The 91-year-old John Gokongwei Jr., founder and chair emeritus of conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc., was chosen by the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) as the 2017 MAP Management Man of the Year.
The award was called the M.A.P. “Management Man of the Year” to distinguish it from other “Man of the Year” awards given by other bodies or organizations.
MAP is a 66-year-old management organization. The Management Man of the Year award is a prestigious annual program of MAP which is bestowed on individuals in the government or business community who have distinguished themselves in the practice of management and contributed significantly to the country’s progress.
MAP said in a statement on Tuesday that Gokongwei was chosen “for his business acumen and management qualities which steered the Gokongwei Group into remarkable growth through his foresight and exceptional ability to launch new ventures and transform existing ones to better adapt to challenging times and an unpredictable future.”
Aside from his substantial contributions to national development, job creation and income generation, Gokongwei was also credited for his contributions to shaping national values and inspiring others by his “outstanding achievements attained from humble beginnings through hard work, perseverance, frugality and discipline.”
John Gokongwei, Jr. was born on August 11, 1926 in China to a Filipino-Chinese father. They were wealthy. In fact, his great-grandfather was a Chinese immigrant tycoon who was once the largest taxpayer in Cebu.
The family fortune was lost however, when his affluent father died when John was only 13 years old. He initially supported his family by peddling items along the streets of Cebu from his bicycle.
From the age of 17 to 19, he traded using a wooden boat, taking items to Lucena by sea, and then to Manila by truck. After world war II, he started his own company called Amasia, which imported textile remnants, fruit, old newspapers, magazines, and used clothing from the US. And from that time and forward, he never stopped succeeding at any venture he chooses.
Meanwhile last year, 2016, the ‘management man of the year’ is a woman, Teresita Sy- Coson of SM Investments Corporation.