Cofounder of the Indonesian Bogasari Flour Mills, world’s largest miller, and former Salim group executive Piet Yap passed away on June 6, five months shy of his 90th birthday.
He was a trusted advisor and friend of Malaysian tycoon Robert Kuok since 1958, who recruited Yap from a Dutch commodity firm when Kuok was just starting to build his own commodity trading business.
Yap was also instrumental in developing the alliance between Kuok and Salim Group’s late founder, Indonesian Sudono Salim (aka Liem Sioe Liong). The relationship between Kuok and Salim was critical for the later launch of the wheat flour business in Indonesia.
Bogasari is an Indonesian wheat flour producer having a production capacity of 4 million tons per year, the largest in the world in a single location.
Bogasari operates four flour mills in Jakarta, Surabaya,Cibitung and Tangerang. A comprehensive range of flour products is sold under established brands such as Cakra Kembar, Segitiga Biru, Kunci Biru and Lencana Merah, while its convenient premix flour is branded under Chesa.
Bogasari also produces pasta for domestic and international markets under the La Fonte brand.
Yap, who had a reputation as a savvy commodity trader, started out in sugar trading. He later cofounded Indonesia’s Bogasari Flour Mills and helped grow it into one of the biggest wheat flour millers in the world.
In the process, he was credited for changing the eating habits of Indonesians from mostly rice to more flour-based products, such as noodles and dumplings.
Described as a westernized Sumatran Chinese by Kuok in his memoir, the Malaysian sugar king tapped Yap’s language skills in Dutch, Bahasa Indonesia and English to help him do business in Indonesia.
Yap was known for his ability to cultivate and maintain lasting friendships with key business contacts in Southeast Asia. In 2010, he released his autobiography, The Grains of My Life. FORBES