Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Markets
Pursuits

Herbal Remedies Maven Emerges as Billionaire in Indonesia

Irwan Hidayat had to hold back his tears when PT Industri Jamu Dan Farmasi Sido Muncul sold shares in an initial public offering in December.

His mother, Desy Sulistio, the matriarch of Indonesia’s biggest maker of traditional herbal medicine, couldn’t witness its trading debut on the Jakarta stock exchange. It would have been difficult for the 86-year-old, who relies on a wheelchair and a nurse to get around, to travel the 250 miles from her residence in Semarang, Central Java, to Jakarta. Irwan also regretted that his late grandmother, the founder of the company, and his father, who died in 1994, weren’t present.