GlobeAsia's 99 Most Powerful Women 2017 i

By : rudi_pandjaitan | on 9:49 AM October 09, 2017
Category : Cover Story, GlobeAsia Lists, WHO'S WHO

1. Megawati Sukarnoputri

Ruling party chief, former president

Megawati sustained her powerful leadership of the national psyche during the past year, after resolving her formerly strained relationship with her cadre at her Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), President Joko Widodo. She continues to defend Indonesian’s diversity in race, religion, belief and way of life in line with the principles established by her father, Sukarno. Megawati was particularly prominent in defending the central role of the nation’s Pancasila ideology as it faced another challenge from Muslim hard-liners. At PDI-P she continues to have the last word in any debate, with no party functionary prepared to take a position without her backing.



2. Iriana Joko Widodo

First Lady

Indonesia’s first lady Iriana Joko Widodo continues to maintain a low profile, preferring her husband to dominate the center stage of political life.  As a wife, Iriana exemplifies the traditional Javanese woman in fully supporting her husband’s career. The mother of their three children - Gibran Rakabuming Raka, Kahiyang Ayu and Kaesang Pangarep - has won praise from many quarters as a symbol of simplicity, dedication and wisdom. Iriana also helps to promote women’s role by supporting craft and other creative industries and has been active in promoting Indonesia’s human development program in the field of education and healthcare.


3. Mufidah Kalla

Wife of Vice President Jusuf Kalla

Mufidah and Vice President Jusuf Kalla recently celebrated the golden anniversary of their marriage, throwing a big party at a South Jakarta hotel.  Mufidah Miad Saad, who married Jusuf in 1967, was born in Sibolga, North Sumatra in 1943 and met Jusuf at high school in Makassar. The couple has five children - Muchlisa, Muswirah, Imelda, Solichin and Chaerani. While supporting and taking care of the family, Mufidah also heads the Indonesian Craft Council (Dekranas), whose role is to support the creative industries, preparing high quality workmanship and encouraging cooperation among organizations to grow the national creative industry.


4. Sri Mulyani Indrawati

Finance Minister

Sri Mulyani has demonstrated her value by managing the national budget to achieve optimal results and was praised for leading the tax amnesty program that ended on March 31, widely acknowledged as one of the most successful exercises of its type. At 55, Sri Mulyani is no stranger to criticism, not least over the rising national level of debt, which now stands at $333 billion. She has dismissed the criticism, pointing out that the debt level is well below that of many other countries, including developed economies, and needs to be seen in the context of Indonesia’s expanding GDP.  The former World Bank managing director has led the ministry to become more professional, accountable and transparent.



5. Rini Soemarno

SOE Minister

Rini Soemarno, 58, continues to manage state enterprise assets of about $550 billion despite strong rumors earlier in the year that she would be moved sideways in the government of President Jokowi. An early supporter of the president, her main agenda has been to downsize the SOE sector from the current level of 119 companies to around 85. She is implementing the long-discussed plan to create holding companies, with her current attention the elevation of aluminum smelter PT Inalum as a holding company for the country’s mining interests. That will make it the lead actor in a share transfer of gold and copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia. Born and educated in the US, the daughter of Sukarno-era Bank Indonesia governor and finance minister Soemarno was a prominent member of the business community before serving as minister for industry and trade under President Megawati Sukarnoputri.


6. Puan Maharani

Coordinating Minister

Puan Maharani, 46, the daughter of former President Megawati Sukarnoputri, is Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture, a key position responsible for development of government programs in the fields of labor, education, health and culture. Her duties include making sure that all people have good access to public health services and that education budgets are well managed. Puan also has a substantial role in her mother’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), where she was faction leader at the House before her appointment to the ministry. She is the leading candidate to replace Megawati as the PDI-P’s head in the future.



7. Retno Marsudi

Foreign Minister

The humanitarian and political crisis in Myanmar saw Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, 55, engage in some lightning diplomacy with trips to Myanmar and then to Bangladesh, where some 300,000 members of the Rohingya minority had fled. She was able to build on the strong relationship between Indonesia and Myanmar and was able to urge the country to provide more access for the international community to help with the dire situation. While it was not clear whether Myanmar’s leaders listened to her, she received a warmer reception in Bangladesh, and within days aid was on the way to help the refugees from Myanmar’s Rakhine state. Born on November 27, 1962, she is a career diplomat who has served as ambassador to the Netherlands and to Norway and Iceland. Born in Semarang, Central Java, Retno graduated in international relations from Gadjah Mada University in 1985.


8. Susi Pudjiastuti

Fisheries Minister

Without doubt the most popular figure with the public in the current government, Susi continues to maintain a tough line on illegal fishing, insisting that the country has to earn respect so that foreign interests don’t take advantage and rob its rich maritime resource. She claims to have achieved significant advances, with fish production up and better welfare for fishermen. Now she is moving to take on the international community, promoting the concept of ‘ocean rights’ to help conserve global marine resources. She has ignored threats from the formerly powerful mafia in the fishing business and keeps on sinking intruding foreign ships. Not all of her steps have been popular, with fishermen protesting her ban on trawl nets and a smuggling operation contesting her ban on baby lobster exports.


9. Tri Rismaharini

Surabaya Mayor

As mayor of Surabaya, Tri Rismaharini, 57, has won both international awards and public recognition for truly serving her people fairly while at the same time pushing ahead with efforts to make Indonesia’s second city more livable. While she has often been mentioned as a possible candidate for higher office, Tri has preferred to stay put and complete her second term as mayor rather than vie for another job. Her close relationship with Megawati Sukarnoputri potentially provides a sign of potential future directions. The former president was in Surabaya as this was written, possibly to discuss her party’s stance in next year’s gubernatorial election.



10. Khofifah I. Parawangsa

NU politician, Social Affairs Minister

Khofifaf Indar Pawawansa, 52, is likely to leave the government next year to contest the East Java gubernatorial election. In the meantime she remains an important figure in national life, known for her stamina in flying to a number of different destinations in a single day to check conditions on the ground. Her presence at times of crisis is seen as an important symbol of President Jokowi’s emphasis on a government truly dedicated to the people. She played an important role in helping Jokowi win the presidency in 2014 and her candidacy for the governor of East Java on behalf of Muhaimin Iskandar’s National Awakening Party (PKB) is seen as part of preparations for the 2019 presidential poll. There’s no guarantee she will win the contest, with incumbent Deputy Governor Saifullah Yusuf the strongest candidate.


11. Najwa Shihab

Award-winning journalist

Najwa Shihab was born in Makassar on September 16, 1977. She is well known as a long-running award-winning talk show host at Metro TV. Najwa is the daughter of prominent scholar and former religious affairs minister Quraish Shihab. She graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Indonesia and is married to Ibrahim Assegaf. She is the recipient of various prestigious awards including the Panasonic Award in 2015 for Best Talk Show.



12. Yenny Wahid


As radical Islamic movements try to erode Indonesia’s religious tolerance, Zannuba Ariffah Chafsoh Rahman Wahid, popularly known as Yenny, continues to defend the importance of tolerance and moderate interpretations of Islam as the basis of Indonesia’s pluralism. Many support her, not least the ‘Gusdurian’ community, followers of her late father, former President Abdurrahman Wahid, an important religious figure. Yenny and the pro-tolerance movement insist it is vital to actively build dialogue with all parties and organizations to propagate the importance of Pancasila as the national ideology. Her Wahid Institute tracks intolerant activity and its annual rating of abuses of freedom of religion and expression is closely watched. She took to politics after a successful spell as a journalist for Australia’s Fairfax media. The Harvard University Kennedy School of Government alumnus is married to Dhohir Farisi, a politician from Prabowo Subianto’s Greater Indonesia Movement (Gerindra).


