputra had a rough start as a kid. In 1943, his old man got nabbed by the Japanese military police, claiming he was spying for the Dutch. But guess what? This tough situation molded Ciputra’s mind, turning him into one of Indonesia’s property big shots. Not just with the Ciputra Group, but he also had his fingers in the Jaya Group, Metropolitan Group, Pondok Indah Group, and Jaya Ancol.

Entrepreneurial Grit Since School Days

Ciputra rocked his early years in Parigi, Sulawesi Tengah. He later kicked it at the Brother Don Bosco Middle School and High School in Manado, Sulawesi Utara. After high school, he kept the learning vibe alive at the Bandung Institute of Technology. Around his fourth year, he, Budi Brasali, and Ismail Sofyan pulled off a boss move and started an architecture consulting gig out of a garage.

Dude bagged a Civil Engineering degree in 1960 and kicked off his career at Jaya Group, a company owned by the DKI Jakarta regional government. He put in work there until 65, rocking various roles and eventually becoming a consultant. Ciputra had the green light to bring in the fresh ideas, contributing to cool projects like Ancol, a hot tourist spot in Jakarta.

Riding Out Economic Storms and Growing Bigger

In 1997, when Indonesia was knee-deep in an economic crisis, Ciputra Group felt the heat. But old mate Ciputra, drawing on his experience, not only survived the chaos but also got a bunch of new companies to rise up. The Ciputra Group vibe spread beyond national borders.

The Ciputra Group Evolution

Today, the Ciputra Group is the cool cat of Indonesian developers, mixing it up with different products, spots, and markets. They went public in 1994, rolling with PT Ciputra Development Tbk as the top dog and siblings like PT Ciputra Surya Tbk and PT Ciputra Property Tbk.

In the last 30 years, these group has busted out over 70 residential projects in more than 40 cities all over Indonesia. They’re all about real estate, rocking both residential and commercial scenes. And check this—these group isn’t just about properties; they’re into real estate agency (Century21), healthcare (Ciputra Hospital, Ciputra Medical Center), insurance (Ciputra Life), and education (Ciputra University).

Back in the early ’90s, while they were the kings of property, the group stretched its arms into shopping centers, hotels, apartments, chill spots, sports facilities, telecom, healthcare, mediation, media, and e-commerce.

And here’s the scoop: The group’s got a soft spot for new entrepreneurs in Indonesia. Ciputra University is doing its thing as the first school in Indo rocking business education. They’re all about spreading the entrepreneurial spirit and backing up the small and medium-sized business scene, shouting it out in their CSR game.

Ciputra Artistic Vibes: A Hangout with Hendra Gunawan

Ciputra wasn’t just about business; he had a thing for art, especially painting. Homeboy was tight with some of the big shots in Indonesian painting, like Hendra Gunawan, Basoeki Abdullah, Affandi, and S. But it’s his buddy-buddy relationship with Hendra Gunawan that takes the cake.

He started collecting Hendra Gunawan’s art in 1978, building up a friendship that turned into a bromance. Their bond was so real that when Hendra Gunawan couldn’t make it out of his studio, he made a personal house call.

Agus Dermawan, spilling the beans in his book “Surga Krisis Pelukis Hendra,” spills that their connection wasn’t just face-to-face; they were throwing letters and reps into the mix. They were chatting about the hustle, the art game, museums, exhibition moves, and even haggling over artwork prices.

One epic moment went down, as told in the book, when Ciputra played peacemaker between three heavyweight Indonesian painters—Basoeki Abdullah, Affandi, and S. Sudjojono—who had beef since the 1940s. In 1985, he threw a bash called “Tiga Master Mengungkap Takdir” (“Three Masters Reveal Destiny”), setting up shop at Ancol Art Market in Taman Impian Jaya Ancol. His move to bring them together was slick; he laid out a canvas, and they all painted on it. Sudjojono painted Affandi, Affandi painted Sudjojono, and Basoeki painted Affandi. Ciputra, the peacemaker, even asked Basoeki Abdullah to paint his mug.

Apart from being a business big shot and an art hoarder, Ciputra played the middleman between famous artists when they had drama. His moves showed he got the art game and had mad respect for the realness and passion of artists.

The Final Take: An Entrepreneur with an Artsy Soul

In the business world, Ciputra made sure that every project had a touch of art. He knew that art boosted his business instincts. Even though he was raking in the success, he never put himself in a box as just a business dude; the wild and pure spirit of art was always flowing in him. His legacy isn’t just in the buildings and businesses he cooked up—it’s in the connections and good vibes he spread between business and art. Ciputra, the entrepreneur with an artsy soul, left a mark that’ll keep on rocking Indonesia’s business and culture scene.