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Teresita Sy-Coson began selling shoes at age 8

Teresita Sy-Coson began selling shoes at age 8

Teresita "Tessie" Sy-Coson is one of the most influential businesswomen in the Philippines. She is worth a billion dollars and is known as "Tessie." She is of Chinese and Filipino descent. As the first child and first daughter of the late Henry Sy Sr., founder of SM Investments, a Philippine conglomerate with holdings in retail, shopping malls, banking, and real estate development, she inherited her father's wealth and his position as the country's richest man for 11 years.

Sy-Coson, now 72 years old, is the chairperson of BDO Unibank and the co-chairperson of SM Investments. BDO Unibank is the largest retail bank in the Philippines.

Read on to find out how this business magnate has helped other women become successful in business.


 Photo from the wires

1. Her wealth is estimated at $2.4 billion.

Tessie is the wealthiest woman in the Philippines and one of the top 10 richest people in the country, thanks to her enormous wealth. Her inclusion on lists such as "Asia's 50 Power Businesswomen" by Forbes and "50 Most Powerful Women in the World" by Fortune is not shocking.


 2. Her interest in banking began when she was just five years old.

Even though most people think that Sy-Coson got her job as head of the Philippines' biggest bank without much effort on her part, BDO Unibank was the country's 13th biggest bank before Sy-Coson took over.

Tessie's maternal grandfather took her with him to the bank when he did business when she was just five years old, and she quickly developed an aptitude for banking.


3. Even her most potent opponent recognizes her as a leader to be reckoned with.

The retail industry is as competitive as any other multimillion-dollar corporation. Players in a specific field are constantly competing against one another. That's why it was such a shock when Lance Gokongwei, CEO of a formidable retail and mall rival, praised Sy-Coson. In an interview with Forbes, he said the business owner was "a capable successor to her father and a strong leader at home and abroad."


4. She had big dreams of becoming an architect and building her own house.

It would be easy to assume that she has yet to prove that Tessie Sy-Coson is successful. However, the eldest Sy child was never one to sit still. Tessie, who is 72 years old, has not given up on her ambitions, one of which is to become an architect and build a skyscraper.