“Melintas Cakrawala” (Horizon Beyond) is a highlight of a life story of a professional who took the challenges to pursue different professions: an entrepreneur, a soldier, politician, and a successful business executive. In all the professions, the late Julius Tahija drew a clear boundary when it came to integrity. Time may have changed but the business principles based on clean conscience should not change as testified in interviews of select business leaders collected in the accompanying booklet of the current edition entitled “Membangun Dengan Nurani” developing with a conscience. Performance and business achievements will make lasting effects only if they are based on the principle of a clean conscience.
Julius Tahija (1916 – 2002) is a well-known Indonesian businessman. During his life, he contributed a lot to the military, politics, and business in Indonesia. He was honored Militaire Willems Orde for his outstanding defense as a soldier during World War II. He was a government official of Negara Indonesia Timur (East Indonesia State) for the Republic of Indonesia in 1947 and continued served as the Minister of Information, Social, and Economy. In 1949, there was an official transfer of power from the Dutch to Indonesia. This remarks the full sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia. Shortly afterward, he accepted an invitation to join the Indonesia National Army (TNI) where he continued contributing to Indonesia's military improvement until his retirement.
After his retirement from TNI, he dedicated his time to the business. In 1966 he became the managing director and CEO of Caltex Pacific Indonesia (CPI). He was the first Indonesian and non-western CEO for Caltex which is now Chevron Indonesia. He was also the founder of Freeport Indonesia. In the book, he mentioned detailed information of the establishment and development of Freeport. During his service to the enterprises, Mr. Tahija promoted foreign investment to Indonesia. In addition to his contribution, he was trusted to work as the chairman of the Pacific-Indonesia Business Association (now Kamar Dagang dan Industri – Kadin). In fact, the existence of Caltex and Freeport Indonesia made a strategic bargaining power for the Indonesian government to let investment and financial aids coming to the country.
Mr. Tahija had been familiar with entrepreneurship since he was young. He was a leading business leader who promotes enterprise in Indonesia. He believed that enterprise is good for the economy because it provides jobs, national income, human resources development, and also technological transfer. It was not easy for him to promote an enterprise or private business at the time when Indonesia’s political arena was influenced by socialists.
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