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Joseph Calata - The Country's Youngest Billionaire (Expat Magazine Sept. 2014)

cagayanboy · 5 · 6656


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Furiously Forging a Path

The country's youngest billionaire made his mom-and-pop poultry supply store into a multi-billion agribusiness conglomerate and is at the forefront of revolutionizing the field.

While people his age spend their time and energy trying to conform, Joseph Calata, chairman and CEO of agribusiness conglomerate Calata Corporation, is forging his path - a mindset common among wildly successful people.

It is his pioneering, creative spirit that helped make him the youngest billionaire in the country before he reached 31. His entrepreneurial spirit began during his college days at De La Salle University, where he earned Php 400,000 through networking, selling multivitamins.

"I always had this entrepreneurial spirit. When I was just starting this company, I would sleep for only two to three hours. It paid off. I always believe that when you are focused and determined to reach your goal, you will attain it," Calata says.

He modernized the family's "mom-and-pop store" and made it into the country's largest distributor of seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides. How? He used technology and put a system into an otherwise topsy-turvy sari-sari store concept, making a complete turnaround.

Primarily a distributor of agro-chemicals, feeds, fertilizers, veterinary medicines and other agricultural products, Calata Corp. recently expanded into manufacturing of feeds and ventured into the meat business.

In May 2012, Calata Corp. was listed for initial public offering (IPO) at the Philippine Stock Exchange, its stocks gained a total market value of Php 2.7 billion, according to the company website.

He didn't stop selling agrochemicals, feeds, and seeds. Calata created his own brands of pesticides, among others, opened retails stores and went into joint venture with foreign companies and acquired a meat processing company. He went into partnership with an Argentinian firm LM10 known to enhance corn planting and harvesting using Argentinian machinery and technology.

Aggressive Expansion

With over 500 people in his employ, Calata is bullish about expanding, ultimately covering the entire food chain.

He is inspired by Dhanin Chearavanont of Thailand, whose business is CP Group, the biggest agricultural company in the region. Listed as Southeast Asia's richest man, one of Chearavanont's business is Chareon Pokphand Foods (CP). Quick research says his end products are sold in 7-Eleven stores, of which he reportedly owns 6,800 branches of the 24-hour stores in Thailand.

From raw materials, planting, processing until the finished products, Calata Corp. is involved in sustaining and energizing each segment of the food and agricultural process. From seeds and pesticides, it is involved with corn planting to soya distribution. It is also into meat fabrication and growing poultry and hogs.

Calata says his company has finalized its acquisition of the meat business of the Galicia Group, a major supplier for Puregold, which has more than 200 retails stores all over the country. The new company is now called Brookfields Meat Inc.

He also discloses that Calata Corp. is close to forging a tie-up with Marubeni, one of Japan's largest and most diversified general trading companies, for agricultural product testing in the Philippine market that could lead to a possible joint venture.

This young entrepreneur is helping solve real problems in the industry through constant research and technology.

Low Profile

Aside from his trademark look, usually a black suit and spiked, well-groomed hair, the 33-year old Calata remains low-ket and simple.

"When I was starting, I started dressing like a CEO. My mindset was driven toward this goal. You have to act on it (your dream)," he grins.

Professional, polite, and oozing with confidence, Calata believes in the values of integrity and hard work. Despite his successes, he enjoys a quiet family life.

He is happily married and enjoys being a father to their one and a half yeah old daughter. His me-time consists of playing basketball, strumming the guitar, listening to music, or occasionally traveling.

But inside corporate doors, he transforms into a genius, endlessly humming for possibilities. Trials and challenges may come, but he brushes them off with optimism. He adds, "Turn the problem into an opportunity and work on that."

To aspiring successful investors, he has these words: "Focus, focus, focus!" Words from a young man who is at the forefront of commencing a revolution that seeks to change the way agribusiness is being done in the country.


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Now, what happen to him and his corporation?


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An inspiring story indeed.. However his company was shrouded with controversies before like stock manipulation and suspension by Pse. Dunno what happen next. But his story and how he struggled to be the one of country's youngest billionaire is amazing.


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I'm not familiar with this guy nor his corporation.

but it adds up value on focus one's goals in life  :hello:


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I think integrity is also important in any success.


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