What were you doing when you were 13 years old? For Maria Francesca ‘Mica’ Tan, she was already trading stocks, and by the time she was 15 years old, she was already trading foreign stock exchanges. This entrepreneurial mindset helped pave the way for her to become a “millennial CEO.”
Mica was 25 years old when she became the president and chief executive officer of the MFT Group of Companies, considered a pioneer in business transformation and business equity. Her company has numerous investments in industries like pharmaceutical, healthcare, financing, stock trading, real estate, lifestyle, and entertainment. She has invested in and managed more than 20 business ventures.
“We create value by taking brands to the next level and this translates to opportunities for better returns. Our aim is to accelerate the development of these brands across geographies by providing more ideas and attention to different areas of the industry,” she explained on Tatler Asia.
Mica was already interested in business at a young age as she worked for her family’s pawnshop business. Her father was a cancer specialist and an entrepreneur, while her mother was a jeweler.
As the youngest of the six siblings, Mica described herself as the “weird kid.” She would sneak inside the Philippine Stock Exchange building, thinking she would earn money. In the process, she found mentors who taught her about trading, business, and marketing. These successful people eventually became her partners when she ventured into business.
According to Mica, her father, mother, and a family friend who was her late father’s business partner as persons influenced and counseled her to become a good entrepreneur.
“I am very blessed with mentors. Owners of stock brokerages, Joseling Tambunting, among others, they were the ones who helped me both in intellectual capital and financial capital. We first learned about the financing side, and then it evolved. Of course, there were ups and downs,” she continued.
Now, MFT is reaching far and wide across the globe, composed of more than 300 professionals working in more than 18 cities. The firm has operations in the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, the United States, and Spain.
Mica shared some of her top advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. She said on Business Mirror that entrepreneurs should be courageous enough to take risks and get out of their comfort zone. She also reiterated the virtue of humility in asking for help and the resilience to difficulties and adversities of business ventures.
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