Peter F. Gontha

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Peter Frans Gontha (born 4 May 1948 in Semarang, Indonesia)[1] is an Indonesian businessman, commercial television pioneer, and jazz impresario. He served as Indonesian ambassador to Poland from October 2014 to January 2019.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Gontha was born in Semarang, Central Java, to Victor Willem ‘Wim’ Gontha and Alice.[3] After attending Jakarta's Kanisius College, he was educated in the Netherlands.[4] As a young man, he worked for the Holland-America Line cruise company.[5] In 1970, he started work for Shell Benelux Computer Center.[6] Shell provided him with a scholarship to study accounting at the Praehap Institute in the Netherlands.[7] He received his degree in Finance Accounting and Business Administration in 1972.


From 1975 to 1979, Gontha worked for Citibank N.A., where he became assistant vice president.[8] He later became vice president of American Express Bank for Asia.[9] In Indonesia, he was vice president of Bimantara Citra Group, an Indonesian conglomerate founded by former president Suharto’s middle son Bambang Trihatmodjo.

Gontha founded Indonesia’s first commercial television network, Rajawali Citra Televisi Indonesia (RCTI), in 1989 as part of Bimantara Group, and co-founded the country's second commercial television network, Surya Citra Televisi (SCTV) in 1990, followed by satellite pay TV company Indovision in 1994.[10] In 1996, he purchased a controlling stake in the English-language daily newspaper, The Indonesian Observer.[11] His media empire and ambitions earned him the nickname, “the Rupert Murdoch of Indonesia”.[12] His public profile increased when he began hosting an Indonesian version of The Apprentice in 2005 aired on Indosiar, leading to him being dubbed “the Indonesian Donald Trump”. Gontha, who is known for his baldness, has dismissed the comparison as nonsense, saying he is just a hard worker who looks nothing like Trump.[13]

He was a co-founder of petrochemical firm PT Chandra Asri Indonesia. His other business ventures included Plaza Indonesia Realty (The Grand Hyatt Jakarta), PT Tri Polyta Indonesia, First Media, Bali Intercontinental Resort, P.T. Datakom Asia and P.T. Jaring Data Interaktif.[14]

Gontha is the founder of the annual Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival, which was first held in 2005 and has attracted top jazz acts from around the world. His love of jazz stemmed from his father, who was a trumpeter for a jazz band at Shell oil company in Surabaya, East Java.[15]

On 15 October 2014, Gontha was appointed Indonesian Ambassador to Poland by president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.[16] On 11 December 2018, Gontha received an honorary star award from Polish President Andrzej Duda in recognition of his contribution to bilateral relations.[17] On 7 January 2019, Indonesian President Joko Widodo appointed Siti Nugraha Mauludiah as Indonesian ambassador to Poland, replacing Gontha.[18]


  1. ^ "Peter F Gontha". - Ensiklopedi Tokoh Indonesia. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  2. ^ Parlina, Ina (16 October 2014). "SBY inaugurates 22 new envoys before leaving office". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Peter F Gontha The Godfather Of Jazz". Rumah Musik Denny Sakrie. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Peter F Gontha, Dari Awak Kapal Jadi Dubes RI". 22 November 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Peter Frans Gontha". Indonesia Tatler. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  6. ^ "APMF 2012 Speakers Profile: Peter F Gontha". Asia Pacific Media Forum. Asia Pacific Media Forum. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  7. ^ Ariyanti, Fiki (13 July 2014). "Peter Gontha, Bos Java Jazz Festival yang Berani Ambil Risiko". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  8. ^ Primadhyta, Safyra (10 July 2017). "Dianggap Berjasa, Peter Gontha Raih Penghargaan dari Citibank". CNN Indonesia. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Peter F. Gontha". Wharton Global Alumni Forum. Wharton Global Alumni Forum. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Gontha Assumes Reins for Lippo Media Company". Jakarta Globe. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Peter Gontha Masuk Indonesian Observer". Suara Pembaruan. 14 September 1996. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Indonesia Media Baron Expands His Horizon". AsiaOne Business Times. 10 October 1996. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Peter Frans Gontha, Pencetus Java Jazz, Sekadar Jongos". Koran Tempo. 3 March 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  14. ^ "Peter Frans Gontha". Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  15. ^ "Peter Frans Gontha, Pencetus Java Jazz, Sekadar Jongos". Koran Tempo. 3 March 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Peter F Gontha Jadi Dubes RI untuk Polandia". PT. Viva Media Baru. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 22 October 2017.
  17. ^ Erwanti, Marlinda Oktavia (18 December 2018). "Peter F Gontha Raih Bintang Kehormatan dari Presiden Polandia". detikcom. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  18. ^ Florentin, Vindry (7 January 2019). "President Jokowi Inaugurates 16 New Ambassadors". Retrieved 7 January 2019.