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Carlos Slim Helu Articles
The Mobile Mexican Magnate: How Carlos Slim Helu Got His Start
He has been called the Warren Buffett of Latin America, but on the most recent Forbes list of the world’s richest people, the Mexican born Carlos Slim Helu bumped the great American investor down to third spot. With an estimated net worth of $53 billion, Helu is now the second richest person in the world, and just $3 billion behind Bill Gates. He is known for never cracking a smile, but Helu’s current monopoly over the telecommunications industry in Mexico must surely make him one happy businessman. With his hands now in all of the retail, banking and insurance, technology, and auto parts manufacturing industries, Helu shows no signs of slowing down.
Slim’s Pickings: The Start of the Billion Dollar Business
Helu’s big break came in the 1990s, when the Mexican government succumbed to pressure from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to liberalize its country’s economy. A massive campaign of privatization began, with the government selling off the hundreds of companies that were state-owned. Among those companies was Telefonos de Mexico (Telmex), the Mexican national telephone company.
Lesson #1: Don't Follow the Crowd or the Market
“When there is a crisis, that’s when some are interested in getting out,” says Helu, “and that’s when we are interested in getting in.”
Lesson #2: Understand the Future and Your Place in It
“I’m a paper man, not electronic,” says Helu. “My children gave me a lap top for Christmas, but all I know how to do so far is push the on button.” In university, Helu studied engineering. He can process numbers and formulas at a speed impossible for most. But, when it comes to using computers and the like, Helu is uninterested. He prefers to keep to himself in the drab basement of his two-story headquarters surrounded by the paper ledgers he has been using since he was a boy.
Lesson #3: Make Your Company a Lean, Mean, Operating Machine
Helu dislikes being compared to Warren Buffett, not because he does not admire the American investor’s long list of shrewd business acquisitions, but rather because he feels it is an inadequate assessment. When Helu takes over control of a company, he does so in order to operate it. Buffett wants a good investment, but Helu wants to run a company. He wants to make his companies practical and lean operations, bringing efficiency to their every move. And, most importantly, he wants to do it himself.
Lesson #4: You Can Control Your Own Destiny
“Those who say that I am taking over the city centre,” says Helu, “that I have already bought up everything, are not going to stop me from continuing my project.” In the early 1980s, Helu began investing in real estate, construction, mining, tires, and paper goods. From there, he moved into telephones, computers, and even clothing. But, it was not so much what he was buying as the rate and scope at which he was buying them.
Lesson #5: Everything Has a Bottom Line
He is everything from a political advisor to the highest ranking Mexican officials, to a devout family man, but Helu would be the first one to tell you that first and foremost, he is an entrepreneur. It is through those eyes that he approaches everything else. What does that mean exactly? That means that everything Helu does, he does with its own bottom line.
Engineering Success: How Slim’s Pockets Got Fat
There is no one in the world quite like Carlos Slim Helu. Until his recent jump to the second spot on the Forbes’ list of the world’s wealthiest, he was something of a mystery to the business world. He worked in relative isolation, with no computers in the basement of his drab two-storey office building. But, his seclusion should not be mistaken for a weakness. Indeed, his power is so great, that when he did suffer a weakness in the form of heart surgery a few years back, his companies’ shares actually began to tremble. So, just how did this son of Lebanese immigrants become one of the wealthiest people in the world, and a household name across an entire continent?
Carlos Slim Helu Quotes
Carlos Slim Helu Quotes
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By: Evan Carmichael
By: Evan Carmichael
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