He spent his childhood days in Parigi. His Father Tjie Siem Poe was arrested by unknown Soldiers during Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies as he was accused of being spy, and never returned again, in 1944. He spend his primary and high school days in Manado. After graduating from high school, he moved to Bandung where he enrolled to Bandung Institute of Technology. During his fourth year of study, he set up an Architectural firm with his friends. He graduated from Bandung Institute of Technology in 1960.
He established PT Pembangunan Jaya in 1961, after he Earned his bachelor's degree in engineering from Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB). At the beginning, PT Pembangunan Jaya (As known as Jaya Group) has operated only by five people, but it has 20 subsidiaries with 14,000 employees 20 years later. One of PT. Pembangunan Jaya innovation was the construction of the Taman Impian Jaya Ancol (TIJA) project. Therefore, in Ciputra most project are engaging with Jaya Group as their main contractor, Architect or mechanical engineering consultant.
In 1971, the second development group was established. The Metropolitan Group (PT. Metropolitan Development) is based in Depok, Indonesia. The company consists of forty six companies. PT. Metropolitan Development operates as a holding company and through its subsidiaries engages in real estate, hotel, shopping center, industry, tourism, trading, and health care.
And finally, Ciputra established Ciputra Group as a family Business in 1981. The company was established on 22 October 1981 under the name of PT Citra Habitat Indonesia. However, on 28 December 1990, the company changed its name to PT Ciputra Development which is used until now. Which by the late 1990s, the company consisted of forty Business in the property and Finance sectors.
During the 1998 Asian Financial Crisis that hit Indonesia hard, many bond and stock Investors of Ciputra's publicly owned companies suffered financially as the value of their Investments plummeted, resulting in some of those companies becoming insolvent. To overcome the crisis, he sacrificed his assets and settled his obligation to the Investors. Hereinafter, he was restructuring his companies and expanding to all over Indonesia as well as 3 other countries, Vietnam, Cambodia and China. Nowadays he is known as one of successful entrepreneurs in Asia with his 9 listed companies and his vision to spread out the entrepreneurship spirit in Indonesia.