Extraordinary business leaders leave their mark when they create brands that shape the lives of consumers. For its 10th anniversary issue, Entrepreneur Philippines puts the spotlight on 10 great Pinoy entrepreneurs who are not only known for raking in the big bucks, but as game-changers who influence, innovate and inspire.
10. Rajo Laurel
World-renowned fashion designer Rajo Laurel says his love affair with fashion started when he was 11. “I often daydreamed about beautiful women drifting by, dressed in elegant gowns made from rich fabrics... these daydreams would end up in notebooks,” Laurel tells Entrepreneur. Rajo Laurel Enterprises has built multiple brands and crafted clothing lines to dress the country’s elite, and has landed him the cover of US fashion magazine Women’s Wear Daily for his “cobweb” dress. To date, his muses include some of the most prominent local personalities, including former presidents Corazon Aquino and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
9. George Yang
“You have to think thrice before going into this business,” master McDonald’s franchisee George Yang tells Entrepreneur. It took him five years to convince the All-American hamburger chain to do business in Manila, and competition was fierce when he finally opened the first McDonald’s branch in 1981. After all, he had to introduce the global brand to a local market that already had a long-standing favorite fast food chain. Yang says it wasn’t easy, but with the help of his son, Golden Arches president and CEO Kenneth Yang, the Filipino-Chinese entrepreneur says the key to his success was adapting to the local culture.