13. Shinta Kamdani

Business leader, advisor to vice president

Shinta continues to play a prominent role in the business community. She is vice chairwoman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin), where she has pushed the government to sign more bilateral free trade agreements in order to expand business activity, and also plays a major role at the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo). In May 2015 she was asked to work as an advisor to Vice President Jusuf Kalla. The CEO of  Sintesa Group, she rules an empire with interests in 17 different sectors including consumer goods distribution, energy, steel and real estate. She is also active in venture capital, providing seed funding for various local startups. She is a graduate of Barnard College, Colombia University and Harvard Business School’s Executive Education program.


14. Eva Kusuma Sundari

PDI-P politician

Eva Kusuma Sundari is a rare woman politician with a solid academic and activism background, enabling her to claim a strong role in raising contemporary political issues. She backs her arguments with empirical data, unlike many other politicians who often make wild assumptions.  Now 53, she studied development economics at Surabaya’s Airlangga University and then took a master’s degree in development studies from both the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague and Britain’s Nottingham University. She is a leading member of Megawati’s PDI-P with extensive experience in parliament representing her home town of Nganjuk in East Java.


15. Nila F. Moeloek

Health Minister

Nina F. Moeloek has huge responsibility as the manager of Indonesia’s public health sector, a government development priority.  The media is supportive of her role as the leader in promoting healthcare as she tirelessly calls on the public to adopt healthy lifestyles. Leading TV station MNC Group honored her with an award and she was named Best Communicator for the health sector at a recent public relations industry event. She earned her medical degree in ophthalmology from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Indonesia (UI) and became a specialist consultant in ophthalmology in 1998. She then devoted herself to her PhD, and earned a cum laude degree in 2003. In 2007 she earned her full professorship at the University of Indonesia. She has authored or co-authored more than 150 scientific papers and five books.



16. Yohana Susana Yembise

Minister for Women Affairs

Yohana Susana Yembise, 59, is responsible for both women’s empowerment and child protection and in doing her job she combines a solid academic and professional background in the education sector with experience in activism. As a scholar, she has won a variety of awards and accolades and as minister she manages government policy on issues such as women’s health, women in the workplace, migrant workers and the wider rights of women as well as efforts to protect children from poverty and violence.  She is a professor at her alma mater Cendrawasih University, and earned her master’s degree at Simon Fraser University in Canada and, in 2006, her PhD from Newcastle University in Australia. Yohana and husband Leo Danomira have three children - Marcia, Dina Maria and Bernie.


17. Yenny Andayani

Director of Gas, Pertamina

At 52, Yenni Andayani handles a big role at energy giant PT Pertamina, leading the company’s gas business after a spell as caretaker president director in March 2017 after the sudden departure of Dwi Sucipto. Yeny has held a series of high-powered positions at the state-owned energy company, including president director of PT Nusantara Gas Company Services in Osaka, Japan, president director of PT Donggi-Senoro LNG from 2009 to 2012 and then as senior vice president for gas and power.  She is a graduate in law from Parahyangan University in Bandung. She began her career at Pertamina in 1991 and at one stage worked in a foreign company with offices in Washington DC.


18. Nurhayati Assegaf

Democratic Party deputy chief

Nurhayati Assegahf continues to be an important figure in former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party. As deputy chairwoman taking care of membership development strategies, the daughter of seasoned politician Ali Assegaf, Nurhayati inherited her father’s prodigious political skills. Now 54, she was a driving force behind the once-powerful ruling party. Before becoming a politician and lawmaker, she was active working in spheres including migrant care, women’s affairs as well as international relations. At well as bringing up a family, she launched herself into business as a financial consultant for a network of companies in Britain, Canada and Singapore. She also owned PT Srikandi Murni Mandiri, a trading firm importing asphalt. Nurhayati is known as a smooth communicator within the party and a staunch champion of party unity.



19. Ni Putu Wiryastuti

Regent of Tabanan

Notwithstanding Bali’s often paternalistic culture, Ni Putu Wiryastuti made a substantial breakthrough when she won the election to lead the regency of Tabanan for 2010-2015 when she was just 35 and then won re-election, confirming her in the position until 2020. Many believe her father Nyoman Ardi Wiratama, himself a former regent of Tabanan, played a pivotal role to groom her to lead. This year she won an accolade from the central government for her innovative programs in the field of healthcare, education and the development of local infrastructure. Under her guidance, management of infrastructure has been integrated and public service boosted. Water supply, roads, public housing and design are all coordinated, increasing efficiencies.



20. Airin Rachmi Diany

Mayor, South Tangerang

Airin’s support base remained solid in Tangerang in Banten Province even though her husband Tubagus Chaeri Wardana was in jail for corruption. She was re-elected with a good majority in 2016 for a second term at the helm of the the fast-developing region. Active in the Golkar Party since she was young, she attended Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung. Demonstrating that she has national appeal, in August Airin was elected as the new chairwoman of the Indonesian mayors’ organization, taking over from the Mayor of Manado, Vicky Lumentut. Born in Banjar in West Java on August 28, 1976, Airin has successfully developed South Tangerang to become a sprawling commercial, manufacturing and residential hub. The region has seen significant growth during her term of office although local residents continue to grumble about the state of the roads. She has two children.


21. Nurhaida

OJK commissioner

Nurhaida, 58, has played a strong role in Indonesia’s capital market over the past five years in her role as a commissioner at the Financial Services Authority (OJK), where her tasks include oversight of operations at the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX). She has been at the center of the transition from the former Stock Exchange Supervisory Body (Bapepam) to the OJK as the official supervisor of the stock market and the financial market. Re-elected to her position for another five years, her deep understanding of the market provides assurance that shocks and scandals are unlikely. Nurhaida is a seasoned veteran of the Ministry of Finance, which she joined after graduating from the Bandung Institute of Technology in 1989. She also has a MBA from Indiana University.


22. Friderica Widyasari Dewi

Director, KSEI

Friderica Widyasari Dewi, better known as Kiky Widyasari, has risen to become a leader in the Indonesian financial community. This is her second year as president director of PT Kustodian Sentral Efek Indonesia (Indonesian Central Securities Depository - KSEI). Previously a highly successful director of the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX), Kiki is a former model who has performed strongly in the capital markets. She now heads the research and financial business development division at KSEI. She is responsible for coordination between users of KSEI services, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) and stakeholders in meeting the demands of a dynamic capital market. A graduate in economics at Gadjah Mada University, she also has a master degree in finance from California State University at Fresno.



23. Niken Widyastuti

Director General, Kominfo

Rosarita Niken Widyastuti’s solid experience at the national radio service (RRI) was the foundation for her appointment as Director General of Public Information and Communication at the Ministry of Communication and Informatics. As an announcer and executive at RRI, Niken helped to modernize RRI and create a stronger listening base among younger people. Born in Yogyakarta on October 30, 1960, she graduated from Gajah Mada University where she earned both bachelor and master degrees in social and political science. She has spent most of her career at RRI. This year, Niken received a United Nations Women’s Award for her successful programs on education and empowerment of Indonesian women.


