Francis Chua is one of the country’s most prolific businesspeople, being a Chairman Emeritus of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry since 2011, the Special Envoy for Trade and Investments since 2007, the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Peru in the Philippines, a Director at the Philippine Stock Exchange, the Vice Chairman at 2GO Group, and the Chairman of the Philippine Silkroad International Chamber of Commerce, among several dozen other companies he operates in. His experience in several different industries has led to him to be at the forefront of major Philippine business deals both locally and internationally.
LESSONS FROM A DAY-ONE BOSS
Upon graduating with an Industrial Engineering degree at the University of the Philippines, Chua applied and was accepted into an entry-level job, however,he received an unlikely response from his father. “When I broke the news to my father, I was scolded. ‘I [didn’t] send you to school to spend all the time and all the money [to] just train you to become an employee. Your job is to put up your own business,’ and that put an end to [me] being an employee. So I never had the chance to be an employee,” he recalled. He immediately began in the trading business, since it didn’t require too much money to begin, although proper connections and sourcing were needed.
“In any business, you run into all kinds of problems,” he shares, continuing, “Every day there are new problems that are going to pop up. There are new challenges that are going to face you. And whatever it is, I always say that you pray for the best, but always prepare for the worst.” He emphasized the importance of trusting people when expanding or collaborating with them. This holds true in his role as a Special Envoy for Trade and Investments, and his role as an Honorary Consul General of the Philippines to Peru, saying, “You really have to work for the interest of the people you serve.”
PROUD TO BE CHINOY
Chua divides his life into stages, with the first twenty years being devoted to studying, without the need of social interaction. His second stage is for business, so that he can accumulate enough earnings as a businessman. His last stage is to give back to the community and to help others, saying, “If I were to be remembered, I would like to be remembered that way.” Speaking about the need for good education, he says, “For most people, education is really important, because it’s through there that you could learn a lot of things, unless you are really gifted… We always say that [for] the poor, that they need to have good education. That’s a way for [them] to lift up from their hardships. That’s why we give a lot of support, [like] scholarships, to those who are in need of help.”
Chua cites his parents as his inspiration to give back, and talked about the importance of respecting parents. “I always believe the success of a person depends on how he values his parents,” he explains, “and I believe that is the best trait of the Chinese.”
“Being a Chinoy is not always a good situation to be in. There are time when people say, ‘Oh you are a Chinoy? Your loyalty must be to China,’ yet I would say that is misunderstood. For Chinoys, especially to those who have Philippine passports like me, their loyalty should be to the Philippines,” he expressed. “The thing that you can be proud of being a Chinoy is that you have a network with all the Chinese. You have a network of being respected by a lot of [people], because you have that connection,” he shared.
If you want to learn more about this Chinoy, watch his extended CHiNOY Profiles here!