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He was continuously learning from his customers, suppliers, and employees.This on-the-job research gave him enough confidence to expand to a department store chain.Many bankers predicted our demise because my dad came from nowhere – he may had a few department stores and shoe stores at that time, but he was not one of the financial heavy-weights at that time.Unaffected by criticism, and armed with sheer determination and optimism, he persisted and opened in 1985 with our department store and supermarket and a few tenants.Sensing a lot of opportunities, he decided to open SHOE MART – “SM” – the first air-conditioned shoe store that merchandised shoes in a very inviting and classy format.With the success of that store, he went on to open more shoe stores, but he could not get enough suppliers.
WWII came and the sari-sari store was looted and burned.
We opened our first department store in 1972, two months after Martial Law was declared.
The business had a slow start, but progressed steadily.
This is another inspiring story as we witness his rags to riches story on how he built all SM Malls and became one of the biggest bankers enabling him to become the richest man in our country surpassing both Lucio Tan and the Ayalas.
Let’s learn and be inspired from another successful entrepreneur story as his daughter Teresita Sy-Coson narrates the story of his father’s success: Our company, SM, as many of you may already know, came from the hard work of my dad, Henry Sy, Sr.
Many shoe manufacturers at that time could not understand why they had to listen to this shoe retailer who had very definite ideas on what he wanted to sell.