On May 12, 1929, Mochtar Riady was born in Malang in East Java, Indonesia. He is the powerful founder and chairman of Lippo Group, one of the largest conglomerates in Indonesia. The group’s businesses encompass financial services, retail, media, real estate, hospitality, healthcare, education, natural resources, e-commerce and coffee shops. According to Forbes.com, Mochtar Riady has a net worth of $1.86 billion as of May 18, 2020 and his Lippo Group of companies had total revenues of more than $8 billion while controlling assets worth more than $15 billion.
The Riadys’ ancestors originated from China. Along with other Chinese in Indonesia, Mochtar shed his former name, Lie Mo Tie, due to social and political pressures when Indonesia achieved independence.
Mochtar Riady first worked in a bicycle shop before starting a career in banking at the Bank of Central Asia, a unit of the Salim Group owned by Liem Sioe Liong. In 1992, with the help of Mr. Liem, he formed what would later become Lippo Bank together with Mr. Ning, another wealthy Indonesian. From then on, there was no turning back. From banking and finance, he branched out into other areas and soon, the group grew exponentially into a sprawling business empire, with operations in different countries.
Mochtar has since groomed his sons, Stephen, Andrew, and James to take up critical management positions, with James eventually becoming the chief executive officer. Even grandson John Riady is heavily involved in the day-to-day operations. Educated abroad, they have introduced western-style management practices with the aim to professionalize the group’s operation.