The 12 Most Successful Businessmen in the PhilippinesHenry Sy (Shoe Mart), Tony Tan Caktiong (Jollibee Foods), Socorro Ramos (National Bookstore), John Gokongwei Jr. Holdings), Edgar Sia (Mang Inasal), Mariano Que (mercury medicine), Crésida Tueres (Greenwich pizza), Cecilio Kwok Pedro (Lamoiyan Corporation). If you're curious about how these successful entrepreneurs in the Philippines managed to secure their place in the business world, check out this list of 11 iconic and successful Filipino entrepreneurs and get inspired to take the small steps to your victory. Sy came from a low-income family in Jinjang, Xiamen in China.
Because of the difficulties in their country, they abandoned it in 1936 and moved to the Philippines, where they opened a small convenience store in Manila. In 1975, he bought a Magnolia ice cream shop, but decided to add other products such as fried chicken, fries and hamburgers due to low sales. After the news broke in his neighborhood, several customers came to his store and sponsored his products. In addition, offering the franchise option has also opened the doors to penetrate even the international market.
This makes Jollibee a giant of fast food businesses with more than 2,500 stores in the county, plus locations in the U.S. USA, China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei. Before founding the National Book Store, Ramos worked as a saleswoman in a bookstore. She and her husband opened the National Book Store with only $200 in capital.
This company was a success, but it didn't stop there. He started adding other products such as Blend 45 and soon changed his business name to Universal Robina Corporation. Potato Corner is one of the best-known food cart businesses in the country. It was established in the early 1990s by Joe Magsaysay, who left school to work in a fast food chain.
In 1992, Potato Corner's food cart business grew and they began offering franchises to interested franchisees. In 1971, Cresida Tueres founded Greenwich. Back then, it was just a small over-the-counter pizza place in Greenhills, but its culinary skills paved the way for a giant company. After the company closed its doors in 1986 due to some environmental problems, Cecilio decided that it was the right time to found his company.
He called it Lamoiyan and focused on making toothpaste with a price 50% lower than the competition. Some of these well-known brands are Hapee and Kutitap. Years later, his company prospered and was able to expand throughout Asia. Now, after more than 30 years, Hen Lin is still the public favorite in many shopping malls, offering various products such as hopia, noodles, congee, steamed rice, breakfast food and other Chinese cuisines.
Now, these 11 people on our first list are the legendary business tycoons. Their stories are revealing and inspiring to keep us moving forward. However, it's not all just about inspiration, but it also takes willpower to do it. Today, Happy Skin has 13 stores and almost 100 beauty counters in the Philippines.
It has won 30 beauty awards, including the most promising new cosmetics brand from Watsons, Philippines. If you've been traveling to work before the COVID-19 pandemic, you probably know what Angkas is. The innovative shuttle service is the idea of Angeline Tham, who made sure to address traffic congestion in Manila and eventually in the rest of the Philippines. She is the founder and CEO of the motorcycle taxi service app Angkas.
This app has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times with a 99.99% security history. Today, Angkas has been strictly implementing the safety protocols established by the COVID-19 Inter-Agency Working Group (IATF). Tan started his business dream at age 19.Now 27, she is now the CEO and co-founder of private equity firm, MFT. She is better known by the nickname “queen of flip-flops”, since Terry SA is best known for distributing Havaianas.
His company now has more than 300 people in three countries and distributes several brands such as Aura Athletica and other well-known international brands. In addition, it also owns CommonThread, which sells Filipino and international brands with its own Thread 365 as its core product. The main objectives are to increase traffic and get conversions. Served more than 30 clients with a growth management team specializing in paid acquisitions, conversion rate optimization, content marketing and conversion-based design.
Socorro Ramos entered the publishing and retail industry working as a saleswoman in a bookstore. At the age of 19, she opened the National Library in Escolta with her husband, with a capital of 200 pounds, selling books and school supplies to students. At that time, Manila was under the control of the Japanese, who imposed censorship of books and periodicals. To increase their income, she and her husband turned to selling other items, such as candles and soaps.
After the post-war boom proved profitable for the company, resulting in higher revenues, the Ramoses opened a nine-story building along Avenue. At 95, he still believes in the time-honored tradition of “practical approach to business. She even designed the company logo herself. Tony Tan Caktiong used to operate an ice cream shop, before turning it into a fast-food restaurant called Jollibee.
With an initial capital of 350,000 pesos, the young Caktiong opened two branches in Cubao and Quiapo, along with friends who supported his idea. When Tony Caktiong heard about Sia's booming business, he decided to buy Mang Inasal for a total of 5 billion pesos. Sia eventually directed Mang Inasal's sales to other investments such as banking and healthcare. At 42, he is considered the youngest billionaire in the country.
In 1971, Cresida Tueres founded Greenwich as a small over-the-counter pizzeria in Greenhills. Tueres had a gift for cooking. His friends loved the food he served so much that they decided to buy their own Greenwich franchise. Impressed by Tueres' business acumen and Greenwich's growth, Jollibee Foods Corporation secured an agreement in 1994 to acquire 80% of Greenwich's shareholding.
Since then, the pizzeria has diversified to include other dishes on its menu. In 1997, Greenwich had a record sales of P1 billion. With his training and skills in store management, Magsaysay's friends asked him to take charge of Potato Corner, of which he co-founded. They pooled their money and started the food cart business in 1992, offering franchises left and right.
