Ilham is a qualified engineer and holds a PhD in aeronautical engineering from the Technical University of Munich and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
Ilham has been the Chief Executive Officer and President of a number of aerospace and other companies which he founded and has served as a scientist and lecturer at the Technical University of Munich. Ilham has held senior positions at a number of Indonesian companies in the private sector, including Chief Executive Officer and President Director of PT. Ilthabi Rekatama and Commissioner of PT Citra Tubindo tbk. Ilham served as a Non-executive Director at Sound Oil Plc (now known as Sound Energy plc) and has been an Independent Commissioner of PT Intermedia Capital Tbk. Ilham has served as a Non-executive Director of Hichens, Harrison (Asia) Ltd and serves as a Member of the Board of Commissioners at PT Malacca Trust Wuwungan Insurance and as a Director of PT Ilthabi Bara Utama.