Alisjahbana Haliman, CEO, Haldin Pacific Semesta

Alisjahbana Haliman has always had an entrepreneurial spirit — he started selling suitcases and watches when he was just 12 years old. By the time he went to college in the United States, he knew that he wanted to start a business of his own. After just four semesters, Alisjahbana decided to take the plunge: he dropped out of college, moved to the East Coast and, in 1987, founded Haldin.

He started by importing vanilla from Indonesia and selling it to the US market, but he soon saw the potential of expanding into other raw materials. Today, at 53, he has managed to build a thriving company producing natural ingredients used as building blocks for consumer products, both in Indonesia and globally.

A turning point in Alisjahbana’s road to success was when he decided to uproot Haldin’s production facilities in New Jersey and relocate to Indonesia, nearer to the supply of raw materials. It was a bold move that has brought Haldin closer to the farmers it works with, providing them with a new source of revenue.

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