24. Penny Kusumastuti Lukito

Head, Food and Drugs Administration (BPOM)

Penny Kusumastuti Lukito, 55, head of the Indonesian National Agency of Drugs and Food Control (BPOM), previously spent her entire career at the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas)). In August 2016 she was appointed by President Joko Widodo to head BPOM with the special assignment of ensuring all food and drugs are safe to consume. With such huge responsibility, Penny has to work closely with other public institutions such as police, social organizations and the Ministry of Health. BPOM has to certify that all foods and drinks comply with all hygienic and healthy standards. Penny earned her PhD in environmental studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, and attended the Bandung Institute of Technology. She is married to Firdaus Ali, PhD who is also an environmental expert and an adviser to the government.


25. Desi Arryani

President director, Jasa Marga

Desi found herself on the firing line recently when President Joko Widodo demanded to know why a new financing deal for toll roads was late. She had to admit that the Finance Ministry had held it up for nine months, producing an outburst from the investment-friendly president. She is the first woman to head strategic toll road operator Jasa Marga. Formerly the operations director at state-owned contractor PT Waskita Karya, she has worked on various strategic projects including irrigation systems. Desi graduated from the University of Indonesia in civil engineering and the Prasetya Mulia Management Institute. This year, Jasa Marga will operate six new roads: Gempol-Pasuruan, Bawen-Salatiga, Medan-Kualanamu-Tebing Tinggi, Surabaya-Mojokerto, Solo-Ngawi, and Ngawi-Kertosono.



26. Basaria Panjaitan

Commissioner, KPK

Basaria Panjaitan, 58, has played a strong role at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) as it probes the massive Rp2.3 trillion corruption in the electronic ID card project – e-KTP. The two-star police general has been prominent as the KPK has named top politician Setya Novanto – head of Golkar Party and Speaker of the House – and four others as suspects. Two officials have already gone to jail over the case. Basaria is the KPK’s first female commissioner and she boasts a long career in law enforcement. A 1984 alumni of the Police Academy School of Law, she also has a master’s degree in economic law from the University of Indonesia. Her career included spells as the head of the narcotics division in Bali and West Java, and as lead investigator for the special crimes directorate of the Criminal Investigation Division of the National Police.


27. Dewi Aryani

PDI-P MP, Commissioner MNC Media

Dewi Aryani, at 44, has emerged as new blood for Megawati Sukarnputri’s Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) since joining the party in 2008. She has headed both the party’s women’s affairs department and its business department. At the House, where she returned this year after another member was ousted because of corruption, Dewi looks after healthcare, education and social welfare. She was deputy chairwoman for oil and gas at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) as well as a shareholder in a company in the sector. A talented singer, she is also now a commissioner at MNC Group. She studied at the MIT Sloan School of Management in 2011 and the following year was awarded a PhD in public policy from the University of Indonesia.


28. Aviliani


Aviliani continues to present a critical perspective on Indonesia’s economy as part of her responsibility as one of the country’s leading economists. Now 56, she has held senior positions at state banks BRI and Bank Mandiri. Born in Malang in East Java, she holds a PhD from the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) and is a member of the supervisory body of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin). She continues to teach at Paramadina University and banking institute STIE Perbanas, as well as being a prominent TV talk show host. Lately, Aviliani has voiced criticism of the government’s economic policy reform program. The economist at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) said it will not have a significant impact on the economy.



29. Sri Widowati

Facebook country director

Sri Widowati was recently named Facebook country director for Indonesia, just one year after joining the company. Wido in the past worked with multinational companies, taking care of consumer goods and beauty products. She was a brand manager at Unilever Indonesia, then became regional director for Unilever Skin Asia. She then moved to France-based L’Oreal and then became ASEAN head of Garnier International marketing and development, from where she jumped to become South Asia vice president. Wido studied finance at the University of Colorado. At Facebook, she will focus on the role of technology to advance the skills of Indonesia’s women. Indonesia is the social media platform’s fourth largest market, with more than 88 million users.


30. Fatimah Kalla

Entrepreneur, Kalla Group

Vice President Jusuf Kalla has long believed that there is a “female touch” that gives women an advantage over men in managing a business. He stuck by that belief when he returned to public office in 2004, handing management of the Kalla Group companies to youngest sister Fatimah Kalla. She has developed it beyond its earlier focus on trading and created an industrial giant which has the largest cocoa powder plant in eastern Indonesia, a nickel smelting plant and some power plants. Married to Pulu Niode, they have two children, Muhammad Zakaria Niode and Siti Hajar Maharani Niode. Trained as a pharmacist, she gave up that career when she was called back to the family business.


31. Tatty Bakrie


Tatty is the hidden power behind Aburizal Bakrie’s career in politics and business. She is most active in the family’s social activities, providing funding and encouragement to develop the education sector. Philanthropic vehicles include the Tatty Bakrie Fellowship, Bakrie Education Foundation and Bakrie for the Nation Foundation. She has helped many students with scholarships to attend Bakrie University and short courses on leadership and management. Tatty and Aburizal met at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). They have three children: Anindya Novyan, Anindhita Anestya and Anindra Ardiansyah, who are all active in managing the diversified Bakrie Group.



32. Anita Tanjung

Chairman of CT Foundation

As the wife of Chairul Tanjung, one of the big names in Indonesian business, Anita Ratnasari has no time to sit around and idle. She was recently seen with her husband in South Sulawesi’s Tana Toraja regency, helping educate local children in dental hygiene and surveying several school sites for needed renovations and new facilities to help the local people through the CT Arsa Foundation. The graduate of University of Indonesia’s school of dentistry goes above and beyond in providing help to the community through the foundation she founded with her husband.


33. Irene Tedja

Owner, Pakuwon Jati

A prominent woman from a prominent family, Irene Tedja is the daughter of Pakuwon Jati founder Alexander Tedja and now serves as director at listed PT Pakuwon Jati Tbk. The company is one of Indonesia’s top property management and development companies, based in the East Java capital of Surabaya. The University of Pennsylvania graduate has degrees in psychology and economics and formerly worked in the merger and acquisition division and real estate operations of Chase Securities in New York. Recently the Pakuwon Group celebrated the opening of its latest project, Pakuwon Mall, coinciding with the birthday of the family matriarch, Imelda Tedja.


34. Yanti Sukamdani

Chairwoman, Hotel & Restaurant Association

The daughter of veteran businessman Sukamdani Sahid Gitosardjono grew up in the hotel business and is now the president director and CEO of family business PT Sahid International Hotel Management as well as president director of PT Sahid Bintang Resort. She is active in a number of business organizations and is kept busy as a prominent partner of the Ministry of Tourism. Yanti is active in the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), the ASEAN Tourism Association for Indonesia and the Tourism Promotion Board (BPPI), as well as heading the Hotel & Restaurant Association.  She is keen to boost the number of foreign tourist arrivals into Indonesia by encouraging cultural activities and events.


35. Svida Alisjahbana

Media entrepreneur

An instrumental figure in the growth and shift of one of Indonesia’s premier media groups, Femina, on to a digital platform, Svida took over management from her aunt Mirta Kartohadiprodjo and her partners. She has launched two initiatives as the leader of the media group: Femina’s Woman Entrepreneurship Program and Jakarta Fashion Week. The Jakarta event sees her partner with Fashion Lab to nurture young local talent, and she actively promotes designers who fuse the latest trends with local traditional fashion.



