Lessons from the Richest Filipino in 2008 - Henry Sy

Who would not hear the biggest mall in asia - The Mall of Asia (MOA)?

Our first entry is the man behind the household name - SM, Henry Sy.

The richest man in the Philippines as of the latest 2008 forbes magazine. SM Group is a retail giant with 38,600 employees and annual revenues of $1.7 billion, but he operates his SM Group almost as if it were a family-owned corner greengrocery.

Excerpt from time magazine... Each week, Henry Sy, the 80-year-old (estimated net worth: $1.2 billion), sporting his trademark Hawaiian shirt, gathers his six children at the company's warehouse-style offices near Manila's waterfront, where they oversee nearly every aspect of the business, from property deals to labor negotiations. On Saturdays, family members fan out to make firsthand inspections of their SM malls, department stores and supermarkets. On Sundays, Henry Sy insists that the family meet yet again, either at his $2 million luxury log cabin in the lush hills outside Manila or the family home in the swish Forbes Park district of the capital. Though he is one of the Philippines' richest men, Henry Sy sometimes spends Sunday mornings shopping in Manila's seaside market for fresh fish for the family's lunch, which he cooks himself. His specialty: fish soup with noodles.

Lessons From Henry Sy, Sr.
Undoubtedly, the rise of Henry Sy, Sr. from a bright-eyed young boy arriving from China not knowing how to speak either Tagalog or English to the respected mega-businessman in retail, department stores, supermarkets, malls, banking, real estate and tourism development is unprecedented, and is one of the most highly-regarded and inspiring stories in Philippine business history. Much wisdom can be gleaned from the man who has made his dreams and visions come true, making a great impact on the lives of millions of people.

In his own words, Henry Sy, Sr. shares his secrets of success:
• "I started with shoes, and with hard work and self-discipline, the business prospered. I moved to the department store business and, again, things went well."
• "I make sure that we serve more people and we serve them better."
• "I like the excitement of change and new and better ideas. I look for excellence in performance."
• "My basic strategy is to stick to my core business and to my area of expertise. My business is all related — retail, shopping centers, banking, real estate and tourism development. Together they create synergy."
• "We must do something to help others in society. I am pleased that through SM Foundation, we are able to do many socio-civic projects, and support at any one time 400 college scholars in need who come from public schools."
Who could say it any better than that? No other than Henry Sy
Editor’s Note: Click here to see who made it to the top 40 richest Filipinos in 2008.

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