Son of Indonesian President Joko Widodo graduates from SUSS
Younger son of Indonesian President also honoured for entrepreneurship
Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) students had not taken much notice of the "quiet" guy in their class for almost four years, so it came as a surprise when it emerged that he was the son of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Word got around after a student spotted a news item some time back that said "the Indonesia President's son is studying at SUSS".
So, all eyes were on 24-year-old Kaesang Pangarep when his identity as Mr Joko's younger son was confirmed at the university's opening convocation ceremony yesterday.
Mr Joko - also known as Jokowi - was in town for the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders' Retreat, and attended the ceremony amid camera flashes from members of the media and public alike.
President Halimah Yacob and Education Minister Ong Ye Kung were present.
Also in attendance was Mr Kaesang's girlfriend Felicia, who graduates this year. The Straits Times understands they met at the university.
About 2,000 SUSS graduands will receive bachelor's and higher degree certificates in five sessions being held until tomorrow.
Mr Kaesang, who graduated with a bachelor's in marketing with a minor in communications, was also one of three students honoured for entrepreneurship.
The awards recognise graduating students who have shown strong entrepreneurial attributes such as leadership and a "high potential for achieving a positive impact on society", SUSS said. Each winner received $5,000 in cash.
Mr Kaesang has founded six businesses, the latest being Ternakopi, a coffee delivery brand that has raised seed money from angel investors and venture capitalists.
During his four years at SUSS, Mr Kaesang founded banana fritter franchise Sang Pisang, board game company Hompimpa Games, food app Madhang.id and restaurant app Kaetering.
His coffee and banana fritter businesses are based in Kuala Lumpur, and he has plans to expand them to Singapore, he said.
Mr Kaesang told the media after the ceremony he looked to his father as well as older brother Gibran Rakabuming as mentors, saying: "My father was a businessman before he entered politics. (So was) my brother. That is why I am so keen to enter the business area."
The young entrepreneur is also a social media star who runs a YouTube channel and an Instagram account with 1.6 million followers that he uses to publicise his business ventures.
Mr Kaesang, who graduated from Anglo-Chinese School (International) before entering SUSS, said he picked up English only after moving to Singapore.
When asked what Indonesian students could learn from Singapore schools, he said: "The way of life, because in Singapore, everything is about discipline. It has shaped the way I am."