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The Entrepreneur Factor

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Carlos Slim has ranked somewhere in the top 3 on the Forbes’ list of richest men since 2006. As he continues to amass wealth, he could become billionaire number 1 for the third year in a row. By his own accounts, Carlos Slim Helú is not a self-made man but his father, Don Julian Slim Haddad, was. Don Julian was a keen entrepreneur and he taught his kids to be the same. He started with a Lebanese dry goods store in Mexico City and it grew from there. By the time he died, the Slim family owned several properties, businesses, and stocks.

Carlos followed in his father’s steps. His first venture was the 1965 acquisition of Inversora Bursatil and Jarritos del Sur. He incorporated it into Inmobiliaria Carso, later known as Grupo Carso. He persevered in purchasing properties and investing in industrial and commercial companies throughout the years. When the inflation of 1982 crippled most businesses, he invested and rehabilitated them. His big break was the purchase of the country’s telecommunications giant, Telmex.  With a knack for sniffing out good deals, he now owns over 200 companies in Latin America alone. His latest acquisitions include increased shares in the New York Times and Saks.

Owning all of this has earned him the moniker Mr. Monopoly in Mexico. He has also been accused of using political contacts to further enhance his wealth. There is even a Slim Watch segment in a Mexican online publication. Being a capitalist in a developed country with a corrupt government will definitely continue to make Slim and others like him under suspicion.

Having trained the next generation to run his company, Slim is now more active in the philanthropic work. The projects run by Telmex and Ideal show that his takeover days are over as he focuses on uplifting the economies of the developed countries he works with.

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