[SlideDeck id=’1350′ width=’100%’ height=’370px’] As an outsider, it would be tough to judge Carlos Slim at first glance. The 73-year-old Mexican man is far from the standard cut of what we expect from a billionaire tycoon. He’s humble in stature, lives in a modest (by billionaire standards) home in Mexico City, and is well known for his weekly family dinners, get-togethers, and his philanthropy. What he’s also known for, however, is being the world’s wealthiest, and most powerful businessman. His empire stretches from cell phones to soccer teams, copper mines to the New York Times – of which he is a part owner. He’s a widower, an innovator, and a source of pride for both Mexico and Latin America as a whole.
How Slim Got His Start
Carlos Slim Helú was born in 1940 in Mexico City to Lebanese parents. From and early age, he was raised by his father with the skills of basic business and commerce. By the time he had graduated from college, he was already becoming a successful trader, and spent the next 20 years of his life growing his net worth through real estate and sound investments into some of Mexico’s top businesses.
During the 90’s, slim conglomerated his business interests into a group called Grupo Carso. Grupo Carso now runs the majority of his holdings in telecom, technology, retail, and finance. As of 2012, Carlos Slim’s corporate worth is valued at around USD $69 billion, and with Mexico’s economy on the rise, as well as an immense purchasing power, all signs point to this number going up even further in the next decade.
Capitalizing on His Corporate Cunningness
Slim’s most notable successes have been attributed to his dealings in the telecom industry, specifically with Telmex and America Movil. America Movil is now the largest mobile-phone carrier on the continent, and accounts for nearly USD $49 billion of Slim’s corporate holdings. But the Mexican billionaire’s portfolio stretches even further, with major investments into Latin American mining interests, and a large stake in The New York Times, the world’s most valuable and prestigious newspaper.
Most recently, Slim has found success in his café and retail chain, Sanborns. Grupo Sanborns, as the company is called, has just set the price for a stock issue it hopes will generate just under USD $1 billion at 28 pesos per share, expecting it to grow to USD $951 million globally based on early predictions. Sanborns is one of Central America’s largest locally owned chains, and has lofty goals for expanding further into the food services market for 2013 and beyond.
Although Slim is best known for his substantial success in the business world, he is also well known for his vast philanthropic contributions. He has a popular foundation named after him, which has made significant donations to sports, cultural, and quality of life projects in Mexico. One of his best-known projects is the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, which contains the world’s second-largest collection of Rodin sculptures, as well as well as 66,000 other precious art pieces. The museum is free of charge to enter, and is considered a major cultural aspect of Mexico City and its surroundings.
Whether it’s building a telecommunications empire, founding a museum, or owning a soccer franchise, Carlos Slim Helú has seen nothing but success in his endeavors. His companies continue to grow at a rapid pace, and along with it, the local economies of both Mexico, and Latin America. When he’s all said and done, Slim will be remembered as one of the pioneers of the modern Latin American business model, and one of the big reasons for the regions current and future success.
For more info on Slim’s companies, take a Test Drive of Latin Target and get access to uptodate information on contacts inside the largest companies in Latin America, such as Telmex, America Movil, and Sanborns.