36. Mari Elka Pangestu

Economist, social enabler

Former minister and professor Mari Elka Pangestu continues to work to build national prosperity. As the head of the United in Diversity Foundation, she bases her activities on the conviction that prosperity should be shared between high-capital corporations and low-capital entrepreneurs. The foundation’s website carries the slogan “building trust for our common future.” She was in Singapore recently, signing an agreement on closer cooperation between universities on industry. She recently signed up as a member of the Indonesian Angel Investment Network, in line with her belief in the need to strengthen the national economy through local entrepreneurship. She served as trade minister and then minister for tourism and creative economy in the Yudhoyono government.


37.  Tinah Bingei Tanoto

Tanoto Foundation

Tinah Bingei Tanoto, the wife of Sukanto Tanoto, is busy with the social and humanitarian activities of the Tanoto Foundation that she founded along with her husband and other members of the family. Focusing on education and community development programs, the foundation stresses the creation of new leadership for the future by providing scholarships for students for academic studies and courses. The foundation provides scholarships to over 300 students annually, and has also worked to promote national cultural treasures such as batik.


38. Kartini Muljadi


Both a successful businesswoman and a respected corporate lawyer, Kartini is well known both nationally and internationally for her contributions in both worlds. As a practicing lawyer she advises many local and international business organizations including the World Bank and International Finance Corporation. In business, her Tempo Scan Group has grown into a diversified business that has branched out from its initial focus on pharmaceuticals into the food and beverage and lifestyle sectors. She recently published a book on batik, in response to her passion to preserve Indonesia’s culture and heritage.



39. Tantri Onny Bianti

Owner, Natasha Skincare

Countless hours and tireless effort has been dedicated to making Natasha Skin Care a leader in the business of specialist skin and beauty clinics. With husband Freddy Setyawan, Tantri has developed her business to cater to the needs of people who want to beautify themselves through a network that now boasts more than 110 beauty clinics throughout Indonesia. Her effort in constantly improving her products and business paid off when the business received the 2017 Arch of Europe Award for Quality and Technology. The company remembers to demonstrate social corporate responsibility by giving out care packages to those who need them.


40. Harlina Tjandinegara

Commissioner, Barito Pacific Group

A major supporter of her husband Prajogo Pangestu and an impressive businesswoman in her own right, she helped build their company from scratch. Initially making it big in timber, the company was hit hard by the financial crash of the late 1990s. She and her husband went below the radar and then re-emerged with Barito Pacific resurrected to become a major force in petrochemicals. More recently she has taken a backstage support role as her children become more active in the company but she retains a reputation as a sharp businesswoman. The group she nurtured recently acquired a major share of Hotel Mabruk Anyer, a four-star hotel located in Anyer, not far from the country’s major industrial complex, the company’s Chandra Asri Petrochemical.



41. Roosniati Salihin

Banker, founder Titian Foundation

A major presence in the national banking industry and a pivotal figure in making Bank Panin the sixth largest domestic bank in terms of assets, she helped to arrange the partnership with Australia’s ANZ Bank. She continues to push for further improvements in the national banking sector, and has been encouraging the government to try harder to stimulate economic growth. Through her Titian Foundation, Roosniati is also helping Indonesian children work toward a brighter future.


42. Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana

Entrepreneur, owner CMNP

Despite extensive business interests both in Indonesia and abroad, she and the other children of the late President Suharto mostly prefer to remain low-profile. Tutut, as she’s known, does a lot of work providing assistance to the poor and she recently emerged into the public eye as head of Indonesia’s National Baseball and Softball Association, potentially breaking her long period of working behind the scenes. Tutut won a major victory in her campaign to wrest back broadcaster TPI from Hary Tanoesoedibyo’s MNC with a Supreme Court ruling handing the asset to her, but an appeal is understood to be pending, dragging out the feud that’s been underway for 15 years.


43. Rieke Diah Pitaloka

Politician, labor activist

An outspoken former labor activist who now punches above her weight in the world of national politics, she started out in life as a comedy actress. Rieke spoke out about the recent alleged medical mistreatment case in which a baby died after being refused treatment at a hospital and is quick to speak out on other cases in the public interest. She has said she’s willing to stand in a regional election next year if her Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) wants her to do so. She has an impressive academic record: she has a bachelor degree in Dutch literature and a second undergraduate degree from Driyakarya School of Philosophy and a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Indonesia, which she completed in 2007.



44. Caroline Riady

Educator, hospital administrator

Caroline Riady started her career in education as a teacher in the Lincoln Elementary School in Illinois, USA in 2004 before returning home to join Sekolah Pelita Harapan and Pelita Harapan University in 2006. In 2012, she switched to healthcare, joining Siloam Hospitals Kebun Jeruk and serving as chief executive officer from 2012 to 2016. She is currently the vice president director and deputy president director of PT. Siloam International Hospitals Tbk. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from Wheaton College, Illinois.


45. Destry Damayanti

Economist, ministerial adviser

After being appointed a member of the board of commissioners of the Deposit Insurance Corporation (LPS), Destry decided to focus on the corporation in order to play a comprehensive role as a leader of the nation’s financial institutions. She told journalists last March that she had resigned her posts at Bank Mandiri following discussions on her role with President Joko Widodo and senior economic ministers. Before joining LPS, Destry was an economist at Bank Mandiri and led the Mandiri Institute, an advisory body set up by the major state-owned bank.



46. Yani Panigoro

Social entrepreneur

Yani over many years developed expertise in the empowerment of small and medium enterprises through a venture capital operation. The family eventually called on her to become a commissioner at Medco Energi, where she also heads a number of subsidiaries. A graduate of Bandung Institute of Technology with a degree in electrical engineering, she went on to receive her master’s degree in management from the Bandung Graduate School of Management. Her rise and work in the group has made her an inspiration to other women. Her efforts were recognized when she was chosen to be featured in the book Women Leaders (Pemimpin Perempuan) by Betti Alisjahbana.


47. Bhindawati Gunawan

Director, Bank Panin

A senior executive at the Panin Group, Bhindawati has led the financial services company operating in banking, insurance, multi-finance and investment banking as executive president director since 2010. After a career at a number of international banks, the daughter of Panin Group founder Mu’min Ali Gunawan now occupies a number of important positions in the group. Currently she is vice president at both Asuransi Multi Artha Guna (MAG) and at publicly listed Panin Financial. Despite her prominence, she prefers to remain low-profile.


48. Melli Darsa

Founder, Melli Darsa Law

A seasoned practitioner of the law and a member of the top rank of Indonesia’s lawyers, she specializes in capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, banking, corporate finance, litigation and dispute resolution. Melli received her undergraduate degree in law from the University of Indonesia and went on to earn her master’s degree from Harvard Law School. In July her firm joined the global network of PricewaterhouseCoopers. Working alongside other Indonesian firms in PwC’s network, MDC will provide legal services in line with its areas of specialty, PwC said at the time.


49. Martha Tilaar


Born Martha Handana in Kebumen, Central Java, she was originally a school teacher but over the years she has worked hard to become one of the best-known businesswomen in Indonesia. The Martha Tilaar brand is a strong contender in the manufacture and distribution of beauty products and traditional herbal medicines for women, offering a wide range of health, cosmetics and other services for both domestic and export markets. Martha continues to actively promote social entrepreneurship for women, not least through the example of the brand she built.



