Business leaders mourn Gokongwei’s passing

Published November 11, 2019, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Business leaders yesterday mourned the passing of John Gokongwei Jr., whom they looked up to as an “entrepreneur par excellence” worthy of every Filipino’s emulation.

John Gokongwei Jr. ( GBF 25th Anniversary Legacy Magazine)
John Gokongwei Jr. ( GBF 25th Anniversary Legacy Magazine)

Gokongwei, founder and chairman emeritus of JG Summit Holdings, died Saturday evening surrounded by his family. He was 93.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the voice of Philippine business, said they deeply mourned the death of a beloved visionary leader.

“His gentle influence and big passion for excellence are inspirations that existing and future generation of leaders can benefit from as we continue to build competitive companies, industries and country,” said PCCI President Bing Limjoco.

The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) said they will always remember Mr. John Gokongwei Jr. 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.

“We will never forget his contributions to national development, job creation and income generation through the Gokongwei Group’s huge investments in food manufacturing, real estate, air transportation, banking, petrochemicals, shopping malls, livestock farming, publications, power generation, power distribution, and telecommunications,” said MAP in a statement.

The group of business leaders in the country cited Gokongwei as an “entrepreneur par excellence” and an exemplar of Filipino talent in management excellence for nation-building.

“He certainly serves as an inspiration to others for his outstanding achievements attained from humble beginnings through hard work, perseverance, frugality and discipline,” MAP said.

Jose Luis U. Yulo Jr., president of the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands, cited the late business leader, who built his business empire selling spools of thread, soap and candles, as an example of entrepreneurship that Filipinos should emulate.

Yulo noted that one of the advocacies of the provenance of business organizations – the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands, is for Filipino-owned companies to be branded and to sell that brand along with the product or service. “And John Gokongwei Jr. did this with famous brands like Cebu Pacific, Go Hotels, Robinsons, Universal Robina, among others,” he said.

“May his passing on to another life be a motivating force for Filipinos to replicate in all fields of endeavor for our country’s development.”

The Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FFCCCII) where Gokongwei served as senior executive adviser said Mr. John “was an enterprising, pioneering and visionary entrepreneur who became an exemplary Filipino business leader and philanthropist.” Through his life-exemplifying traditional Confucian values, integrity, his numerous business and civic endeavors. he was an inspiring role model for the youth and a respected leader.”