Jakarta. The Lippo Group held a ceremony on Tuesday to welcome its latest senior board members, Prof. Dr. Ginandjar Kartasasmita, Dr. Sinyo Harry Sarundajang and Emirsyah Satar, whose future contributions are expected to help the conglomerate's nation-building agenda.
Mochtar Riady, founder and chairman of the Lippo Group, explained that the conglomerate is preparing to embrace a new era in which global competition is stiffening, digital technology has taken over both daily life and doing business, and where the service sector plays a bigger role in the overall economy.
"In the next few days we will embrace the [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] Economic Community and even more we are being challenged to join the trans-pacific partnership. These all explain that mankind has now entered an era that is so much competition," Mochtar said at a welcoming reception held at the Aryaduta Hotel in Jakarta on Tuesday.
"Nowadays, the world has also gone into the digital [economy], if 200 years ago, this world is controlled by motor-running dynamo, now it is controlled by digital [technology]," said the renowned businessman, who received honorary doctorate titles from Southeast University in China and Golden Gate University in San Francisco, California.
"In a bid to welcome the challenges and tougher competition [environment], we need competent people," he added.
"We are humbled by the legacy that we have built and continues to grow thus far, has attracted these three top-notch talent in Indonesia to the group hence increasing our value proposition to our stake-holders and consumers," James Riady, the chief executive of the Lippo Group said in a separate statement on Tuesday.
Ginandjar, a veteran politician who served as economics minister during former president Suharto's reign, was appointed as the group's deputy chairman and senior adviser. He said one of his missions by joining the diversified conglomerate is to help Indonesia tackle inequality issues.
He quoted 2015 Nobel winner Angus Deaton in saying that one way to address inequality is by improving people's income, health, education and access to work.
"Lippo literally runs a cradle-to-grave business… I see the Lippo Group is on the right track, I am very enthusiastic to start my journey with the Lippo Group," Ginandjar said.
He was referring to the Lippo Group's diversified investments in healthcare and hospitals, real estate, department stores and retailing, financial services, telecommunications, hospitality, news media, IT services and memorial parks and funeral homes.
The group also welcomed Dr. Sinyo H. Sarundajang, veteran political leader and bureaucrat, who will serve as senior adviser to BeritaSatu Media Holdings, the conglomerate's media holding company.
A former governor for North Sulawesi and Maluku, he has also served in various government agencies, including as inspector general of the Home Affairs Ministry from 2001 to 2005.
"After spending much time in the public sector, I am glad to be associated with the Lippo Group, who has vision and commitment to serve the people, touch the lives of people in the country through health, education and media," Sinyo said.
Another top figure welcomed at the ceremony was Emirsyah Satar, who was previously president director of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia. Emirsyah was appointed chairman of Lippo's online retailer MatahariMall.com, which the group hopes will one day become the archipelago's Alibaba.
Emirsyah has held banking posts in Citibank, Bank Danamon Indonesia and Bank Muamalat Indonesia.