50. Parwati Surjaudaja


President director of Bank OCBC NISP since 2008, Parwati has shown dedication in applying the values that her father Karmaka Surjaudaja established during his time developing NISP from its origins as a small lender in Bandung. The bank she nurtured recently received no less than five awards at the 2017 Asian Banking and Finance Awards in Singapore. The bank won honors in three categories: International Retail Bank of the Year-Indonesia, Credit Card Initiative of the Year-Indonesia and SME Bank of the Year-Indonesia. The bank also took home awards for Asian Banking & Finance Wholesale Banking and Indonesia Domestic Technology & Operations Bank of the Year.


51. Catherine Hadiman

Director, HSBC

Catherine Hadiman is a seasoned banker who is now director of commercial banking at PT Bank HSBC Indonesia. She was vice president at CIMB Niaga before moving to HSBC, now expanded with the incorporation of the former Bank Ekonomi, with joint operation beginning last May. That corporate move gives Catherine a bigger slice of the market to work on. She attended Harvard Business School’s executive program and was fully certified by the Management Risk Certification Body (BSMR) in 2006. She holds a BA in business administration from Atmajaya University and another in accounting from Trisakti University.  Catherine notes that HSBC will focus on infrastructure credits, pharmaceuticals as well as trade financing.



52. Adi Sulistyowati

Director of Institutional Relation and Transactional Banking PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk

Adi Sulistyowati is Director of Institutional Relation & Transactional Banking at PT Bank Negara Indonesia (Persero) Tbk. She held various positions at the bank including Head of Network and Services Division and Chief Executive Officer for Jakarta’s Senayan Region before being appointed as director in March 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Krisnadwipayana University. This year, Adi Sulistyowati has represented BNI in partnerships with other institutions including launching a special program providing savings accounts for disadvantaged children, establishing cooperation with port operator Pelindo to deliver banking services that relate to the operation of ports across the country, and the state Healthcare and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan) to widen the healthcare services network.


53. Tri Mumpuni

Social entrepreneur

Tri Mumpuni is executive director of the People-Centered Business and Economic Institute (IBEKA), an NGO that works to produce electricity for rural areas utilizing a microhydro power system that is a renewable, indigenous and non-polluting resource for small-scale energy generation. Tri continues to promote the power system while also serving as a member of expert staff at the Ministry for Energy and Mineral Resources. There she has initiated the Patriot Energi program, recently sending off a second batch of the power systems to rural areas of Indonesia.


54. Ihsan Mulia Putri

Owner, Kapal Api

The CEO of the Kapal Api Group, she was a vice president at JP Morgan Chase Bank in Singapore before returning to Indonesia in 2009. She is the third generation to lead the family-owned business and has been given the task of transforming it into a professional company with multinational standards. She has driven major changes in the management, culture and organization of the company and strengthened its domination of the national coffee market.



55. Karolin Margret

Member of Parliament, Regent

Karoline has displayed her mettle as a politician, after committing to the political world and letting go her medical career and becoming a member of the House for the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) in 2009. The graduate in medicine from Jakarta’s Atmajaya University then stood as regent of Landak in her native West Kalimantan, winning election in a landslide in February’s poll, receiving 98% of votes. She has already attained recognition as the best regent in 2017 and is now being talked about as a potential candidate as deputy governor of the province in elections next year. Her father, Cornelis, himself a former head of Landak regency and head of the local PDI-P branch, says that decision rests with the party’s central board.


56. Feny Djoko Susanto

President, Alfamart

Feny has steadily climbed the corporate ladder at PT Sumber Alfaria Trijaya Tbk., becoming president commisioner of the company she has nurtured to become the biggest chain of retail outlets in the country. The mini-mart network operator continues to grow under her direction. She served as president director of the company from 2012 until 2014, when she was appointed to head the board. Feny gained a bachelor degree in business administration from Ohio State University in 1997, followed by a masters from Cleveland State University.



57. Dian Siswarini

President, XL-Axiata

The company has stopped trying to compete in e-commerce, leaving Dian to push ahead with maintaining XL-Axiata’s position as one of the top cell service providers in Indonesia. Announcing her decision to sell the company’s interest in the Elevenia e-commerce operation, she said the market has become too saturated with foreign investment, opting to instead focus on the company’s core business as a telecommunication and data provider. The graduate of Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) majoring in electrical engineering started out at XL as a radio engineer working on base transceiver stations. Despite the stress of directing a major company in a volatile business environment, she has managed her role gracefully, recently being named Best Woman CEO at the Obsession Media Awards 2017 by Obsession Media Group.


58. Nicke Widyawati

Director of PLN

During her time as director of planning for the state-owned electricity company, Nicke has worked hard to improve the network and plants to provide better service to people across Indonesia. The graduate of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) was recently re-assigned to hold the position of director of strategic procurement under the direction of the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Rini Soemarno.


59. Rakhee Punjabi


Sometimes called the woman behind the man in accounts of the success of the Multivision Plus production house, Rakhee has in reality played just as critical role as husband Raam Punjabi. She has nurtured acting talent that has been the core of the house’s long run of drama and romance TV soap operas. Many figures in Indonesia’s entertainment world credit Rakhee as a major mentor. Rakhee and Raam have enjoyed success together in the entertainment business for more than 30 years. These days Rakhee has handed her part in running the business to her children and dedicates her time to helping the poor through the Art of Living Foundation.


60. Rina Ciputra

Property entrepreneur

The eldest daughter of Ciputra, Indonesia’s pioneering property developer, Rina has done well to live up to the family’s reputation for high achievement. She credits her parents’ guidance as the foundation of her talents and she has proved her mettle by working her way to the top. One of her interests that is bearing fruit is the Ciputra Artpreneur. The space is developing into a center of Jakarta cultural life, realizing her father’s dream to have a prestigious art building for local and international audiences to enjoy.



61. Noni Purnomo

Owner, Blue Bird Group

Noni is fighting back to restore the fortunes of the traditional taxi business by joining the switch to digital ride-hailing. The backbone of Indonesia’s leading taxi company, Noni is determined to restructure and revamp the company that was set up by her family 40 years ago. In making the jump to a digital platform by collaborating with Go-Jek in creating MyBluebird, she aims to boost passenger loads and increase income for both drivers and the company.  The move to a digital platform has been supported by the government as a progressive move as digital transportation regulations evolve.


62. Kanjeng Ratu Hemas

Politician, Yogyakarta Sultan’s wife

Kanjeng Ratu Hemas is a seasoned politician and the wife of Sultan Hamengkubawana X, ruler of Yogyakarta. As a member of the Regional Representatives Council (DPD), she has struggled to give the institution a stronger voice in governing the country. This year she made headlines opposing the appointment of Oesman Sapta Odang as the new chairman of DPD and rejected an offer to become vice chairman of the Peoples Consultative Assembly (MPR). Hemas has a strong reputation as a fighter for gender equality and pluralism.



63. Gusti Kanjeng Ratu Mangkubumi

Crown Princess of Yogyakarta

Born Gusti Raden Ajeng Nurmalita Sari on February 24, 1972, the eldest daughter of the Sultan of Yogyakarta has found herself the subject of heated controversy after she was named her father’s successor. Many elements of the royal family have rebelled at the idea of a female sultan. Married to Prince Haryo Wironegoro, the princess is active in social and wildlife conservation organizations and at the Yogyakarta Chamber of Commerce. This year, the Constitutional Court ruled that a female governor may rule the Special Region of Yogyakarta should she succeed her father as both governor and ruler of Yogyakarta.


