THE LAST TIME cover person Robbie Antonio was featured in our magazine, it was 2013 and he was 35. His most superlative real estate development at the time was under construction, and he was being talked about as one of Asia’s top art collectors. Here for an art fair, he spoke about empire-building with as much passion and intrigue as he did of the artists then on his radar (Marilyn Minter, Maurizio Cattelan, Kenny Scharf and Tracey Emin). He was well-spoken, wellread and ambitious.
It’s no surprise that he’d go on to scratch another one of his entrepreneurial itches, this time disrupting the global property market. Founded in 2015, Revolution Precrafted is a tech-based distribution chain that enlists the world’s top architects and creatives to design prefab homes, pavilions and even condos. Today, the Philippine’s first unicorn has clinched US$7.2 billion in deals.
It’d be safe to say that had Prestige published a Philippine edition, Antonio would have been one of the poster boys for its 40 Under 40 listing (back when he still made the cut, age-wise).
I’ll be the first to admit that featuring the likes of Antonio, and pretty much everyone else within our pages, keeps me grounded. It oers a huge reality check. How did the business leaders build million- or billion-dollar companies? How did the inspiring triumph over obstacles? How did the fortunate step up to land others helping hands? Gosh, which facialist worked that miracle?
How did they…? And what about me? Am I a slouch?
Next month, we release The Vanguards: 40 Under 40, our annual listing of youngish (my nieces would argue age 40 is hardly young) disruptors and thought/ industry leaders. After helping to curate the list for eight years — and working with some of the most abled team members in the process — I’ve come to realise I’m never going to scale Everest; I’m never going to push the frontiers of medical science; and I’m unlikely to master my own finances, let alone steward a start-up into a unicorn.
I will say though, I’m grateful every individual who has been featured in this magazine trusted us to tell their stories. Because as I myself start to graduate out of the age bracket we salute, I’m learning that I am doing what I was meant to do: Storytelling (something I’d argue is better done with a glass of fine wine in hand.)
Till our next issue,