From squatter to millionaire: A businessman's success story

By Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Nov 30 2013 07:45 AM | Updated as of Dec 02 2013 05:14 PM

MANILA, Philippines – If poverty had the power to curb aspirations, Arthur Tugade wouldn’t be the successful man he is today.

Tugade, the founder of the Perry’s Group of Companies, started his climb to success with a dream, and it is this dream that gave him the strength to persevere despite not being born out of a rich family.

“Naranasan kong maging squatter sa Tatalon, Quezon City. Ito ay isang lugar na para ikaw ay makapaligo, kailangan pumila ka, umigib ka, kasama na doon ang inumin namin pangaraw-araw,” Tugade shared on ABS-CBN’s “My Puhunan.”

Strapped for cash, Tugade had to maintain his scholarship which allowed him to finish law school in San Beda.

When he started to earn money for himself, Tugade knew his path to success has begun. But Tugade admits, he did not do it alone.

“Nakatakas ako sa buhay na ‘yan sa tulong ng Diyos at sa tulong ng mga tao, at sa sipag at tiyaga,” he said.

Tugade co-founded the Transnational Group of Companies, and left the company at the age of 59 to start his own forwarding business.

The founder of Perry's Group of Companies, Arthur Tugade. Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page

“Nagsimula ako ng maliit na negosyo, ‘yung forwarding. Ang tao namin nagsimula sa pito. ‘Yung pito, kasama na doon ang pamilya ko,” he said.

His forwarding business has grown from holding operations in a small factory to being the first and only formal consolidator in the country.

The business makes P7 million a month.

Tugade said aside from hard work, maintaining a good reputation has made the business successful.

“Sa negosyong ganito, kailangan panindigan mo ‘yung pagka-honest mo. Sabi nga nila, huwag ka mang-corrupt kasi sa ganitong negosyo, ‘yung temptation na mang-corrupt ay nandodoon,” he said.

From logistics, Tugade’s firm branched out into farming, fuel distribution, trucking, travel and fashion.

Currently, Perry’s Group of Companies owns 18 gas stations, a travel agency, and a clothing line.

Perry's Group of Companies. Photo from My Puhunan Facebook page

Despite his success, Tugade said he still has one item on his checklist: to own an airline.

“There must always be a dream, as there must always be hope,” Tugade said.

Tugade, who was appointed president and chief executive officer of Clark Development Corp. (CDC) this year, has passed the torch to his four children.

One of his children, Marc Perry, passed away when he was 12 years old. The company was named after him.

“Ang pagkita ng pera hindi pang-madalian, tagaktak ng pawis ‘yan. Paminsan-minsan, dadalang ang pagpatak, minsan madami. Pero dapat pawisan ka. Kung gusto mong mag-negosyo, kailangan committed ka na doon na ikaw ay papawisan, ikaw ay kakalyuhin, ikaw ay mahihirapan,” he said.