64. Catherine Hambali

Investment banker

Catherine, the president director of the Ciptadana Group, is a strong presence in Indonesia’s financial services industry. She played an important role in the financial industry’s evolution, supporting the growth of business in Indonesia. Catherine, with siblings Irene, Peggy, Tonny and Aileen, has developed Ciptadana into a diversified business with interests in petrochemicals and the plastic industry through Dynaplast. The family also has interests in Wings Group, Lippo Group, Mulia and other big names. Ciptadana Group is involved in a wide range of financial market activities, including securities, brokerage and underwriting as well as asset management.



65. Putri Kuswisnu Wardani

CEO Mustika Ratu

Putri is the daughter of Mooryati Soedibjo, a pioneer of the women’s healthcare products industry, and has demonstrated her business acumen in pushing Mustika Ratu to become a modern business organization. Now 58, she has been working at the company since 1988 and took full control from her mother in 2011. She oversees the creative economy department of the Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) and is deputy chair of the traditional industry department at the Indonesian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Kadin). Putri earned her MBA from National University in Inglewood, California.


66. Catharina Widjaja

Executive, Gajah Tunggal

Already a seasoned businesswoman before joining Gajah Tunggal Group, the country’s leading tire-maker, she has worked with multinational companies including HSBC and Deutsche Bank. She won a MSc in control engineering from the University of Bradford in 1986, a year after graduating from a course in mathematics and its applications at Sheffield Polytechnic. She also has a post-graduate diploma in mathematics, statistics and computer studies from Leeds Polytechnic. Following a shareholders’ meeting this year, Catharina said Gajah Tunggal is aiming for growth in revenues of 5-10% and is allocating capital expenditure of $20 million to increase production.


67. Liliana Tanoesoedibjo

Commissioner RCTI, Miss World Organization

The wife of media conglomerate and Indonesian United Party (Perindo) founder Hary Tanoesoedibjo is the woman behind the man. Born in Surabaya on March 15, 1967, the graduate of Canada’s Carleton University holds senior positions within the MNC Group of companies including TV broadcaster RCTI, PT Global Land Development, PT Star Media Nusantara, PT MNC Pictures, PT Global Star Harvest and PT Media Persahabatan Indonesia. With her husband’s latest venture into the world of politics, she is again backing him as the founder of Perindo’s women’s wing, Kartini Perindo. She is the founder of the Miss Indonesia Foundation.



68. Yeane Lim

CEO of Denpoo

Yeane Lim is the CEO of PT Denpoo Mandiri Indonesia, succeeded her father Lim Tjen Hong, who founded the company and started to build it into a national electronics manufacturer which can compete with global players from Japan, China and South Korea. Born on August 10, 1975, Yeane attended the University of Southern California and El Camino College in the United States. She is a member of the Association of Electronics Manufacturers and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin). This year Yeane oversaw an expansion of Denpoo’s branches, aiming to double the number to 20. Denpoo’s quality electronic products meet Indonesian National Standard (SNI) as well as energy-efficiency requirements. It recently introduced its new DW 828 SG feature-rich washing machines and environment-friendly air conditioners.


69. Bernadette Ruth Setiady

Commissioner, Kalbe Farma Group

Ruth has been at the center of the transformation of the Kalbe Farma Group. By consolidating the family businesses under a single holding company, the group has now grown beyond its roots as a pharmaceutical producer to become a consumer goods company and is now expanding into ASEAN with its hundreds of product lines. She earned her masters in food science from Cornell University. The company seems to have been unaffected by the economic downturn over the past few years. Kalbe owns more than 20 subsidiaries and employs 17.000 people. This year, publicly listed PT Kalbe Farma distributed Rp1,03 trillion in dividends to shareholders.


70. Fathema Djan Rachmat

CEO, Pelni Hospital

Dr. Fathema Djan Rachmat is the woman behind the rebirth of Pelni Hospital, realizing her vision to make the hospital a cutting-edge healthcare provider. She is the former head of the surgery department at the University of Indonesia Faculty of Medicine. She has served as head surgeon at Cipto Manungkusumo Hospital and as a commissioner of the Jakarta Heart Center. She had extensive training in hospital management at Singapore Management University. She is one of several recipients of the Indonesian Women’s Award (API). Under her guidance Pelni Hospital has improved its services to patients using the BPJS state medical insurance scheme by introducing electronic medical record (EMR) systems, developing software and adding more service counters.


71. Elza Syarief

Lawyer, politician, businesswoman

Elza is a prominent lawyer who has handled big, contentious cases. She shot to fame as the defense lawyer for the late President Suharto’s son ‘Tommy’ Hutomo Mandala Putra in his brushes with the law. She has a master’s degree and PhD in law from Bandung’s Padjajaran University and is married to former senior Navy officer H. Yuswaji. She and her family have concessions to mine iron sand and andesite in Sumatra and West Nusa Tenggara. Now 60, she is under pressure as the defense lawyer of Muhammad Nazaruddin, the main whistle-blower in the mega e-KTP corruption case allegedly involving top members of the House of Representatives, with law suits flying in many directions.



72. Metta Murdaya


Metta is the daughter of tycoon Murdaya Poo and a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and New York University. Her father asked her to return home to help with the family business, but she decided to go her own way. Along with friends Jill Sung, Tammy Chuang and Yoshiko Roth, she launched the ‘Juara’ brand of skin-care products targeting well-heeled customers. The brand combines the traditional herbal remedies (jamu) of Indonesia with modern skin-care techniques. She is currently working with an angel investment network to fund and educate new entrepreneurs and startups.


73. Janti Komadjaja

President, Total Bangun Persada

Janti joined Total Bangun Persada and was appointed president director in 2009. The University of Southern California graduate holds a master of science in construction management and is known to be undaunted by projects of any size. Her reputation led to cooperation between her company and PT Lippo Karawaci in the Global Smart City-Millennium Village project. Her acumen in business has helped the company to continue to grow despite the slow economy. Now she is aiming to get new contracts worth Rp4 trillion by the end of 2017.


74. Wiwiek Dianawati Santoso

President, Astra toll road company

Wiwiek Dianawati Santoso is president director of PT Marga Mandalasakti (MMS), founded by the Astra Group in 1989. The company operates several toll roads, including the 72.45-km road starting from West Tangerang on Jakarta’s western outskirts to Merak, Java’s port on the Sunda Strait. MMS has handled projects such as the Kertosono-Mojokerto and Kunciran-Serpong toll roads. With the current government keen to boost infrastructure, she is confident that the target of building 1,000 km of toll roads by 2019 is feasible, starting with the Rp48 trillion, 434-km Trans-Sumatra toll. This year, Wiwiek is pushing the use of non-cash payments at toll gates. Only 15-18% of Tangerang-Merak toll road users use e-money, but that is expected to change with a switch to card-based transactions in October.


75. Wendy Yap

Owner, Sari Roti

Wendy began her career as president of her father’s real estate business in the US after she earned her bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Melbourne. In 1995 she co-founded PT Nippon Indosari Corpindo, a business which now produces over 4.2 million pieces of Sari Roti bread per day in 10 factories across Indonesia, with revenue growing faster than most companies in Asia. Today the company continues to enjoy a flourishing business under Wendy’s stewardship. She is currently seeking sales growth of 20% in 2017.



76. Tience Sumartini


Born in Sukabumi on August 1, 1954, Tience’s passion for flying led her to open the groundbreaking Bali International Flight Academy (BIFA), a flying school which garnered almost overnight success with its ability to deliver a much-needed supply of qualified pilots in Indonesia. In addition to running BIFA, Tience is also an angel investor along with other powerful women grouped in ANGIN, the female-oriented angel network fund run by Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia (GEPI). The network is currently looking for new avenues for investment, and working to assist small startup business ventures by women.


