Tony Tan Caktiong

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Tony Tan Caktiong (traditional Chinese陳覺中; pinyin: Chen Juezhong) (born 17 July 1934) is the founder, CEO, and chairman of Jollibee. In 2010, Tan Caktiong was listed by Forbes as the sixth richest Filipino with a net worth of USD 980 million.



Tan Caktiong graduated from University of Sto. Tomas with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering. He also has management tutoring certificates from the Asian Institute of Management, University of Michigan Business School, and Harvard University. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from St. Paul University, an Honorary Doctor of Science in Business Management from Far Eastern University(PSE: FEU), and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Southwestern University.

Early beginnings

Prior to founding Jollibee, Tan Caktiong and his brother Ernesto Tan Mantiong opened two franchises of Magnolia ice cream parlors. The Tan brothers were not new to the food business—their father Tan Eng Lan was a restaurant chef back in Davao. One of their branches was in Cubao while the other was in Quiapo.

When customers began to ask for more than just ice cream, the brothers decided to add sandwich offerings. Eventually, they found out that more people were ordering their hamburgers more than the ice cream. It was then that they decided to focus their business on selling hamburgers instead.

By 1978, Tan Caktiong already established a chain of hamburger outlets. While in search of a name and a mascot for his first store, Tan Caktiong came across his trove of Disney memories and found a character that somehow embodied his philosophy of “spreading happiness and being productive”—a bee. Tan Caktiong's hamburger store thus came to be known as “Jollibee.”

When McDonald’s entered the Philippine market in 1982, Tan Caktiong refused to franchise the fast food giant and instead competed with it. Jollibee’s success was attributed to how they were able to customize its menu to suit the Filipino palate.

In 1993, Tan Caktiong decided to go public with Jollibee and it became the first food service company to be listed in the Philippine Stock Exchange.


Through the years, Tan Caktiong’s Jollibee Food Corporation (PSE: JFC) acquired other fast food chains. It bought Greenwich Pizza in 1994, Chowking from Robert Kwan in 2000, and Red Ribbon in 2005. At the end of 2009, there were 686 Jollibee stores, 431 Chowking stores, 231 Greenwhich stores, 15 Manong Pepe’s Karinderia, and 207 Red Ribbon branches.

Jollibee is also present in Brunei Darussalam, China, Hong Kong (SAR of China), Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States and Vietnam. The company aims to double the number of their restaurants to 4,000 outlets worldwide by year 2020.

In a survey, the Jollibee group was the only Philippine company which made it to the top 20 of Asia's Best Employers list, ranking 16th.

Through the Jollibee Foundation, the company gives back to the community through projects on education, leadership development, livelihood, environment, housing, and disaster relief.

Other directorships and designations

Aside from being the CEO and Chairman of Jollibee Food Corporation, Tan Caktiong is a member of the Board of Trustee of Asian Institute of Management, St. Luke’s Medical Center, and the Philippine Academy of Sakya.

He also served as an Independent Director for Sun Life’s Prosperity Dollar Abundance Fund, Inc. and Sun Life’s Prosperity Dollar Advantage, Inc. He has also been a director for First Generation Corporation(PSE: FGEN) since 2005 and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company(PSE: TEL) since July 2008.

Awards and citations

Tan Caktiong was awarded Management Man of the Year in 2002, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year in 2003, and the World Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004. He also won an Agora Award for Outstanding Marketing Achievement and a Triple A Alumni Award from the Asian Institute of Management.

In 2004, he bested 31 other businessmen from all over the world to win the prestigious World Entrepreneur of the Year (WEOY) award given in Monte Carlo, Monaco.


The surname Tan Caktiong was derived from his Chinese name. He was featured in a documentary by Discovery Channel in 2005.

External links




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