Cover Illustration by Pete Rich

His vision is to strengthen the brands under his business empire, including his global liquor label, and maintain his leading position in industry

This article was originally published in Tatler Philippines September 2020 issue. Download it on your device via ZinioMagzter, or Pressreader.

Some rags-to-riches stories may be hard to believe, but all never fail to inspire. Like the story of the visionary billionaire Andrew Tan. Besides being in the real estate and liquor industries, his conglomerate AGI also holds substantial shares in Golden Arches Development Corp—the company responsible for the exclusive nationwide Philippine franchise of McDonald’s fast-food chain—through a strategic partnership with the George Yang Group.

Who would have thought that behind these big businesses is a man whose father was a factory worker in Mainland China. When his family migrated to the Philippines, he had to work as a part-time tutor so he could afford to send himself to university.

If Tan’s life in youth was the opposite of what he enjoys now, it was exactly what he envisioned his life to be. His dream was simple: to start his own business and make his family’s life better. He did reach this dream, and more, as he is now a consistent name on the list of the richest Filipinos, according to Forbes.

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It took tons of blood, sweat, and tears, and decades of uphill climb before it became the success story that it is now.
Andrew Tan

Among his many business ventures, Tan is most proud of the homegrown liquor brand, Emperador, which started as a small plant in Manila in late 1979. Today, it ranks as the largest brandy company in the world. “This is totally in consonance with my dream to leave behind a legacy that will make Emperador a part of a vibrant lifestyle for brandy drinkers the world over,” says Tan.

The road to being the world’s number one brandy, however, was not smooth. “It was not easy. It took tons of blood, sweat and tears, and decades of uphill climb before it became the success story that it is now,” he reminisces. Tan remains passionate about his journey towards elevating Emperador into a brand for the whole world. In 2015, Emperador also acquired Fundador Pedro Domecq, Spain’s largest and oldest brandy company along with its sizeable inventory that has been ageing for more than 50 years. “The more I succeed in this regard, the more difference I will make through the legacy I envision for brandy drinkers here and abroad,” says Tan. The thought of millions of people around the world enjoying his liquid gold and the image of pleasure that it brings are enough to sate this billionaire’s heart with happiness.

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