77. Ivy Kamadjaja

Logistics entrepreneur

Hand-in-hand with brother Ivan at Kamadjaja Logistic, Ivy has built the company into a significant player in the industry as one of the most integrated businesses in its field. Modern information and technology systems are at the core of the operation to ensure efficiency. Early this year the company moved to develop a bonded zone warehouse that creates a one-stop service for industry for goods that earlier had to be sourced at higher prices from Malaysia or Singapore. Ivy graduated in marketing and management from the University of Technology, Sydney and then went to work for Bank Central Asia, where she stayed until her parents called on her to help grow the family business. This year, she and her brother inaugurated Kamadjaja Corporate University to prepare experts in supply chain and logistics management.


78. Medina Latief-Harjani

CEO Pasar Raya

The 46-year-old has excelled in the retail business since she was appointed by her father, former manpower minister Abdul Latief, as president director of Pasaraya in 2011. She has introduced a range of changes at what was a flagging property, turning it into a family lifestyle experience. Although happy to sell international brands, Medina’s primary focus is on local products. She believes there is still plenty of room for retail space to grow in Indonesia, despite what appears to be a crowded market. Medina holds an economics degree from Trisakti University and an MBA from San Francisco’s Lincoln University. Before joining her father’s firm she worked as internal audit, securities, and retail banking manager with HSBC. This year, she relaunched Batik Cafe & Lounge which specializes in Javanese culinary specialties with a revamp of the café’s interior.


79. Junita Ciputra

Property entrepreneur

A daughter of property tycoon Ciputra, Junita joined his Ciputra Group as finance manager soon after she received a master’s degree from the University of Southern California, building on her bachelor degree earned at the University of San Francisco. From 1990 to 1996 she worked as a director of PT Ciputra Development Tbk., and since 2002 she has been a director of PT Ciputra Surya Tbk. She has also been active in the group’s CSR programs. Her recent ventures have been focused on creating initiatives for new entrepreneurs and startup business. With former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, she inaugurated the Integrated Child-Friendly Public Space (RPATRA) concept. This year she launched Ciputra Life insurance company.


80. Shinta Dhanuwardoyo

Digital entrepreneur

Shinta founded the digital agency in 1996 when the internet was still in its infancy. She went on to organize the nation’s first web design/digital campaign awards, the Bubu Awards. She hosted Indonesia’s largest ever digital event, the IDBYTE, inviting speakers from Facebook, Amazon, Google, LinkedIn, eBay and RIM on one stage. Angel investing is her current passion, equipping fresh talent not just with funding but also connections to Silicon Valley. She is head of the permanent committee for online at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) and co-chair of the Indonesian Mobile Marketing Association. Her own company has evolved into Indonesia’s leading digital media agency. This year, Shinta joined, the world’s first “Social Networthing®” platform founded by Wall Street veteran, Jenny Q. Ta. Shinta assumes the position of co-founder and president.



81. Carmelita Hartoto

Owner, Andhika Lines

Born in Surabaya, Carmelita is the chairwoman of the Indonesia National Shipowners Association (INSA) and vice chairman for transportation at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN). She joined the family’s shipping business PT Andhika Group after her father Hartoto Hardikusumo passed away in 1994, just after she returned to Indonesia after post-graduate studies in finance in London. Starting off as commissioner, she shined in the male-dominated industry and in 2005 she became the company’s CEO. In 2011 she was elected chairwoman of the Indonesian National Shipowners Association. She is currently working with President Joko Widodo on his plans to improve the country’s maritime logistics infrastructure. This year, Carmelita was the recipient of the 2017 “Kartini Masa Kini 2017” award.


82. Lily Widjaja

Investment banker

Lily, 60, was a commissioner of the Indonesian Stock Exchange in the early 2000s, and chairwoman of the Association of Indonesian Securities Companies (APEI) between 2005 and 2014. She has worked with PT Merrill Lynch Indonesia. Lily holds a degree in business, specializing in accounting, from Tamkang University in Taipei, and worked at Barito Pacific Group before starting her career in the capital markets with Baring Securities Indonesia in 1991. Lily is now executive director at APEI.


83. Mira Lesmana

Film producer

Her name has been synonymous with the Indonesian film industry for close to two decades, with her movies never failing to draw crowds. The daughter of famed musician Jack Lesmana and sister to jazz pianist Indra Lesmana was an avid movie-goer in her youth. She studied at Jakarta Art Institute earning her degree in directing in 1985. Her film debut, a directing role in the 1998 movie Kuldesak, and her second, Petualangan Sherina (Sherina’s Adventure - 2000) established her reputation as a director of note. Her latest production is Athirah, a biopic about Vice President Jusuf Kalla’s mother. This year, Mira is shooting Humba Dreams in Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara.


84. Nita Yudi

President, Business Women’s Association

Born Diyah Anita Prihapsari on 22 June 1964, she is a businesswoman and leader of the Indonesian Business Women’s Association (IWAPI). Nita holds a degree in landscape architecture and environment from Trisakti University. Her business acumen was nurtured from the time she was a college student. She now owns diversified businesses, including advertising, food and beverages operations and a general contractor business with a staff of all women. Through IWAPI she empowers over 40,000 members, the majority of them operators of SMEs, with skills such as management training and access to financial and business networks. This year, she is encouraging SME women to be aware of the digital age and get accustomed to the power of the internet to promote their products.


85. Denise Tjokrosaputro

Media, hotel, lifestyle entrepreneur

Denise is the eldest child of the late Handiman Tjokorsaputro and Liza Sindoro, the owners of Batik Keris, one of the largest batik-makers in the country. After five years working in the family’s garment business, she set out to make her own mark in the business world and set up publishing company Milestone Pacific Group (MPG). MPG Media now manages 16 publications, divided into three categories: luxury, lifestyle and home and design. Denise and husband Julius Ruslan also own the MaxOne hotel chain, Level 8 advertising and a modelling agency. Denise has a bachelor’s degree in textiles from Philadelphia University and a masters in finance from George Washington University. Denise also launched the local franchise of Virgin Radio, aimed at the 18-35 age group.



86. Raisa Andriana

Top recording artist

Raisa Andriana, 27, is one of Indonesia’s most popular recording artists, with her fans including President Joko Widodo. She rose to stardom with her self-named album in 2011 and has produced more work under the Universal and Sony Music labels in the years that followed. Recently married to TV presenter and actor Hamish Daud, Raisa has won many awards from different organizations in music and arts. They include Female Singer of the Year and six trophies in different categories at the annual Anugerah Music Indonesia Awards (AMI Awards). Her hits are among the most watched and downloaded songs on internet platforms.


87. Connie Rahakundini Bakrie

Entrepreneur, military analyst

Connie is a rare intellectual with a strong passion for the defense sector. She is one of the most quoted sources for those seeking a comprehensive view of Indonesia’s military potential. Trained in art and design at Billy Blue College in Sydney, she switched to study politics, winning her master’s degree from the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) in Honolulu, Hawaii. Connie was a researcher at the Institute of National Security Studies (INNS) based in Tel Aviv, Israel and now teaches at Indonesian universities. She speaks regularly at international forums in the field of defense. Connies’s father Dr. Bakrie Arbie was a well-known scientist who promoted nuclear energy. This year, Connie made headlines with a statement that as a maritime country, Indonesia needs to beef up its air force and that the Indonesian Armed Forces must be outward-looking, which means shifting the model from defensive to offensive.



