When you think of business tycoons in the Philippines, the name Lucio Tan is definitely not an afterthought.
In fact, he’s probably be one of the first people to be written on the list.
He’s indeed wealthy, and it’s one of the things he’s known for, coming behind Henry Sy as the second richest man in the country in 2008, and currently the country’s fourth richest.
But yes, life isn’t all about riches, and so is the life of the known magnate.
He also has a rags-to-riches story, and encountered a big path change in his life.
Tan was born in 1934 in Fujian, China. Soon, as a young boy, he migrated to the Philippines together with his family, and settled in Naga.
He juggled his studies and jobs as he took up Chemistry in Far Eastern University, earning 120 pesos a day which he divided in half for his family and for his personal expenses.
However, the student who dreamed to become a scientist one day did not continue with his schooling — he continued to work and pursued a scrap business. He then landed a purchasing job in a tobacco factory where his task was to procure leaf tobacco from the Ilocos region.
Little did he know that soon he’d build a company in that very industry.
Tan established his cigarette company, Fortune Tobacco, in 1966 which turned out to be very successful. Such feat led Fortune to launch low-cost label ‘Hope’ in 1975.
Soon, it was time for him to expand and find more opportunities in other industries. In 1977, he acquired General Bank and Trust Co.
The bank that was in an almost bankrupt state in the past soon became the Allied Bank we know now.
Tan is indeed a relentless player in business — he also put up the competitive Asia Brewery in 1982, and took charge of Philippine Airlines in 1995. His ventures are under LT Group, Inc. which he runs as CEO.
According to Forbes, the tycoon currently has a net worth of $4.3 Billion.
There are times where life will not go as planned. For Lucio Tan who once aspired to be a scientist, things went differently. However, he was able to succeed and flourish in the field he was put in.
Featured photo from Forbes