Billionaire Carlos Slim Helú
Super Entrepreneur Carlos Slim
Most people know him as Carlos Slim, and he's become one of the wealthiest men on earth. He started from humble beginnings in Mexico, using a small inheritance from his dad to leverage his way to being worth billions today.
While Carlos Slim has had his hands in a number of industries like banking, insurance, technology and retail, among others, the primary source of his immense wealth is telecommunications; being the most influential in the Mexican to South America region.
Like many wealthy and great entrepreneurs, Slim made his money by recognizing companies that were undervalued and then working on them until they became profitable.
People that have no understanding of business have of course criticized Slim when he raises prices in some sectors, but the results, as in telecommunications, has been not only improved services, but adding services that hadn't existed before, like long distance calls and Internet services.
Slim doesn't concern himself with popularity though, he would rather work on building profitable businesses that improve the lives of the people he and his companies are serving.
Billionaire entrepreneur Carlos Slim
Carlos Slims' Biggest Move
Carlos Slim launched into the public eye when he led a consortium of investors to acquire Telmex and Telnor from the Mexican government in 1990.
Currently an estimated 90 percent of the telephone line in Mexico are under the management of Telmex.
Telcel, a mobile company, also accounts for close to eighty percent of Mexican cellphones.
Using the profits from these lucrative operations, Slim has expanded his investments globally, while also buying numerous cellphone carriers across South America. Overall, América Móvil - owned by Slim - has over 100 million customers in Latin America.
For some time now, once Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helú solidified his telecom positions, he has largely been working through his holding company and conglomerate Grupo Carso.
Among the numerous holdings it has a majority ownership in Grupo Sanborns, which includes the Sanborns retail chain, and also a majority stake in Sears Sears Roebuck de México.
Grupo Carso also has it fingers in Empresas Frisco, which focuses on mining, railroad and chemical businesses. It also has a stake in Cigatam, a cigarette maker.
The conglomerate launched in 1965 and has steadily grown ever since, with strategic reinvestment and other acquisitions.
Carlos Slim and his many foundations
Carlos Slim Helú has largely stepped down from day-to-day management and has passed that responsibility onto his three sons. Now he focuses almost all his attention and energy on his foundations.
One of his major foundations the Fundación del Centro Histórico de la Ciudad de México A.C. (Mexico City Historic Downtown Foundation), has the goal of salvaging and restoring the historic downtown area of Mexico City.
The hope is to help people have a place to work, reside and have some entertainment in that part of the huge, sprawling city.
He also leads the $10 billion budgeted Latin America Development Fund project, to build and finance a variety of cultural-related projects across Latin America.
The "Alfredo Harp Helú Foundation" is another vehicle Slim works through, where he has granted $5.5 million through them as an endowment to the second-biggest Mexican University: National Polytechnic Institute.
Carlos Slim at his art gallery he loves so much
All of this in one lifetime
Carlos Slim is a hardworking man of integrity, who has vastly improved a number of services and businesses sectors, not only in Mexico, but across Latin America.
A significant portion of the profits from those ventures are now being used in a number of ways to enhance the lives of millions of people in the region.
All of this in one lifetime, and in a region of the world vastly in need of entrepreneurial leadership and example.