Henry Sy

Topics: Shopping mall, Retailing, Department store Pages: 4 (1677 words) Published: July 26, 2013
Our company, SM, as many of you may already know, came from the hard work of my dad, Henry Sy, Sr. It is a rags to riches story that even myself did not realize until I went to trace his roots in China. His journey from the thatched hut I saw there to the shopping centers he has today is something that amazes even myself. His determination, his discipline and his thriftiness have produced an astute and street smart businessman who has influenced a lot of people. Including us, his children. My father’s perseverance during the different crises our country has gone through has made our active business pursuits possible for a half century. True, he was disappointed with the economy many times, but he never saw the reason to quit and instead pursued his goals relentlessly. He had many obstacles – both external and internal – in his business, and there were times he could not understand why things had to be so complicated for him to pursue his business objectives. It has been written – and I can attest that it is true – that Henry Sy started from the bottom. He came to the Philippines at the young age of 12, and worked in his father’s small sari-sari store more than 12 hours everyday to help him. It was located on Echague St., which is now Carlos Palanca Sr. St. in Quiapo, Manila. There, he devised ways to increase his income by developing small portions of products – much like the sachets we see today in the supermarkets. He was able to make multiple sales in order to make extra income, spending so much time in the store that he had no time to go out and play with friends in the neighborhood. It did not take a long time for him to realize, however, that he can only do so much in a sari-sari store environment. WWII came and the sari-sari store was looted and burned. He did a lot of buying and selling of odd things during the war to enable the family to survive. This must have provided him the hands-on training for his stamina in business. At one time, he was hit by...
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