Tuesday, November 4, 2014


It was an evening of inspiring messages and riveting stories as close to 200 members and guests of the Association of Young Filipino-Chinese Entrepreneurs (Anvil Business Club) trooped to the Rizal Ballroom of the Makati Shangri-la Hotel to hear Mr. Willie Tan, CEO of Luen Thai Holdings, Ltd. talk about his life and times, as well as having shared some of his invaluable nuggets of wisdom which made his company the multi-billion-dollar conglomerate that it is today, during the Club's 12th Business Exchange Forum for the year.
From a small fishing and navigation service company founded in Hong Kong by an audacious visionary, Dr. Siu Lin Tan – almost half-a-century ago – Luen Thai Holdings, Ltd. has now grown into a leading consumer goods supply chain group – a global industry consolidator and multi-product expert in apparel and accessories, whose diverse business interests have expanded into airlines, amusement, family entertainment, hotels, logistics services, publishing, real estate and a whole lot more.
Despite being currently headquartered in the Western Pacific (Guam, Saipan, Hong Kong), Mr. Willie Tan holds a special place for the Philippines, as the seeds of their flourishing enterprise began almost 100 years ago when his grandfather left China to start a small textile business. Mr. Willie himself joined his father, in 1948 and was raised in Tondo, Manila and grew up in Navotas during much of his formative years, where he lived with the poorest of the poor. It was during these years of hardship that he learned the value of discipline and hard work, traits that he wishes to impart to its people.
To date, Luen Thai employs about 16,000 Filipinos, constituting 42% of the entire conglomerate's total workforce worldwide. He admonished the audience to take more pride in the Philippines and its products as it has great "world-class" potential compared to the other countries. He constantly advocated foreign investors to consider the Philippines as a potential business destination, citing the great help of government agencies, like the Board of Investments, in making it easier for businessmen to do business in the country. He also cited the abundant supply of air and ocean services and its geographical proximity to China and Taiwan for raw material supply.
For his closing message, Mr. Tan advised government officials to consider being involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest multilateral trade agreement within the Pacific which aims to remove trade barriers among 12 regional economies. For would-be global entrepreneurs, he encouraged them to be more engaged in China, as it has the world's largest economic purchasing power and has limitless opportunities for growth.
The three-hour forum was made more memorable by the presence of a powerhouse cast of personalities who came to hear Mr. Tan's story, first and foremost of whom was Senator Loren Legarda who talked about a number of proposed "business-friendly" measures in the Senate, such as simplifying the provision and administration of fiscal incentives, amending the Productivity Incentives Act to make the law more responsive to the situations prevailing in labor and employment, and strengthening competitiveness in the motor vehicle and construction industries. She is joined by a complement of leaders in key government agencies such as Board of Investments Governor Lucita "Pie" Reyes, Assistant Secretary Felicitas Reyes, Authority of Freeport Bataan President Deogracias Custodio, and Information and Communications Technology head, Atty. Ivan Uy (former Anvil Director).
Indubitably, the precious gems of advice that Mr. Willie Tan has shared with the audience that evening is certainly worth more than the price of an Anvil membership, a fact that a growing number of potential applicants who came to hear Mr. Tan speak during the forum would gladly attest.

No comments:

Post a Comment