Today, Potato Corner has more than 550 spots in the Philippines and around the world. In the 1930s, Asiang Reyes founded The Aristocrat as a mobile canteen in Luneta, serving sandwiches stuffed with adobo and other Filipino viandas. Hot dog trucks were all the rage at the time. Reyes created his own version of a snack for those attending the park.
The Manas couple opened the first Hen Lin store in SM Makati, which was well received for their delicious dim sum offers. If you're still scratching or shaking your head in disbelief, give yourself time to process the information. In the meantime, get inspired by these stories from 10 of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Philippines. Henry Sy came from an impoverished family in Jinjiang, a town near Xiamen, China.
The entire family left China in 1936 to help the family patriarch run a thriving convenience store in Manila. In 1975, Tony bought a Magnolia ice cream shop. However, I wasn't generating enough business. After talking to his customers and the people in the neighborhood, Tony decided to include sandwiches, fried chicken and fries on the menu.
Over time, the restaurant found itself replete with overflowing capacity. In 1978, Tony had opened six more restaurants, but the main course was no longer ice cream. Tony then decided to adapt the McDonald's concept and named his franchise after his work ethic of being as “busy as a bee”. Today, Jollibee has grown to more than 2,500 stores in the Philippines, in addition to locations in the U.S.
I soon realized that importing entailed too much risk and low margins. So, in 1957, he borrowed 500,000 pesos from the Bank of China and started a maize milling business called Universal Corn Products. Yao's parents sold almost anything a sidewalk vendor could sell to survive poverty. Due to the early death of his father, he was forced to do strange jobs at age 12 to help feed his family.
With only P211 in investment and pure determination, they were able to build their own business. Although the odds were initially not in her favor and she had to rebuild her bookstore three times from scratch, her true entrepreneurial spirit helped her to get ahead. It soon achieved its long-awaited success. Today, the National Bookstore has become an institution of Philippine society and has more than 150 branches spread across the country.
In 1994, he founded RNC Marketing, a marketing and repackaging company for industrial products using his savings of £20,000 as a sales representative in a pharmaceutical company. Boost your chances with more than 20 banks and lenders When her husband decided to quit his job to focus on managing his 30-hectare sugar plantation in Dumaguete, Julie worked with him hand in hand to oversee his farm. But, due to the sudden drop in the price of sugar around the world, they soon lost their farm and the couple decided to return to Cebu. Starting as a small sub-distributor in 1978 known as Carworld, LausGroup of Companies expanded over the years into a dealer network that now has more than 50 branches located in Luzon and Greater Manila.
From humble beginnings with a single branch in the city of Iloilo to more than 300 branches across the country today, it was able to sell all its operations to Jollibee Foods Corporation for a total of 5 billion pesos. Kenn Costales is the founder and CEO of Monolith Growth Consulting, a growth marketing agency that enables CEOs and owners of global and regional e-commerce and SaaS companies to increase traffic, conversions and sales to a CPA that unlocks scale. Served more than 30 clients with a growth management team covering paid acquisitions, conversion rate optimization, content marketing, and conversion-based design. As a self-financed company without investors, it prioritizes the success of its customers, which has led to more than 90% of customers retaining its services on a monthly basis.
Filipino-Chinese businesswomen and sisters Milagros Leelin Yee and Clarita Leelin Go, and their sister-in-law Doris Wilson Leelin, opened the first Goldilocks store in 1966 for a modest capital of 66,000 pesos. Whether you are a small or medium-sized entrepreneur whose goal is to expand your business, BDO SME Loan can be your reliable financial partner. The most successful businessmen in the Philippines today have one thing in common: they all saw the bright side in the darkest night. Pandemic lockdowns led many Filipinos to try their hand at entrepreneurship, either out of boredom or out of sheer need for survival.
The name Socorro Ramos may not be as famous as the other successful Filipino businessmen on this list. With MyOffice, you are actively involved in the local start-up community, supporting entrepreneurs by offering them an affordable alternative to office space and support services. The goal of Permitly is to help entrepreneurs with the processes when starting a business in the country. Entrepreneurship requires a special type of person; someone who is willing to risk everything for the realization of a dream.
This list of the most successful businessmen is not complete without paying tribute to this man who started with almost nothing and eventually built the largest shopping malls in the Philippines and Asia. Over the years, you've probably heard about some successful entrepreneurs in the Philippines and their stories: how they managed to start small and eventually build an empire, most of which are well-known brands today. The food brand CDO is now very popular with Filipino consumers, but the business was a real success story and made Corazón Dayro Ong one of the most successful Filipino entrepreneurs today. Her three businesses have helped her raise awareness and support for pet owners, entrepreneurs and co-workers.
It is said that the big businessmen are the daring, the constantly changing, those who, despite their humble beginnings, persisted with guts, drive and guts, who trusted their inner voice against doubt, who believed in their vision and strove to be better, and who decided to take a step, which made all the difference. There are a handful of things that stand out from the experiences of these highly successful Filipino entrepreneurs. Today, his family is one of the most successful Filipino businessmen, who also owned supermarkets and department stores Robina Land Corporation and commercial airline Cebu Pacific. .