Henry Sy built his SM Empire from Ten centavos, to become PH richest man

Henry Sy built his SM Empire from Ten centavos, to become PH richest man


There will always be a story for every empire.


Henry Sy, the owner of one of the largest holding companies in the Philippines, came from a humble beginning.

The SM founder was born in Xiamen, China, his family moved to the Philippines in search of a better life. His father ran a simple sari-sari shop on Echague Street in Quiapo, which was later on devastated by the Second World War. With nothing left, Sy’s father returned to China. Determined to succeed even despite having only 10 centavos, Henry remained in Manila.

Henry was a tireless person all for the sake of surviving, he learned Tagalog and English, while going to school and still did some errands to make ends meet.


After graduating from Far Eastern University with a degree in commercial studies, the young entrepreneur entered the shoe business and sold surplus G.I. boots. This was his first taste of his entrepreneurial success, as it led him to open his first Shoemart.


Henry opens first SM During the 1960s, he decided to open Shoe Mart or “SM”. It was the first air-conditioned shoe store that displayed shoes in a stylish manner that attracted many customers.

(photo credit to owner)

He went on to open more shoe stores after the success of the first one, but he couldn’t find enough suppliers because of the high demand. Rather than limiting himself, he saw this as an opportunity to expand his product line.


Henry expanded into selling other products, such as childrenswear, after marrying Felicidad Tan, a lace vendor. At around the same time, Shoemart was renamed SM Department Store.



Henry ventured into the banking industry when he bought Acme Savings Bank (Banco de Oro) in 1967. This allowed him to build a bigger portfolio of companies. Thus in 2006, SM acquired and merged Equitable PCI Bank with BDO.

(photo credit to owner)

The golden era of SM


Following the success of SM North EDSA in 1985, SM opened three malls in the years that followed: SM City Sta. Mesa in 1990, SM Megamall in 1991, and SM City Cebu in 1993. SM Prime Holdings, Inc. was formed and listed on the stock exchange in 1994. This further increased SM Prime’s funding capabilities and led to development of more SM malls and shopping centers.

SM also reached to China. As of June 2018, SM Prime has six malls in Xiamen, Jinjiang, Chengdu, Suzhou, Chongqing, and Zibo.



Following the expansion of his empire, SM ventured into the residential market through SM Development Corporation (SMDC). In 2003, SMDC launched its first project, a condominium called Chateau Elysée in Paranaque. Now, has projects in Makati, Mandaluyong, Manila, Paranaque, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon City, Taguig, and Tagaytay. More projects are expected to expand in key cities throughout Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.



Alam mo ba? 


Negosyo ang solusyon sa kahirapan. 


Nasa middle class kung ganito daw kita mo monthly sabi ng NEDA:


P43,828 - P76,669


Ang siste,


If Pamilyado ka na with kids, tapos utilities , daily and unexpected expenses, you can quickly tell why you're probably short every month.

And yet, ang karamihan sabi syo..."Mag ipon ka" or minsan pa nga "Wala ka pang ipon"


Mind you, pandemya pa ngaun!


Aminin mo na...


Pagkulang ang sweldo, there are no "ipon tips" that can help you, kapatid.


Nakagawa ka na din ba ng Budget plan pero d mo naman nasunod?


Well, pag Tigang na, wala ka ng mapipiga, tama?


Instead, you need another source o multiply your income.


Sa karamihan, meron lang two options:


1) Get another job.

2) Start a side business.


Do you want to achieve "RICH" level na according to the government.

A business na pwedeng sa bahay lang while super safe ka at naka online ka lang habang naka pambahay. 


Usap tayo...


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