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Mr. Ricardo Sy Po, Sr.

Mr. Ricardo Sy Po, Sr. is the founder of the Century Pacific Group of Companies, currently the largest canned food manufacturer in the Philippines that cater popular household brands such as Century Tuna, Argentina Corned Beef, 555 Sardines, Blue Bay Tuna, Angel Filled Milk, and Birch Tree Powedered Milk. The company is also presently Asia's leading exporter of canned tuna products to the world market. When he realized the great economic potential of the tuna industry, Po thought that the Philippines should bring to the world the richness of its natural resources. As pioneer of the Philippine canned tuna market and the head of the biggest tuna canneries in the region, the remarkable man has been distinguished in the industry as "Mr. Tuna".

His entrepreneurial struggles began when he fled China with his mother and migrated to the Philippines in 1947 at the age of sixteen. Armed only with his mastery of Chinese, penchant for hard work, and a keen eye for business opportunities, he pushed himself to learn English by candlelight with his English textbooks on one side and a Chinese-English dictionary on the other.

He enrolled in the Industrial Chemistry program of the University of Santo Tomas. During these days, Po worked as a translator, writer, and journalist at a Chinese newspaper publishing firm. For he could no longer afford to the tuition fee, Po was compelled to withdraw from school. This, however, did not curb his entreprenuerial radiance. He saw the opportunity to run an advertising agency that would cater to the Filipino-Chinese businessmen in need of advertising and promotions in the English medium. This gave birth to the foundation of rom Advertising Comnpany that interestingly designed among others, the Urate logo of ShoeMart.

In 1980, he started the manufacturing operations of canned tuna for export to the world market. The following year saw his foundation of the Tuna Canners Association of the Philippines.

He launched Century Tuna in the Philippines consumers market in 1984. Po has virtually transformed his dreams into realities and limitations into expansions. He has led the Century Group to reach its total assets of 4.7 billion pesos and annual revenues of 6.5 billion pesos. His business conglomerate has also greatly touched the lives of others as it provides employment to more than 6,500 workers.

Reference:

  • TOTAL Awards 2007 Souvenir Program
    18 August 2007, UST Central Seminary Gymnasium
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