What it does:
SM Prime Holdings oversees the development of malls, hotels, convention centres and residences around the Philippines and maintains their associated businesses.
The business is defined by its four property sectors; 72 malls, generating nearly 60 billion pesos in revenue; 63 residential projects, generating 36.5 billion; 11 offices, generating 3.6 billion; and 1,510 hotel rooms and assorted convention centres generating 4.9 billion annually. Shareholders recently saw a 12% ROI, partially attributable to a 32 billion peso net income, suggesting favourable health for the business.
Great opportunity to learn about property development. Ample chances to challenge yourself. Five day work week.
The not so good:
High stress and long hours.
Hiring grads with degrees in:
Accounting and finance
SM Prime Holdings began in 1958 as a small shoe store called ‘ShoeMart’, founded by business magnate Henry Sy. The young Sy had saved money to open a store by selling surplus GI boots left over from WWII. As his fortunes grew, so too did his business, allowing him to open several more stores across the Philippines.
His marriage to a lace vendor encouraged him to enter other businesses, such as childrenswear. This led to the foundation of a more all-purpose store, transforming ShoeMart into SM Department Store. Sy next went into the banking sector, followed by an expansion into China, allowing him to gain momentum as a property developer. SM developments dot the skylines of each city in the Philippines to this day.
Most positions at SM Prime Holdings are reserved for those with experience, but when entry-level opportunities present themselves, expect competition. Those with a job at SM Prime Holdings are offered a chance to work with experienced, disciplined people, who often have a wealth of prior experience in the property industry. Henry Sy may no longer be with us, but the people who learned from him may be your colleagues. So you’ll be able to learn a great deal.
As far as promotions are concerned, once again expect competition. Nine or ten hour days are expected, so you’ll have to work even harder to distinguish yourself.
HR Asia, a publisher, recently called SM Prime Holdings one of the best companies to work for in Asia. The assessment was based on each company’s HR strategies, including leadership and employee engagement. 190 companies across 10 countries competed, making the accomplishment notable.
What may not be reflected in these awards is the razor-thin work-life balance. A five day work week is the norm at SM, which is nice, but the company tries to compensate with higher than average weekly hours. Overtime may be required on top, which is often unpaid. Therefore, although the culture is conducive to learning and high results, learning how to cope with more stress than you’d find elsewhere is essential.
The company’s primary goals is to foster social responsibility. Their mission is to encourage professional growth, generate value to shareholders and build sustainable communities. They seek to achieve this by building developments that enhance quality of life, just as the late Henry Sy envisioned for his humble shoe stores decades ago.