CNBC Insight This Figure Goes Back and forth to Gunung Kawi, Successfully Becoming a Crazy Rich RI Entrepreneur – 1 hour ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – When doing business, you don't necessarily take into account mathematical and economic aspects, but also spiritual matters. Not infrequently, entrepreneurs come to sacred places or meet 'smart people' so they don't take the wrong steps when starting a business.

One entrepreneur who did this was Sudono Salim alias Liem Sioe Liong, founder of the Salim Group business empire which owned BCA (1957-1998), Indocement and Indofood. Salim is said to often go back and forth to Gunung Kawi to meet spiritual teachers so that his business can run smoothly.

What's the story?

The specific story about this happened when Salim accidentally met Mochtar Riady, one of Indonesia's well-known bankers, on a plane to Hong Kong, around 1975. During the trip, the two of them were involved in a conversation about the world of banking.

Riady said that he wanted to develop a new bank. Meanwhile, Salim responded to this wish by saying that he happened to be looking for a banker to manage his three banks, namely Bank Windu Kencana, Bank Dewa Ruci and Bank Central Asia (BCA). For Salim, Riady is the right person.

As a result, driven by similar interests, the two of them worked together to build BCA. In Riady's hands, BCA became the largest private bank in Indonesia from the 1980s until now. If Salim had not appointed Riady, perhaps the story would have been different.

Interestingly, Salim was aware of the prediction that BCA would be brilliant in Riady's hands from the start. Because, Riady's appointment did not necessarily come from business calculations, but also from the advice of fortune tellers.

“After returning from Mount Kawi [menemui peramal]with confidence he said that “I will be Tang Sheng for Mohctar”,” said Salim as quoted from Liem Sioe Liong and the Salim Group: Soeharto's Business Pillars (2016) by Richard Borsuk and Nancy Chng.

It should be noted that Gunung Kawi is known as a place that people often visit for mystical purposes, including asking for predictions from shamans. And Salim has a special mission every time he goes there. In Richard and Nancy's presentation, Salim was noted to often go back and forth from Surabaya to Gunung Kawi.

He was willing to take a long journey of more than 3 hours. He can go there 3-5 times a year specifically to stay in silence at the Chinese temple. Usually, he visited there every time he wanted to start a big business. He even performed some special rituals.

“In the temples where he prays, Liem often relies on magical methods to help him decide what steps to take. One method he usually uses is shaking a bamboo tube containing sticks with certain writing on them until a stick comes out, the writing on the stick and then read and interpreted by the monk or fortune teller,” said Richard and Nancy.

Every time the fortune teller spoke, Salim clearly believed it. He doesn't want to make a wrong move and suffer big losses if he doesn't “obey” the fortune teller. It turns out, Salim didn't just do this to start a business. However, it is also used to predict buildings or places. Regarding this, Salim also has a special story.

In 1968, he and Sudwikatmono, Djuhar Sutanto and Ibrahim Risjad wanted to start a business. Salim doesn't want his office to be in a big, comfortable room, even if he can rent or buy it. Instead, he wanted to start a business in a small, cramped room consisting of a telephone, a table and two chairs without air conditioning.

Salim ignored various persuasions to move offices. He insisted on defending the room. The reason is because it is very good in terms of Feng Shui and has been consulted with experts.

Later, this belief was proven. Salim's business with his friends is booming. More than that, thanks to efforts to involve mystical-spiritual matters, Salim's business in the future will become increasingly successful. He also became rich and became Indonesia's richest person as long as the New Order was in power.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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