88. Veronica Colondam

YCAB Founder

Veronica has made the Cinta Anak Bangsa Foundation (YCAB) a prestigious social organization, ranking 49th in the Top NGO Awards from Swiss-based NGO Advisor Geneva. The foundation concentrates on empowerment of woman through microfinance. According to its annual report YCAB has provided soft skill training for more than 2 million young people, provided micro loans for more than 60,000 women, developed more than 66 learning centers and engaged in other social activities that give both direct and indirect impacts to the community. Veronica graduated from Imperial College London and the Executive Education program at Harvard University. Last August, Facebook joined YCAB to launch a Digital Literacy Program, a six-month program that aims to support teens with the development of critical thinking skills and empathy when using social media. YCAB and Facebook will host 100 events in 100 high schools for students across Jakarta and surrounding cities.


89. Grace Natalie

Founder, Solidarity Party

Grace Natalie is the founder and chairwoman of Indonesia’s newest political party, which claims to represent the younger generation of politicians. Grace is a former TV anchor for SCTV and TVOne. She attended the Institute for Business and Informatics (IBII), majoring in accounting. In 2012 she left TVOne to become CEO of Saiful Mujani Research and Consulting. Then in 2014, she entered politics and established the Indonesian Solidarity Party. In August, she filed for a review at the Constitutional Court of a General Election Commission (KPU) ruling that established parties do not have to submit to verification, claiming it discriminates against newcomers like her Solidarity Party.


90. Christina Liem

Owner, Harita Securities

Christina is a member of the Lim family, controllers of the Harita Group, with core businesses in the natural resources sector, including nickel and bauxite mining, palm oil plantations, shipping, timber and coal. Christina operates Harita Securities, which she developed from a small brokerage to achieve the Best Securities Company award in the asset category from Investor magazine. In 2012 she became head of investor relations at Bumitama Agri Ltd., the family’s oil plantation company, which is listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.


91. Sri Wahyumi Maria Manalip

Regent of Talaud

As the first female regent of Talaud Islands in North Sulawesi, 38-year-old Sri Wahyumi Maria Manalip has a sensitive job, given the risk of her domain being used as a corridor for the movement of terrorists, arms and explosives between the Philippines and the rest of Indonesia. Fortunately, she has thousands of followers on Instagram to help keep an eye out for strangers. She gained prominence in October last year when President Joko Widodo visited the island closest to the border, Miangas, to inaugurate a new airport. The regency borders Davao del Sur in the Philippines and has a population of around 91,500.



92. Liliyana Natsir

Athlete, Olympic Gold Winner

Liliyana Natsir, popularly known as Butet, achieved her dream of winning a gold medal at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Butet with her partner Ahmad Tontowi won the mixed doubles badminton title, beating the Malaysian pair of Chang Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying. Butet has won different competitions since starting her professional career at badminton training center PB Tangkas. Born in Manado, North Sulawesi, 31-year-old Butet previously won a silver medal at the London Olympics, also with Tontowi. This year, the Indonesian doubles champions won gold at the 2017 Indonesian Open badminton tournament to become world number one.


93. Ida Fiqriah

Indonesia’s first female pilot captain

Ida Fiqriah is Indonesian flag-carrier Garuda’s first ever female captain.  She flies the narrow-body Boeing B737-800 NG and other single-aisle aircraft for Garuda and has clocked 10,585 flight hours in more than 18 years with the airline, beginning in 1999 as a co-pilot. Although Garuda has been flying for 72 years, up until now it hasn’t had a single woman flight captain. It’s not a simple achievement: It requires lengthy ground training and countless simulation flights to gain qualification and capability. A 1996 graduate of the Indonesian State Aviation School in Tangerang, Banten, Ida has flown all types of aircraft for Garuda Indonesia, including Boeing B737-300, B737-400 and B737-500 and the wide-body Airbus A330-300 and A330-200.


94. Ratu Tisha Destria

Secretary general, PSSI

For the first time in the history of football, a woman has taken over the job of secretary general of the Indonesian Football Association (PSSI). Ratu Tisha Destria, 32, a graduate in mathematics from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) and a Master of the International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA), will serve at least until 2020 with the aim of improving football in Indonesia. Her track record provided strong reasons for her election, not least her proven experience in managing football championships. Ratu was formerly competition director at Gelora Trisula Semesta (GTS), which operated the Tora Bika Soccer Championship (TSC) 2016.


95. Diajeng Lestari


Diajeng Lestari is is the founder of, a Muslim fashion e-commerce website catering to Muslim women and men. She is the wife of Achmad Zaki, the founder of well-known e-commerce site, Bukalapak. Diajeng was born in Bekasi in West Java on January 17, 1986 to Heru Soekotjo and Endang Nurul Kusumawardhani. She graduated from the social and politics faculty of the University of Indonesia and has worked for GTZ, a German research institution focusing on public services in Indonesia.



96. Rini Sugianto

Film animator

Rini Sugianto is an animator who has worked for Tippet Studio in Berkeley, California. She is known for her work in the film The Adventure of Tintin, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Desolation of Smaug. She graduated as an architect from Parahyangan Catholic University in Bandung. She studied digital 3D technology but then moved to animation, continuing her postgraduate studies at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has also worked for Weta Studio (owned by film director Peter Jackson) in New Zealand and took part in making The Avengers, Iron Man 3 and Hunger Games: Catching Fire.


97. Nabilah Alsagoff

Founder, COO of Doku

Nabilah Alsagoff is the founder and COO of Doku. She started the business in 2002 when the Bali bombings inspired her to build a tourism portal in a bid to bring tourists back to Bali. Starting out with a Malaysian investor to build a payment gateway, Doku now generates $1.1 billion in annual transactions. Doku’s clients include AirAsia, Sinar Mas Land, Oppo, VIVA and Indonesian Idol.  Doku has also worked with VISA, Mastercard, Mandiri, e-pay, and BRI. Nabilah is one of the early pioneers of fintech, developing e-Wallet to enter the SME market.


98. Indira Parwitasari Tranggono

Company director

Indira Tranggono is the youngest daughter of Retno Iswari Tranggono, founder and owner of Ristra Cosmetics. Indira graduated from medical school at Diponegoro University and pursued her studies at the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK, where she earned her MBA. Indira, popularly known as cosmetologist Dr. Indi, is a director at the House of Ristra. She is the only one of her parents’ three children to follow in her mother’s footsteps to help develop Ristra into one of the nation’s largest skincare chains. Sister Sasya meanwhile, is an artist who is known for her work Endless Love. In August last year, Ristra signed an agreement with listed PT Kino Indonesia Tbk. for a deal worth Rp80 billion for 80% of Ristra Group’s shares.



99. Sri Rossyati and Sri Irianingsih


Sri Rossyati and Sri Irianingsih are twins who care for education. Now 67, they established the Kartini Emergency School (Sekolah Darurat Kartini) to provide free education for street children, particularly kids living under bridges. Rossy and Rian, as they are popularly known, come from a middle-class background and attended private schools. In 1990 they built a school in North Jakarta but were evicted to make way for development of a mall. They then held classes under the Pluit bridge and for the past 25 years they have kept on helping street children. The hospital and clinic owned by the husband of one of the twins helps fund the school. The Metropolitan Group, activists and philanthropists have also contributed.