CEO Series

Here Are 5 Pinoy Businessmen Who Made Their First Million Before They Were 40

Doing business is a dog-eat-dog world – very few who enters it will make it out alive, much less succeed.

Many young aspiring millennials would consider twice or thrice before diving into the business field. After all, there are already older companies dominating the industry.

But these challenges have never stopped these young Pinoy businessmen from making it big in their chosen fields.

Filipinos are known for their unwavering fighting spirit and unrivalled determination, and these young businessmen banked on such characteristics to make their first million before they reached 40.

Edgar Sia II, Net Worth: $820M

Age: 40

Net worth: $820M

Company: Mang Inasal & Double Dragon Properties

Edgar Sia II

Who doesn’t know Mang Inasal? It was Sia’s brainchild when he was just 20 years old – and just like any other successful individuals, he started from the bottom.

He was a student of the University of San Agustin College of Architecture but dropped out at the age of 29. He then opened his own laundry business and photo developing centre.

He then went on to establish his first restaurant in Iloilo in December 2003.

Mang Inasal became instantly famous for its delicious grilled chicken, seasoned with herbs and spices. And its aaffordable pricing made it a bigger success compared to its competitors in the food business.

Soon, it started opening other branches in Metro Manila, Visayas, Mindanao.

Image Credit: bohol-guide.com

Two years after the business’ inception, he opened Mang Inasal for franchise and numerous Pinoy businessmen jumped onboard.

By 2009, Mang Inasal already had 100 branches and the following year, Jollibee Foods Corporation paid PhP 3 billion to acquire 70% of the empire. During that same year, it reported a whopping revenue of PhP 2.6 billion.

In 2011, Mang Inasal grew to over 400 branches and became the youngest richest person in the Philippines the very next year.

Presently, he owns a stake in DoubleDragon Properties and has a net worth of $820 million.

Joseph H. Calata, Net Worth: P200M

Age: 37

Net Worth: P200M

Company: Calata Corporation

Joseph H. Catala

Chairman and CEO of Calata Corporation, Joseph H. Calata made his first billion when he was only 31 years old.

He started slow, taking over their family business and automising the company’s operations. Despite the criticisms, he continued to develop a stronger sales and marketing program. He didn’t wait long to know that it will be a huge success.

Calata started by entering the world of multi-level marketing (MLM). He sold supplements and later recruited people to work for him. In a single year, he was able to earn PhP400,000 from commissions alone.

Meanwhile, his parents were running the family business called J.Melvin, which was founded in 1978. It was later incorporated as Planters Choice Agro Products, Inc. on July 1999.

Image Credit: calatacorp.com

After he graduated from De La Salle University, he took over the family business and started buying an accounting software to digitise sales transaction in order to keep track of everything. And soon, the business started to expand.

In 2009, the company earned its biggest in its history amounting to PhP1.8 billion.

On February 2010, its name was changed to Calata Corporation. It continued to grow to become the biggest distributor of agricultural products including agrochemicals, fertilizers, feeds and meds all over the country.

It distributes fertilizers from reputable companies like Viking and Swire and agrochemicals from Syngenta, Bayer, Jardine, Dupont and Monsanto, as well as seeds from East West Seed Company.

In addition, he is a distributor of San Miguel Corporation’s B-Meg feeds and veterinary products. He also partnered with the said corporation’s Monterey in a breeder farm venture.

Michael Cosiquien, Net Worth: $265 M

Age: 43

Net Worth: $265 M

Company: Megawide Construction Corporation

Michael Cosiquien

Cosiquien started young in the construction industry. He graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering at De La Salle University in 1995, and passed the board exam in the same year.

He was fresh out of college when he founded Megawide Construction in 1997 with Engr. Edgar B. Saavedra. They started small during a very critical time when the economy was at its lowest, but they persevered.

Image Credit: mysmdccondo.com

In 2004, he and his partner incorporated Megawide Construction Corp. (MWIDE) and he became the Chairman of the company. In that same year, they also built their first high-rise building of 25 storeys. They continued to have small projects here and there.

They had their biggest break in 2007 when SM Development Corporation (SMDC) hired the company to handle Berkeley Residences in Katipunan and Grass Residences located in North Edsa.

For the last few years, Engr. Cosiquien is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Megawide Board. He is also the Director of Altria East Land Inc., Citicore Investment Holding Inc., Megapolitan Realty and Development Corporation and Megapolitan Marketing Inc.

In 2016, he had a net worth of $265 million at a young age of 43.

Edgar B. Saavedra, Net Worth: $255 million

Age: 41

Net Worth:$255 million

Company: Megawide Construction Corporation

Edgar B. Saavedra

Engr. Saavedra finished his degree in Civil Engineering at De La Salle University in 1996 and became a licensed Civil Engineer in the same year.

Together with his partner, Engr. Michael Cosiquien, they started Megawide Construction in 1997 despite his inexperience and the poor economy.

But they soon hit jackpot in 2007 when they clinched several projects, including two huge ones with SM Development Corporation. Since then, 70 percent of their business came from projects with SMDC.

Image Credit: Business World

In 2011, the company became public with the support of the SY family. From being a residential property contractor, they expanded and became an infrastructure firm.

They also joined in the bidding for infrastructure projects by the government and won. Presently, they’ve built more than 10,000 classrooms and have bagged the highly coveted project involving the rehabilitation of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

Megawide Construction Corporation

Saavedra is the President of Megawide Construction Corporation since July 2004. He became the company’s Chief Operating Officer from July 2010 to the present.

His specialty lies in European building technologies and together with his partner, Engr. Cosiquien, they built an empire that’s worth PHP 29.7 billion in the stock market.

In 2016, 41-year-old Saavedra had a net worth of $255 million.

Leandro Leviste

Age: 24

Company: Solar Philippines

Leandro Leviste

Only in his 20s, this young CEO is already taking the world by storm with his brainchild, Solar Philippines.

Known as the son of Sen. Loren Legarda and businessman Tony Leviste, Leandro founded Solar Philippines in 2013.

In 2014, the 21-year-old was still taking up political science at Yale University; and that was also when he became inspired about providing his country with solar power, in hopes of modelling Europe and the US.

He got his inspiration from Elon Musk’s Solarcity and bought stocks in Tesla, later selling them for $200 each. He loaned around $100M from banks to fund his project.

Image Credit: Solar Philippines

In November 2014, Solar Philippines joined hands with SM to come up with a solar-powered rooftop project, turning SM North as the biggest solar-powered mall all over the world.

Since then, he partnered with SM to install solar power in its other branches like SM Mall of Asia and SM Dasmarinas.

Presently, Solar Philippines is going strong with numerous projects in the Philippines and abroad.

Inspirational Young Figures

These entrepreneurs started young and are making waves not only in our country, but all over the world for their exemplary performance in their chosen fields.

They succeeded at a very young age, making millions by building their own business empire and hopefully, their stories will serve as an inspiration to every Filipino out there.

Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post