King of Arowana Supplier From East Jakarta


“Success is the fruit of hard work”. That is what Tris Tanoto believed. Tris is an Indonesian entrepreneur that get success in breeding and export of red arowana fish.

His fortune in arowana business through PT Munjul Prima Utama (MPU) come from a coincidence. The story began in 1985 when Tris was 36 years old. “Up to the age of 35 years I am still poor,” he told.

Someday, his friend that own arowana trading business came to him. The friend force him to buy arowana because urgently need money. He offer 400 arowana fish to Tris. He helped his friend then buy the arowana fish.  “In that time, I did not know what I should do with the arowana. Therefore, my intention was just to help friend, “said Tris while recognizing in the time he had absolutely no experience in breeding arowana.

At that time the arowana fish are still in small body size (length 12 cm), in Jakarta market valued around IDR 250 thousand per fish. Traders usually buy from Kalimantan worth USD 150-175 thousand. Besides intending to help, a reason that made Tris dare to take risks is because she has heard from friends that arowana fish business can generate profits quickly.

In the time Tris just married so he have more time at home. “Understandably, I like to hang out to see my fish before going anywhere,” he said with a chuckle. Fortunately again, in his keeping, no one of 400 fish was dead.

In a reunion meeting with his junior high school friends, a friend with good feng shui knowledge told that Tris’s fortunes is in water-related businesses. “Try it you look effort Aqua-rich drinking water or ice factory. Do not open other businesses such as restaurants! “said Tris imitating his friend’s advice.

Two months later, still in 1986, arowana fish business explode. Suddenly an old friend call him to buy arowana fish again. In fact, his friends are willing to buy the fish at a price of U.S. $ 1,500 per head (at current exchange rates is equivalent to approximately USD 2.6 million per fish). “I was surprised by the offer, because just keeping three months has really increased so many times over,” he said. However, Tris does not necessarily accept it, because he also had felt it as a hobby. “I survived even though many times negotiable,” he recalled. And, until the time his heart persuade him nevertheless and offer a price of U.S. $ 4 thousand per head, or a total of approximately U.S. $ 1.6 million. “I was shocked. Because he really did have money, then I direct selling, “said Tris which was then immediately get rich. “That day I bought this land to be used as breeding ponds,” he added.

A dramatic lucky, makes him more serious in arowana business. He developed the land area of 3 thousand m2 in Munjul, Cipayung, East Jakarta as pool maintenance and breeding. Proceeds from sale of 400 fish is also used to buy more arowana fish from individual owners around Jakarta. The average price of IDR 750 thousand per head. “He breed the fish in his ponds. He create ‘nature’ as far as possible in sama condition with Kalimantan Island.

In 1988 Tris surprised, from the pool looks small fish that once observed it was the children arowana that has hatched from the eggs of the parent who plunged the previous two years. “Well, it’s a historic day, sir. My heart was most happy in my life that day yes, “said Tris. Tris shock, it’s rare thing. Arowana fish in was very difficult to breed in Jakarta because of incompatibility with the climate and water conditions. “I was so happy, anyone who wants to see I allowed,” he added.

Knowing the arowana can multiply in the pond, it encouraged him to expand the pool. Surrounding lands the purchased one by one, until the area of 1 hectare. Confronting a new problem when he began to take care of permissions (legality), especially the breeding and export licenses arowana. He began taking care of the breeding permit in 1988, but the government never granted. The reason, Arowana can not be bred out of their habitat. This is surprising, because in fact the fish can reproduce. In fact, the print media and television has reported. Some officials also have come to prove. After going through a desperate effort not know, the new captive licenses acquired in 1991. Request an export license that has been handed from 1987 is even more difficult, because coming out in 1996.

It is undeniable, then the world of business in the country is still monopolized by circles close to the lord (cronies). Tris knew when it was the only company that could export company whose shares are owned by a top official – he himself did not mention the identity of the company and the official.

When the export license has not come out, Tris must recognize the severity of the business he’s run. The reason is, when the fish are able to breed well, he could not market it abroad.

Until an export license has not come out – meaning may only be sold in the country – you can imagine how Tris gasping in running the business. Tris bear greater maintenance costs – for the cost of electricity, feed, labor, and others. Because the number of fish more and more, automatically it should also increase the land area. “The burden of my business bigger. In fact, I have other businesses selling, “Tris recalled a bitter experience.

The struggle to obtain export licenses done in various ways, including active public relations activity. Several times he invited arowana hobbyists, officials and the mass media, to prove that his hatchery work well. Not surprisingly, quite a lot of important people and foreigners who come to visit the pool at Munjul. In fact, in 1994 PT Munjul be used as a pilot project arowana breeding Akisino visited Prince of Japan. Prima Utama Munjul name even more ‘flying’. In fact, the world under the UN agency in charge of taking care of endangered species, CITES, never come again to the land penangkarannya. At that moment Tris filed a protest to the CITES why he was not allowed to export while there are other companies that are allowed.

