Wilfredo Keng: Climbing Up the Ladder
It is always inspiring to hear about success stories – of how people made efforts to climb up their ladders and make it to where they are now. They say that wanting to achieve the good things in life is tough and is often hit by a roadblock, and that starting a business from scratch takes every bit of one’s heart, blood, and sweat.
While some would link wealth and luxuries with fortune, 54-year old businessman Wilfredo “Willy” D. Keng, Chairman of the Century Peak Group of Companies, believes that victory in the area of finances is a combination of hard work and perseverance.
This Filipino-Chinese businessman started with a small business in his younger years. When he moved to Manila, he became a simple trader in Binondo – selling shoes, garments and other simple products including mosquito coils or katol.
“I would work for extra hours,” Keng said.
“Madilim pa lang, gising na ako para maghanda sa trabaho. Tapos ginagabi na ng uwi… Hindi naman laging Malaki ang kita o napapagbentahan. Pero nilagay ko sa isip ko: May mararating ako kung magsisipag ako,” he reminisced with a smile.
He kept doing the same work routine of starting sales early and finishing late for the day until his small business grew bigger. After a couple of years, he used some of his savings to buy Good Earth Plaza, the first largest department store in Avenida and the first to feature escalators, and later on Carriedo Plaza Mall in Quiapo.
In 2010, Keng was listed by Forbes among the Philippines’ top 40 richest with an estimated worth of U.S. $100 million.