Tributes pour in for Arief Harsono, Indonesia’s oxygen entrepreneur

Tributes pour in for Arief Harsono, Indonesia’s oxygen entrepreneur

Industrial gas professionals from across the world have paid tribute to Arief Harsono, founder and CEO of the Samator Group and widely known as Indonesia’s oxygen entrepreneur, who sadly passed away on 2nd July.

Many within the global industrial gas community have been shocked by the news, as Harsono was so well known not only within the South East Asian industrial gases business but also at a global level.

Compounding that shock and sadness is the fact that the cause of death was understood to be Covid-19 (coronavirus) – at a time when Harsono himself and the Samator Group, via its Aneka Gas business, had recently joined the international community in helping to meet the dire need for oxygen supplies and equipment in India, Indonesia and other regional countries.

It’s understood that Harsono had been instrumental to this effort.

Tributes have been paid to those efforts, the innovation and entrepreneurship of Harsono, and to the fibre of the man himself from colleagues and friends all around the world.

Philip Brickell, Executive Director of the International Oxygen Manufacturers Association (IOMA), reflected, “IOMA is very sad to hear of the passing of Arief Harsono, from Covid-19. Mr Harsono was a well-respected and prominent member of the global industry, and was held in high regard.”

“Samator Group has been a member of IOMA since 1993, amongst the first members in Asia, and Mr Harsono was a regular participant in IOMA’s activities, he will be missed.”

Aldo Fumagalli Romario and Marco Annoni, both of Italy-based SOL Group, paid their respects and reflected on the leadership and entrepreneurial skills that Harsono was so known for. In a joint statement, they said, “We feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of ours which should attempt to beguile his family from the grief of a loss so overwhelming, but we would like to extend to his son Rachmat and his daughter Imelda, to all his family and to the employees of the Samator Group, our sincerest sympathies and deepest condolences.”

“Arief was a great entrepreneur, capable of expanding and growing a healthy and excellent group of companies, thanks to his leadership, his commitment and his entrepreneurial skills. We are sure that his offspring will continue to follow their father’s footsteps and develop the group further still.”

“We all pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of their bereavement and leave them only the cherished memory of the loved and lost.”

‘I remember Arief’s friendly smile’

A fitting tribute came from Edgar Hotard, Senior Advisor to ARCH Venture Partners, Shanghai Baosteel Gases and SIAD Venture Partner, and a friend of Harsono within the region.

He expressed his sadness at such a ‘big loss’ and remembered many great occasions together.

“My condolences to the Harsano family on the loss of Arief. His passing is a big loss for his beautiful family as well as for our industry,” he said.

“I first met Arief in Orlando, Florida in 1993 at the 50th IOMA meeting. I was impressed then by his entrepreneurialism and dedication to growing what was then Aneka Gas. Over the years he expanded beyond gases and built a mini conglomerate – the Samator Group. I also remember Arief’s friendly smile back then and each time I met him over the past 28 years.”

“But as much as he was dedicated to his business, it didn’t come close to the love for his family, many of whom are working in Samator after being mentored and trained by him.”

“I will miss visiting with Arief in Surabaya and Jakarta and having the occasional breakfast together at the Shangri-la to discuss a variety of subjects. Our industry lost a terrific leader, family man and friend.”

gasworld joins with so many within the global industrial gases business in wishing the Harsono family its deepest sympathies and much support to both Rachmat and Imelda Harsono at this difficult time.

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