He had many obstacles – both external and internal – in his business, and there were times he could not understand why things had to be so complicated for him to pursue his business objectives.It has been written – and I can attest that it is true – that Henry Sy started from the bottom.
We opened our first department store in 1972, two months after Martial Law was declared.
The business had a slow start, but progressed steadily.
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.
They did not cooperate by providing him with the volume he needed, and because of that limitation, he gradually shifted to apparel – and thereafter other merchandise – with the help of my mother.
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.After the war ended in 1945, he ventured into selling American shoes imported by enterprising Gis.He later saw the opportunities of opening a shoe store, and not long after he was managing three shoe store in partnership with friends.With the pleasure of a growing family while at the same time pursuing studies at FEU in the early 50s, he sought more ways to augment his income. While other young men went to the US to pursue a higher education, he went on a long business trip to the East Coast, and came home with a lot of merchandising ideas.For a time, he was selling a lot of shoes, accessories, and leather goods, hoping to change the way shoe manufacturers look at the industry.He was continuously learning from his customers, suppliers, and employees.