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How to grow a business, according to Dennis Uy

The 43-year-old businessman from Davao – also a staunch supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte – is one of the most aggressive dealmakers in the country, acquiring companies left and right

MANILA, Philippines – When the clock strikes 12 in one of the tallest skyscrapers in the Bonifacio Global City business district, two office floors shut their lights to start lunch break. As other employees go for their power naps, the energy remains high at the 26th floor corner office of Dennis Uy, the baby-faced boss.

Uy, an emerging tycoon from Davao City, was all smiles and bubbly when he ushered us into his office, which has a commanding view of the bustling district at the heart of Metro Manila. A consummate entrepreneur, Uy was holding marathon interviews ahead of the maiden share sale of Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corporation, the third company he controls listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE).

Uy is media shy and has turned down requests for interviews on camera, but has agreed to do sit-down chats with journalists, a compromise with his handlers who advise him about how the public perceives him.

After all, while his provincial-lad-conquers-Manila business story has been an inspiration to wannabees, his association with President Rodrigo Duterte, a fellow Davaoeño who he supported during the 2016 presidential race, clouds some of his entrepreneurial achievements.

In the first year of Duterte in office, Uy has been one of the country’s most productive entrepreneurs, bagging and growing companies left and right. Aside from Duterte, Uy has also earned the trust of the Philippines’ richest family, the Sys, who backed him up in his foray into shipping and logistics.

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