The first time I heard about Mr. John’s “batel” adventures, was from my former boss and research mentor, Ms Rosie Chew. Rosie was Mr. John’s kababayan and she referred to Mr. John as Robinson. This was probably the name she used to call him when they were still growing up in Cebu. The other times I heard about him was via anecdotes shared to us by his niece and his executives during my stint as a sales and marketing executive of a major network.
I was amazed by the riches to rags, rags to riches story of the man. I was awed by how a “probinsyano” became a major player not only here in the country but also in the Asian region.
About four years ago, Mr John delivered a speech to marketing and advertising practitioners at the 20th Ad Congress in Subic. I am sharing this here because of the inspiration this story brings to me, and the key points I picked up from his speech:
- When I wanted something, the best person to depend on was myself.
- One must teach people to take over a business at any time
- I succeeded because I overcame my fear, and tried.
- Sticking to our philosophy of “low-cost, great value.”
- Think bigger.
- Create world-class brands.
This is the speech by John Gokongwei at the 20th Ad Congress last November 21, 2007. I hope you will enjoy this and learn from it as I do.