By: Tyrone Jasper C. Piad, Manila Times
The Philippines’ third richest tycoon, John Gokongwei Jr., died on November 9 at the age of 93.
The founder of JG Summit Holdings Inc., one of the country’s top conglomerates, was the third richest Filipino according to Forbes magazine, with a net worth of $5.3 billion and was honored by the PRA as the Champion for Retail Entrepreneurship in 2009.
The Gokongwei Group is one of the country’s biggest and most diversified conglomerates, with interests in air transportation, telecommunications, banking, food, power, property and petrochemicals.
Thousands of employees of JG Summit and Robinson Retail Holdings mourned Gokongwei’s passing.
“Mr. John, as we fondly called him, was a visionary. He was an inspiration to entrepreneurs and businessmen, with his pioneering ideas, his strong work ethic, his passions and perseverance,” they said in a statement.
JG Summit ranked 9th in the 2019 issue of The Manila Times 500, a roster of the country’s top conglomerates and corporations, raking in P291.9 billion revenues last year.
Gokongwei transformed a cornstarch manufacturing plant in Pasig, Universal Robina Corp. (URC), into one of the Philippines’ leading food and beverage businesses.
URC produces a slew of products loved by generations like Chippy, Tortillos, Nova and C2. It also produces animal feeds and veterinary products.
Malacañang described Gokongwei as a “visionary” and “pillar of the Philippine economy.”
“Our people recognize Mr. Gokongwei’s amazing journey as a self-made industrialist, respected business leader, and generous philanthropist. A grateful nation respects the man for the indelible legacy he made in the fields of business, entrepreneurship and philanthropy,” it said.
Gokongwei left behind his wife Elizabeth; children Robina, Lance, Lisa, Faith, Hope and Marcia; siblings; and grandchildren.
The PRA Board of Directors and Executive Secretariat mourned and honored his tantamount contribution to the retail industry as the Philippines’ Champion for Retail Entrepreneurship.
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