Posted on October 19th, 2008
Bill Gates is to the world, while Henry Sy is to the Philippines. He is the Richest Man in the Philippines for 2008. Yes, topping the lists in Forbes Magazineâ€™s list of wealthiest Filipino this year is Henry of the SM mall chains. And despite the global financial crisis, Henry Sy and his family were able to increase their wealth by $1.4 billion. This officially makes him this yearâ€™s richest Filipino. According to Forbes, the 83-year old Sy and his family are now worth $3.1 billions.
Spearheaded by their holding company SM Investments Corporation, Sy managed to rise from No. 2 position last year to No. 1 this year. Their own unibank, Banco de Oro is now the countryâ€™s second largest bank, and this of course is aside from their interest in a dozen more companies in the Philippines.
Henry Syâ€™s wealth, however, were not actually handed to him on a silver platter. In fact, his journey towards success is an inspiring one, and definitely one that every Filipino entrepreneur must try to emulate.
From a store that sells shoes back in 1958 which was known as Shoemart, Sy was able to develop this into a multibillion-dollar empire. And now, half a century later, that humble shoe store is recognized as the name attached to the most popular malls throughout the country. And this entrepreneurial success did not stop at the Philippineâ€™s soil, for Sy also has malls in some parts of China, making him a global Filipino entrepreneur.
Making this success even sweeter is that fact that Sy topped tobacco tycoon Lucio Tan who came in second with a net worth of $1.5 billion, and Jaime Zobel de Ayala whose net worth is pegged at $1.2 billion. Last year, Ayala was at the top of the list as the richest Filipino.
This report, which includes popular names such as property kingpin Andrew Tan, senate president Manny Villar, John Gokongwei, and Eduardo Cojuangco Jr., are all featured in the October 29 issue of Forbes Asia magazine.
Henry Sy must be doing something right, that is why in spite of the global economic recession, and his peers suffering downfalls, his success continues.