The five successful entrepreneurs in the Philippines listed in this article (in no particular order) are not only among the wealthiest businessmen but also command respect for the way they conduct themselves not only as successful entrepreneurs but as responsible citizens.
- Manuel Pangilinan. Manuel or “Manny” Pangilinan is the top honcho of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT). Under Manuel Pangilinan’s watch, PLDT slowly amassed full or majority ownership on a number of key Internet, communications and broadcasting related corporations. This has made the Wharton-educated Pangilinan one of the Philippines’ top telecommunications magnates. Pangilinan is also engrossed in propelling Philippine basketball back to its old glory days. This successful entrepreneur currently owns a professional basketball team bearing the name of a mobile phone company he also owns, which competes in a Philippine based league. He has also almost exclusively bankrolled the entire Philippine national basketball team which represents the country in international basketball competitions.
- Henry Sy. Recognized by Forbes as the richest man in the Philippines, Sy’s name is synonymous with the Philippine retail industry. The company he founded and owns is the largest retail and shopping mall operator in the country. His company built and operates three of the ten largest shopping malls in the world. Henry Sy’s business acumen is so sound that professors in college and graduate programs in the Philippines frequently use his business model to teach students and budding entrepreneur the fundamentals of business.
- Lucio Tan. The self-made Lucio Tan is another Filipino of Chinese descent who is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Philippines. He amassed his wealth (he is currently valued by Forbes at over $1.7 billion) from a variety of sources including tobacco, beer and alcohol, air travel and banking. Although still takes a hands-on approach when dealing with his companies, many close to Tan say that he is no longer concerned with material wealth. Tan, they say, is more excited about bigger challenges and the pursuit of intellectual endeavors.
- Jaime Zobel de Ayala. Jaime Zobel de Ayala is the CEO of the well-established Ayala Corporation. The Ayala Corporation is a holding company for the Ayala Group of Companies which owns a diverse group of companies that range from telecommunications and real estate to automotive and financial service. This Harvard alumni is also involved in a number of charities as well as being a patron of the arts. This successful entrepreneur is also an avid sportsman who regularly enters local marathons.
- Tony Tan Caktiong. The recipient of the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2004, is firmly established as the leader in the Philippine fast food industry. He founded the hamburger fast food chain Jolibee in 1978 and turned it into one of the largest fast food chains in the world. His company has purchased a number of locally prominent fast food restaurants and has even ventured into opening outlets outside the Philippines. Areas with a strong Filipino community such as Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and the United States were some of its first international outlets. Not only is Caktiong recognized as on one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Philippines, his Jollibee foundation has been very active in helping out the less fortunate.
Successful entrepreneurs in the Philippines are a dime a dozen. The truly exceptional are those able to become more than executives. The successful entrepreneurs on this list were able to use their achievements in the business world as a springboard for bigger and better things. A truly successful entrepreneur is not just fixated with the bottom line. Instead, they find equilibrium in ensuring a steady growth for their respective companies as well as being socially aware of the needs of the people around them.