+63-2-218-9517 | +63-2-266-0092 / Globe: +63-927-395-1575 | Smart: +63-928-732-5557 sunshine@philsme.com

We often get inspired by rags-to-riches plot of success. We mean it or not, to be a millionaire is everybody’s dream but also be reminded that most business empires’ tales of success did not come true in just a snap of a finger. Top businesses’ story of triumph did not happen overnight or past midnight.

If you are planning to put up your own business someday, let these stories inspire you.


Ice Cream Parlor to PH’s Biggest Food Chain – Jollibee

When you were a kid, a visit to Jollibee was the greatest reward you can achieve. But just like the other businesses on this list, Jollibee did not start as the successful fast food chain that it is now.

It all began in 1975 as an ice cream parlor franchises in Cubao, Quezon City. However, the owner realized that most of his customers want to eat something to fill their stomachs before having the cold treats that he sells. So the owner, Tony Tan Caktiong’ then diversified his food by adding burgers and fried chicken that eventually placed Jollibee on the map.

Jollibee has indeed revolutionized the fast food industry in the Philippines. Today, this fast food chain satisfies the appetites of Filipinos all over the world with over 1,000 stores worldwide.


Shoe Store in Binondo to The Most Successful Chain of Malls in PH – SM

One of the most popular and most narrated rags-to-riches stories in the Philippine business world is about SM. Before SM became the country’s biggest shopping mall and retail center, Henry Sy, owner and founder of SM, was born to a poor family.

Sy established a chain of shoe stores with a store layout and merchandising concepts never before tried in the Philippines. The success of the shoe store led to its expansion as a full line store. With its exciting merchandise mix, world-class interiors, one-stop shopping convenience and services, SM has become part of the lives of many Filipinos with over 32 branches strategically located around the country.


Small Store to PH’s Largest Bookstore – National Book Store

Every start of school year, National Book Store (NBS) is one of the most popular go-to places for students.

With only ₱200, National Book Store was established by married couple Jose and Socorro Ramos in Avenida, Rizal. In the early years of NBS’ establishment, the couple struggled as their store was burned down during the war, and got ruined by a typhoon.

Fast forward to the early 2000’s, Socorro or Nanay Coring, won the Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst and Young. In recent years, they have launched many collaborations, held many events for readers, received many recognitions from award-giving bodies, and is now considered as the country’s largest bookstore.


Mail Cargo to 4-star Airlines – Philippine Airlines

Philippine Airlines is one of the oldest airlines in Asia operating under its original name. But before it became flag carrier of the Philippines, it first started providing mail, cargo, and passenger service particularly in the island of Luzon.

In 1941, Philippine Airlines was founded by a group of businessmen. Then later that same year, the Philippine government invested in PAL, paving the way for the airline’s nationalization. In 1946, PAL made an incredible milestone as it became the first Asian airline to cross the Pacific. The following year, PAL earned the distinction of being the first airline in Southeast Asia to fly to Europe as it flew to Rome and Madrid.

As the years passed by, PAL continued to extend their international services by flying Filipinos to their destinations safe and sound.


Many of the country’s biggest companies started small that they often compare their humble beginnings to the tales of Cinderella. In the context of business, they will tell you that their hard work forms a huge part of their success. Don’t be discouraged because just like these successful businesses, you too can make it happen.


Source: https://filipinotimes.net/feature/2018/01/16/incredible-rags-riches-tales-4-filipino-brands/