From rags to riches—the stories we are so often inspired by. Where the poor and hard-pressed become the rich and the powerful, either by hard work and perseverance, meeting the right people at the right time, or just by a twist of fate and a stroke of dumb luck. We can’t help but be in awe when we find out that those in power came from the humblest of beginnings. For success and achievement are not handed down on a silver platter but earned through the trials of life and through the will and determination to see things through to the end.
Here we will look into the story of a man who arrived in the Philippines and struggled every step of the way, eventually becoming the richest man in the country—and who still holds that title today. That man is Henry Sy, Sr.—a Chinese-Filipino business magnate, successful investor, and philanthropist. He started out his career with a simple but friendly sari-sari store (neighborhood variety store), before going on to make a shoe retail store. He is now the chairman of SM Prime Holdings Inc., the holding corporation for all his interests within his dominant empire.