03 Nov Entrepreneurial CEO
By: Business World | November 3, 2022
The Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2022 has concluded its search for the country’s most undaunted and unstoppable entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines is a program of the SGV Foundation, Inc., with the participation of co-presenters the Asian Institute of Management, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Business for Social Progress, and the Philippine Stock Exchange. BusinessWorld will feature each finalist in the next few weeks.
Mica F. Tan
Chief Executive Officer
MFT Group of Companies
AT A YOUNG AGE, Mica F. Tan already knew what she wanted to become — a businesswoman. Seeing her mother go about her jewelry business, the young Ms. Tan knew she could do the same. So she spent her time selling little treats at the hospital where her father, an oncologist, would do his rounds.
“My mother is passionate about building relationships and taking care of people. And I think growing up, seeing that, I knew perhaps I could do the same,” she said.
Supporting their daughter’s knack for doing business, Ms. Tan’s parents introduced her to businesspeople from whom she could learn. From her small beginnings, Ms. Tan eventually gained hands-on experience in stock trading and in foreign exchange markets under the mentorship of top industry experts. She was set to pursue her finance studies in New York but wanting to get immediately into the game, she stayed put and got going on her own.
In the early years, she continued under the tutelage of uncles who were in business. But it was with the late Jose “Joseling” Tambunting’s guidance that Ms. Tan laid out the blueprint for the MFT Group of Companies.
“MFT Group is a young private equity firm. We buy, we transform and we maximize the value of businesses. And we focus only on fundamentally sound industries like healthcare, financial services, food and beverage, and real estate,” she said.
The MFT Group maximizes the value of its portfolio of companies and strategic partnerships through long-term capital and transformative solutions that impact and deliver value for customers, employees, shareholders and communities. It also enables corporations, through shared services, focus on finance, marketing, operations, business development, succession and corporate restructuring, and legal services.
Ms. Tan believes that creating wealth should not be the core of a private equity firm. On the contrary, the prospect of creating opportunities that reshape the business, such as job creation, partnerships, value creation and innovation, and the impact on the community and people matter more.
“Private equity is an instrument that transforms enterprises to become agents of positive influence in the world,” Ms. Tan said, recalling how she was adamant about making difference in the healthcare sector during the early days of the MFT Group.
Having been exposed to healthcare from her father who was a doctor, Ms. Tan knew the pain points of the industry, one of which is getting the medical results to patients as soon as possible.
“Every day counts in the healthcare industry. You can’t keep the sick waiting. That’s why we’re passionate in ensuring we provide the best in the medical equipment distribution business which ultimately assists in the delivery of quality healthcare service that every Filipino rightfully deserves,” she said.
In the face of challenges, the company harnesses its core value of grit. For the company, Ms. Tan said this means exhibiting passion, perseverance and stamina to remain focused on achieving its long-term goals. It comes as no surprise that the company considers one of its biggest battles to be among its greatest milestones — having endured the coronavirus pandemic.
“We really did everything to keep COVID response at the heart of our work; we built emergency quarantine facilities for several hospitals that were also our clients. And I think more importantly, we did everything to keep our workforce,” Ms. Tan said.
She believes in moving forward together, harnessing the potential of people and fulfilling the MFT Group’s mission to create lasting value across 100 business areas in the future.
“The road to 100 business areas is not going to be easy but one that we are willing to go through. I believe we are poised to become one of the most recognized strategic partners of local and international businesses,” she said.
On a rapid growth trajectory, Ms. Tan is confident that the MFT Group’s mission of 100 business areas is within reach. The company’s footprint covers the Philippines, Spain, United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar and Malaysia.
Her achievements at a young age have earned her the moniker the “Millennial CEO.” She is also a sought-after resource speaker, sharing her insights on television, and having been featured twice as an investor-judge of The Final Pitch. Ms. Tan is also an active member of the Young Presidents Organization, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Management Association of the Philippines and People Management Association of the Philippines.
For her work with the MFT Group, Ms. Tan has received awards from several prestigious organizations, such as the 2018 Inspiring Filipina Enabler Award, Asia Tatler’s Gen T List 2019 and the Filipina Women’s Network’s 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World. Passionate about continuing professional development, she recently completed the executive program with a focus on mergers and acquisitions at the Columbia Business School in New York.
Getting into business at such a young age has taught Ms. Tan a lot of things, one of which is to never stop trying and to never stop doing one’s best.
“I think being an entrepreneurial CEO is a very difficult job. I’ll never stop trying to be qualified for it,” she said.
The media sponsors of the Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2022 are BusinessWorld and the ABS-CBN News Channel. Gold Sponsors are SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp., Uratex, and Navegar. Silver Sponsors are Intellicare, OneWorld Alliance Logistics Corp., and Regan Industrial Sales, Inc.
The winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2022 will be announced on Nov. 21 in an awards banquet at the Grand Hyatt Manila. The winner will represent the country in the World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 in Monte Carlo, Monaco in June 2023. The Entrepreneur Of The Year program is produced globally by Ernst & Young (EY).