A Glimpse of PR. SUKUN

Started from klobot, one of the typical Indonesian cigarettes made from cornhusk as a tobacco wrapper, the recent Sukun Cigarette Factory is well-known as one of the few national tobacco companies lasted with its identity and strength as a cigarette that relies on its local characteristics and is based on tradition. This can be seen from the types of cigarettes produced by PR. Sukun, which are like a journey of Indonesian cigarettes. The traditional cigarettes such as klobot, kretek, filter still can be found, and also the mild one favored by the younger generation.

The history of PR. Sukun is strictly attached tothe figure of Mochamad Wartono who is later more often called with Mc. Wartono. He was born in Gondosari Village, Gebog Sub-district, Kudus District, in 1920, from the couple of Singo Sarpani and Paijah. As the fourth sonof six siblings from the parents who worked as farmers and once served as Village Head of Gondosari, Mc. Wartono grew up with tenacious, diligent, hard-working, and persistent characters. His talent and entrepreneurship had improved and got sharpened, not only due to the background of his parents’ education, but also the education in the Vervolk School and the Trade School in the local region.

Matchmaking is not always a bitter story. On the contrary, the matchmaking brought Mc. Wartono with Sutarsi together, showing a story about the happiness of a family filled with love and loyalty. The couple of MC. Wartono and Tarsi were married on August 15, 1941. From their marriage, they were blessed with six children, i.e. Sri Fatimah Wartono, Tasan Wartono, Annie Wartono, Rindho Wartono, Yusuf Wartono, and Edy Wartono.

The contiguity of Mc. Wartono and cigarette business started when he was still very young and helped his brother, Kamad, as the cashier at the Kretek Cigarette Factory owned by Hj. Moeslich under the brand name Tebu (Sugar Cane) and Jagung (Corn). Mc. Wartono’s precision was getting sharpened thanks to his experience as a cashier. He had to pay attention to the detailed amount of payment that must be paid to Kamad’s employees. This precision skill was also needed to record the raw materials of making cigarettes such as tobacco, clove, paper, and klobot taken by contract workers. This experience later prompted him to set-up a cigarette factory.

His experience of helping his brother as a cashier in the Tobacco Company owned by Hj. Moeslich had inspired Mc. Wartono to establish a tobacco company. In 1947, Mc. Wartono began to produce klobot cigarettes and cigarettes under the brand name Siyem. With only 6-10 workers, this business evidently grew rapidly. In 1950, Mc. Wartono started to produce cigarettes under the brand “SUKUN.” This new brand turned out to boost the company pace marked by the establishment of new buildings around Mc. Wartono’s house as the place of cigarettes factory. In 1960, he built a two-storey building that became the main factory until recently, following the establishment of other buildings due to the increasing number of Sukun cigarettes.

Upon raising his children, Mc. Wartono taught them the values of life and business with discipline and responsibility for preparing the skill of his descendants to keep the company running. All children, both boys and girls were prepared for this. He entrusted his two daughters to run the two tobacco companies: PR. Siyem for his first daughter and PR. Langsep for his third daughter, Anie Wartono.

His second son, Tasan Wartono, was taught to handle PR. Sukun management since he was still a teenager. Therefore, when Mc. Wartono passed away in February 20, 1973, the company could already be managed by Tasan Wartono without any constraints. In the next period, PR. Sukun grew rapidly with three other subsidiaries i.e. Sukuntex, Sukun Druk – engaged in printing – and Sukun Transport, which involvedthe three sons of Mc. Other Wartono, i.e. Rindho Wartono, Yusuf Wartono, and Edy Wartono.

As a family company, the PR. Sukun has been lasting long thanks to current participation of the third generation – namely the grandchildren of Mc. Wartono in the company management, showing a synergy and togetherness resulted from the education of the deceased Mc. Wartono and Sutarsih to their descendants, so that they are always aware of the welfare of surrounding community and their environment.