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Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) consistently runs a micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) development programme, with the aim of supporting local entrepreneurs by providing them with technical and financial expertise.

In doing so, RAPP aims to empower communities in achieving higher means and better standards of living overall. This is in line with the RGE Group’s business philosophy which includes doing what is Good for Community.

Robi Cahyadi

Robi Cahyadi - Labour and Transportation Supplier

As the breadwinner of his family since a very young age, Robi Cahyadi’s life changed in 2004 when a tempting offer came from Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), who asked Robi to become a labour and transportation supplier for the company.

In response, Robi immediately found a handful of employees and formed a company in Buatan Baru, Kerinci Kanan in Indonesia.

As the business grew, Robi decided to formalize the company in 2010, renaming it from ‘PT Robi Cahyadi’ to ‘PT Robi Bersaudara’ as a testament to his parents’ hard work with their own business over the years.

Today, PT Robi Bersaudara boasts over 100 employees – a far cry from the three employees the company had when it began 14 years ago, thanks to RAPP’s support toward local small and medium enterprise.

Gading Sayoga, RAPP’s Community Development Coordinator, said that PT Robi Bersaudara receives regular assistance from RAPP.

“We have discussions with Robi if there any problems or obstacles faced by his company,” said Gading.

RAPP even provides soft skills training to Robi and his employees as part of the company’s MSME development programme.


Rafi Entrepreneurship Program - RAPP

M. Rafi remembers when not many people understood his decision to leave his stable job of 15 years RAPP.

Having always harboured the dream of being a businessman, Rafi decided to quit his job to pursue it in 2014 when he spied a business opportunity as RAPP was planning to develop its third paper factory.

Thinking that venturing into labour supply would be a good idea, Rafi used his savings to establish a business named ‘PT Riau Dua Berlian’, which would provide outsourcing services.

However, starting a business was not as easy as Rafi thought it would be. Demand was lower than he had anticipated, and his lack of business experience led to cash flow problems.

As a result, Rafi used up his savings of almost 15 years to cover the company’s operating costs – but that soon ran out and he was forced to shut his business after just four months.

But, Rafi was able to salvage his business, thanks to RAPP and its community and entrepreneurship program.

Apart from soliciting his business services, the company provided Rafi with business management training and guidance on how to obtain bank loans. RAPP continues to provide support to Rafi’s business, such as training on safety regulations as the part of the company’s commitment to support small and medium enterprise.

As of early 2018, PT Riau Dua Berlian has been able to generate IDR 2.4 billion in revenue, earning a profit of up to IDR 480 million per year.

Mahyuddin Pasaribu

Mahyuddin – Skill Development Programs

As soon as Mahyuddin Pasaribu graduated high school in the Pelalawan Regency of Indonesia’s Riau Province in 1993, he turned to illegal logging due to the lack of job opportunities.

In 2004, Mahyuddin was raided by the Natural Resource Conservation Agency. Some of his equipment was confiscated and his business was closed down.

Determined to find a better way to support his family, he approached RAPP, which was expanding its operations in the area at the time, to look for work.

Mahyuddin gathered all the confidence he could and tried to convince RAPP to give him a chance. He was eventually entrusted to become a contractor for RAPP.

“We first began as contractors for the procurement of colt diesel for irrigation at the RAPP Nursery in early 2005, and we were also asked to create a business entity which later became CV Mitra Pelalawan Setia,” Mahyuddin said.

“Thanks to the guidance of RAPP’s Community Development team and the training opportunities provided, we were able to do it,” he added.

By 2012, the business had developed to become the CV Mitra Pelalawan Setia Company, which currently operates 45 boats and employs 47 people. The company has a monthly turnover of approximately IDR 250 million.

RAPP initially provided a loan comprising IDR 100 million to fund Mahyuddin’s business. However, he has since succeeded in independently acquiring a loan from the bank (totaling IDR 500 million) for his company.


Nimah Women Batik Crafter - APRIL

When Ni'mah and her family first moved to Pangkalan Kerinci in Indonesia's Riau Province in 2010, economic circumstances forced them to live in a hut with no electricity and no running water.

Today, the family owns a house and sends their children to boarding school. The change came in 2015 when a friend offered Ni'mah the chance to join Rumah Batik Andalan, a cooperative supported by APRIL which helps local women earn a living by producing colourful cloth known as batik.

"I was trained by craftswomen there, and due to my diligence in learning from them, I was able to produce my own batik within three months," she shares.

"The first piece of batik I made was valued at IDR 400,000. I was very happy and proud at the time because I could see that I am finally able to make money off batik," Ni'mah says.

It didn't stop there for Ni'mah. To hone her batik skills further, Ni'mah was sent by RAPP to Pekalongan in Central Java to train with original batik crafters there. The agenda was a part of the company’s MSMEs development programme.

The mother-of-three is now a permanent batik craftswoman at Rumah Batik Andalan, with a fixed income every month. Through the money she makes from selling her batik, Ni'mah has been able to buy a house for her family.

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