Dr. (HC) Ir. Ciputra

There is no denying that Dr. (HC) Ir. Ciputra is among the most important figures in Southeast Asian real estate. From his humble background, he used the spirit of entrepreneurship to become a Leader of Real Estate. He has established several companies during his career and is the founder and chairman Ciputra Development, Indonesia’s premier real estate developer. Dot Property Magazine is pleased to name Dr. (HC) Ir. Ciputra as one of our inaugural Leaders of Real Estate. He was kind enough to share his thoughts on Indonesian real estate, his projects, entrepreneurship and overcoming challenges.

Founder, chairman, businessman, philanthropist. You have held a lot of titles, but is it safe to say being an entrepreneur is what you’re most passionate about? What were some of your first entrepreneurial experiences growing up?

I have had the soul of an entrepreneur since I was young. I’ve always felt the call of the entrepreneur in my heart. During my teenage years, I learned many things, both academic and non academic, while studying at Institut Teknologi Bandung. Here my experience as an entrepreneur began. When my studies were nearing completion, I set up an architectural building consultancy with two of my best friends, Ismail Sofyan and Budi Brasali. The company was named PT Daya Cipta. That’s where my entrepreneur’s soul was honed.

What role does entrepreneurship play in real estate?

Entrepreneurship is a life science that can be applied in various sectors, one of which is property. I built Ciputra Group into the large company it is today through three philosophies: Integrity, Professionalism and Entrepreneurship. This is commonly abbreviated as IPE. With entrepreneurial thinking, Ciputra Group has created spectacular projects that are beneficial to many people while also driving the economic value of the surrounding region. This is where entrepreneurship can positively impact the property business.

Ciputra Development has done it all. The firm is not just an Indonesian developer, but an international one that has won numerous awards. What are your proudest accomplishments?

Obviously, I am proud of all the achievements we have obtained so far. All the achievements and successes of the company are important, but it is also important to acknowledge the spirit of IPE that has been applied throughout the entire company, from management to staff level employees. Another point of pride is when we applied our vision of “Turning Waste into Gold”. We look at ways we can change something that was once considered to be worthless into an item or idea that has a high value.

There have also been many challenges for Ciputra Development throughout the years including the Asian Financial Crisis. How do you cope with challenges? Do you have any advice on how to overcome problems?

Every businessperson must be prepared for the worst situation including times of economic crisis. During the 1998 economic crisis, my life became full of stress and anxiety. At that time, the company’s debt was greater than what the financial reach of the family was. I was able to solve the problems facing the company by integrating the principles of Integrity and Excellence as well as by maintaining honesty. This, along with God providing me with the strength to deal with the problems, allowed us to navigate these challenging times.

Looking at the Indonesian real estate market as a whole, can you share any observations on it? Is it better or worse than in the past?

For me, the property world never knows the word backwards. The world of property will continue to move dynamically from year to year. There may be years where sales are sluggish or down, but I’m sure the property market will improve following these down periods.

You are very active in giving back to the community. What causes are you passionate about? You have set up foundations to support everything from sport to education in Indonesia. Can you explain why this is important for you?

The entrepreneurial spirit should be applied to various fields, especially sports and education. Sport is vital as it is something important to both the nation and world. It can be something everyone in Indonesia can take pride in while providing us with a platform on the global stage. As for education, I established Universitas Ciputra Entrepreneurship Centre where entrepreneurship courses are among the subjects all students must study as I feel these are a necessity.

Can you explain to readers what the Universitas Ciputra Entrepreneurship Centre is? How will it help Indonesia?

Universitas Ciputra Entrepreneurship Centre is an online education platform that focuses on spreading entrepreneurial spirit and knowledge from around the world. It is only through entrepreneurship that Indonesia can progress economically. With entrepreneurship, Indonesia will also be able to address the problem of social inequality.

Is there any advice you wish to share with readers?

My advice to the young generation of Indonesia and everyone is this: do not be afraid to become an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur that falls 10 times will wake up 11 times ready for the next opportunity. An entrepreneur is the only person with the knowledge and ability to turn ideas or needs into gold. And they can do this while still helping society