Among his accolades, Mr. Henry Sy, Sr is considered the country’s wealthiest man with a net worth of USD 19 Billion. Beyond the value of his empire, he inspired generations of entrepreneurs and leaders on how he built his empire from a shoe store in Manila. He was once quoted, “I started with shoes, and with hard work and discipline, the business prospered.” Indeed, prosperity was the result of years of hard labour. From a single store in Rizal Avenue, to the second in Carriedo, followed by two others in Makati and Cubao. Today, there are 74 SM Malls around the Philippines, and SM has expanded its business from retail to real estate, entertainment, hospitality, banking and more.
Despite being a hands-on businessman whose schedule was always full of meetings and inspections, he always gave importance in making time for giving back. Mr. Sy once shared, “Not everything I do is purely for money. Of course, as a businessman and as head of publicly listed companies, we have to earn, but at this point in my life, there are other considerations more important besides just money.” He established the Henry Sy Foundation which aims t empower the Filipino youth through opportunities in enhanced educational institutions. Throughout his lifetime, he has donated so much in various scholarships and infrastructure projects to enhance the learning experience in the country.