There is no substitute for hard work. There is no such thing as an overnight success or easy money.
You have to have a dream, whether big or small. Then plan well, focus, work hard, and be very determined to achieve your goals.
I started with shoes, and with hard work and discipline, the business prospered.
I took a risk and invested in SM Mall of Asia because I wanted to create something that could contribute to Philippine tourism growth.
If you fail, do not be discouraged.
Doing a mall is not only construction of the physical place: what is important is the merchandising mix. We strive to serve the convenience of the public. We want shopping at our malls to be a unique and an enjoyable experience.
We strongly believe that the Philippines has huge potential in the tourism industry, given our beautiful islands, moderate weather conditions, good cuisine, and the flair of Filipinos for hospitality and entertainment.
I've always wanted to be a businessman. No other ambitions - I just wanted to be in business, even when I was a child in Fujian province, south China.
Outwardly, I may look quiet, but deep inside, I'm full of this sense of challenge. I'm always striving to work harder, to improve by learning, to do better and keep dreaming.
I used to roller skate a lot in my youth on Taft Avenue, Manila. That is the reason there is always a skating area in all my SM malls. I want more people to share my love for skating.
I encourage you to have your own dream and work to make it a reality.
My businesses are all related - retail, shopping centers, banking, real estate, and tourism development. Together they create synergy.
Ever since I was a kid, I've always believed in doing my best, that one should aspire to be No. 1.
Pride or ego is not important to me. What is more important is common sense, the welfare of the company, and the objective reality that we need to be cautious during difficult times. One should not make decisions based on emotions or ego.
I instilled in my children the importance of good values in business: hard work, determination, integrity, and optimism.
Our businesses also help promote socio-economic progress.
Regional developers have a clear head start in their home communities. They have been there longer and understand their market. As a result, these markets are, in fact, more competitive than those in Manila.
My basic strategy is to stick to my core business and to my area of expertise.
Every time the country is in a crisis, I think and decide where is the best way to go. We have to always think of ways to overcome these limitations.
Our store was so small, it had no back or second floor. We just slept on the counter late at night after the store was closed.