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Gil Chua is the chairman of the DDB Group of Companies, which has interests in advertising, digital marketing, public relations, media buying, and artificial intelligence. Its biggest clients include Smart-PLDT, Meralco, Jollibee, and the Miss Universe Organization, to name a few.
He has worked his way up – from learning the ropes of media at age 25, to working for different companies as managing partner at age 30, and president and CEO at 40 years old.
And now, he leads DDB Group of Companies as a “Lone Ranger,” fulfilling his dream back when he was the age of six.
Looking back on his career as he turns 60 on September 9, Chua said: “I am a proud homegrown CEO. Yes, I have been lucky to have amazing mentors in clients and peers from all over the world, but what makes me get out in the morning daily is knowing I have – through the work that we do – the power to influence and change society for the better.”
“When the work of a team gets praised publicly by our clients, that makes me proud and happy. When my people are happy and have high levels of engagement, that makes me happy,” he added.
Chua admitted, however, that the path to success wasn’t always easy.
On the sidelines of the recent 2017 Media Congress, Chua gave these tips who 20-somethings who are trying to make their mark not only in the advertising industry, but in the professional world in general.
Millennials, make sure to write these down.
According to Chua, the most important thing is to know one’s strengths and weaknesses: “If you don’t know yourself, find yourself through the work you identify best with so you are contributing to society.”
The next step is not being afraid to try something new.
“Build your confidence and learn new things. You have to work hard and not be afraid to make mistakes. You have to try something new. New is always needed if we want anything to change,” he said.
Chua reminded 20-somethings that there will always be people better than they are, but this should not hinder them from achieving their goals.
“It doesn’t matter. Just bring out the best version of yourself every day. If you don’t have a better solution to a problem, don’t waste time complaining,” he said.
Chua also stressed the importance of humility as an essential ingredient to success: “Stay humble and be kind. The blow will be bearable when the chips are down.”
“Begin with the end in mind. How will people remember you? What would you like them to say about you? Make sure when you look back, you’ll have plenty to smile about, just as I do,” he ended.
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