CITES officer was struck to hear the protest because the previous CITES Tris think that all this time doing Arowana exports from Indonesia are government organizations. Thanks to this reporting, eventually export license for the MPU out as well in 1996. Since then, Tris was free to export the arowana. Moreover, MPU has also been recognized by CITES registration number A-ID-505. At that time the number of fish indukannya has reached about two thousand heads.

Once obtain licenses to export, Tris direct internal reforming. He re-sort the entire his fish. The finest selected to be a parent. He believes the stock of the parent (parent stock) arowana there are only 10% -15% good. “The best I take as the parent. Others I sell cheaper, Rp 1 million per head, “he said. Practically, it is the strategy to breed species, ie, by mating the best moms. The strategy is what distinguishes from other breeders in Indonesia – which now number around 200 players.

From the group’s first-class sires (called F1 generation), after breeding F2 generation produces an estimated 75% good-quality derivatives. Than 75% was then mated again to produce the F3 generation of an estimated 90% of a good son. “And so on until the F4, almost 100% good. Right now I have to F5, “Tris said, pointing at a row of aquariums containing fish arowana children F5 generation. “Business and my job is breeding species. Such as gold, which made the gold-gold is purified from the other elements so it really is pure gold, “Tris analogize.

Breeding strategy of the type done strictly Tris is not separated from its business strategy which is only providing premium quality arowana. He only sold the fish super red arowana (super-red) which is really excellent and rare, not like most of the breeder from Borneo or Sumatra. It is also evident from the price per fish arowana it sells. Now, the average price of red arowana with a length of about 30 cm in Jakarta Rp 3 million per head (on Borneo cost only USD 1-1.5 million), while the fish Farmed MPU sold per cow of U.S. $ 2 thousand ( approximately USD 18 million). “My fish cost five times as much fish they, sir,” said Tris acknowledged. Tris seem worried customers would flee, although applying the premium pricing.

The strategy worked on the premium segment with the breeding of this species, according to Tris, the only way for him to be able to compete with suppliers arowana fish from Borneo. “If I was selling with ordinary qualities, such as their low price, I was already defeated and bankrupt of yesterday,” he said. Of course, Tris had a strong base, especially as he attempted to produce fish seed. “Any kind of animal, whatever its kind, the more noble or pure and high prices, then the offspring will be less and less,” said Tris employing 50 employees to take care of the pool arwananya.

Water is abundant in Borneo and the price of land is only Rp 5 thousand per m2, Tris-up, an advantage for arowana breeder in Kalimantan. As in Munjul, land price per m2 is Rp 700 thousand, and the cost of water supply (through the recycling process) is also not cheap. Therefore, Tris choose the top segment in order to capture the cost of production could be overtaken by a model captive in Jakarta which is too expensive.

Typically, the young arowana (age 9 years) per year could produce a child (by way of laying) three-four times. While the age was 30 years old, produce tillers after 2-3 years. Arowana fish, described Tris, can actually produce up to age 35 years, provided we know how to treat them.

Tris expose the mind power tips. During this time, every 10% of the puppies are always spare to be used as candidate sires in the future. According to him, red arowana (arowana super-red) divided by two, namely the type of synthetic and authentic. The definition of types of synthetic, in its development using drugs to enhance the condition of fish, whereas the type of authentic, original quality is already good naturally. Tris itself tends to develop a second pattern. “Gold is thrown into the mud while gold remains, unchanged. Likewise, super-red arowana that have a purely genetic, if the red is essentially placed in the aquarium must remain visible no matter where the red, “he asserted. Although still a young age and just measuring 20-25 cm, according to Tris, if that fish is good quality, it looks quality.

Tris used to sell fish with a length of 15-35 cm. He gave the fish the brand power to name ultrared mind. Initially all the red arowana breeder send as super-red. Some time later the Japanese see red arowana super-MPU output look more red than others, so that the Japanese gave him the name suggests ultrared. Characteristic of arowana ultrared, which has a blood red color and bold color ring (thick scales nearly 90% of it is red). The color red can cover all parts of the face and tail arowana that blooms like a flower hong hua (red flowers).

Regarding the marketing of fish penangkarannya result, for this purpose Tris menyasarkan all of its products for export (100%). So he did not serve the domestic buyers. Usually it is serving the minimum order is 50 tail, and full payment is made prior to shipment. Most buyers come from Japan, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Singapore and Korea. Only in the past year he has more to serve buyers from China, because in the Bamboo Curtain country is now a lot of new rich people. “If marketing, I was never looking for. They are looking for me and come here. So, for the affairs of my buyers never had trouble, “said the driver of this Mitsubishi Pajero.

Tris utterance seems not mere bombast. From searching online SWA to multiple sites arowana fans in the world including Japan, the name of PT Prima Utama Munjul already very well known. Alvin Koh, managing director of arowana hobbyist site, called PT Munjul Prima Utama as “One of the most well-known farms among Japanese arowana hobbyists. Munjul name was already quite famous among fans of arowana in China and Korea.

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