John Gokongwei Essay

676 words - 3 pages

John Gokongwei Jr. was the eldest child of second-generation Chinese immigrants. He was born in Cebu City, which is located in the Visayas group of islands of the Philippines. They started out as a wealthy family; his father owned the first and only movie house in Cebu. But things changed when his father died after receiving the wrong blood type during a transfusion.Entrepreneurs start early. Their family went from rags to riches. John Gokongwei Jr., being the eldest child became the breadwinner of the family. At an early age, he learned how to sell food and other goods in the streets of Cebu, competing with men and women who were at least twice his age.In his teenage years, Gokongwei bought his own bicycle so he can go to nearby towns and barrios to sell soap, thread, candles and other things that people need. His energy was boundless. He would wake up early so he can start selling early on. By the time the sun sets, he would be on ...view middle of the document...

After World War II, the economy of the Philippines was bad. The Americans suddenly gave freedom to the Philippines in 1946, which was but another way of saying we don’t have the money to rebuild your country. While everyone else was busy complaining, Gokongwei saw the opportunities that a recovering economy needed.He started importing goods from the United States. Between 1945-1955, he went to the United States several times to get goods for sale in the Philippines—clothes, tires, food, anything! Name it and he would have probably imported it!Entrepreneurs tend to have that special optimism that makes them hardy and resilient in times of difficulties in their environment. This is probably one of the reasons why Gokongwei managed to play his game well.Entrepreneurs are not afraid to take the next steps. Entrepreneurs are often painted to be fearless people. But I would say that they merely understand the risks of the business and they choose which risks they want to gamble with. Gokongwei was not afraid to take the next steps to grow his empire.In 1956, Gokongwei started contacting banks to get loans that could finance his foray into the manufacturing sector. He was rebuffed by the first bank he applied loans for. But thanks to Chinabank, the second bank he approached, he got a five hundred thousand peso-loan! In those days, that was a very big sum of money! Yet, again, Gokongwei proved his worth by using every single peso for expansion of his business.Entrepreneurs are uncommonly lucky! The story about the Chinabank loan is incomplete. When the top brass of Chinabank, D.K. Chiong (bank president) and Dr. Albino SyCip (chairman of the board), saw him, they give him the loan! Dr. SyCip said that he knows a good man when he saw one. John Gokongwei Jr. certainly appeared such a man in the eyes of SyCip and Chiong. To this day, Gokongwei says that he owes his success to these two men who gave him the financial break he needed at that particular time!Entrepreneurs are probably lucky because they cultivate good countenance and intense credibility. When you keep on doing business honorably, you end up becoming more likable and luckier each time you need luck on your side

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