Born in a prominent family of educators, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, affectionately known as Sandi, graduated from Wichita State University in Kansas, the United States, with a Bachelor of Business Administration, majoring in accounting. He completed his MBA in international business and finance at George Washington University in 1992.
The 41-year-old businessman began his career at the Summa Group of Companies, before moving on to work at Seapower Asia Investment Ltd., the US-based MP Holdings Ltd. Group and Canada-based NTI Resources Ltd. The 1997 regional monetary crisis, however, hit NTI hard and Sandi also lost all of his investments in stocks. He even had to come back and live with his parents, as he could not even afford to rent his own house.