How Carlos Slim became a millionaire

Mexican businessman Carlos Slim began founding the basis of Grupo Carso in 1965 when he was only 25 years old.

How Carlos Slim became a millionaire
Carlos Slim is the richest man in Mexico, with a fortune of US$55.93 billion. Image by UN Geneva

According to Forbes, Carlos Slim Helú is the richest man in Mexico and also appears in the world ranking of multimillionaire personalities, headed by Jeff Bezos, founder, and CEO of Amazon, an online sales company founded in 1994. According to the U.S. magazine, Carlos Slim has a fortune of 55 billion 930 million dollars.

The origin of his fortune goes back to his childhood since at the age of 10 he discovered a place where they sold candy wholesale and his first business was to resell that merchandise under the stairs of his house, located in Polanco, very close to Lincoln Park. In addition, the Lebanese-born businessman started working with his father, Julián Slim Haddad, when he was very young and thanks to him he had an approach to the world of finance and business since he gave him basic lessons of financial education.

In addition, Julián Slim taught the telecommunications magnate how to manage his savings to better administer his expenses and income through notebooks that he gave him to make the corresponding records of his expenses, purchases, and movements. When he was only 12 years old, the businessman managed to open his first checkbook and buy shares in the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV).

After studying at the Faculty of Engineering of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where he received a degree in Civil Engineering, Carlos Slim began to lay the foundations of Grupo Carso, one of the largest and most important business conglomerates in Mexico and Latin America in infrastructure, construction, energy, industry, and research. The formation of this consortium was because he began to acquire industrial companies and, the profits collected from these businesses, he reinvested them or used them to acquire more companies.

A year later, in 1966, the magnate founded the real estate company Carso, three months before marrying Soumaya Domit Gemayel, also of Lebanese origin. In 1967, Carlos Slim founded and presided over the companies Promotora del Hogar, S.A., dedicated to the commercialization of housing, and GM Maquinaria, dedicated to the purchase, sale, and rental of construction equipment. In addition, in 1968, one of the most emblematic years in contemporary history, he acquired and directed Mina el Volcán SSG Inmobiliaria, S.A.

Although the businessman born in 1940 already had a significant track record in the investment industry, the exponential growth of Slim Helú's fortune began to take shape in the early 1980s, when he formally founded Grupo Carso. Due to the economic crisis of 1982, several companies sold their assets at very low costs, which allowed Carlos Slim to appropriate their capital, which flourished at the end of that same decade when the magnate began to appear as one of the most successful men in Mexico.

However, it was not until 1991 when Carlos Slim appeared for the first time in the list of billionaires published by Forbes. At that time, the magnate had a fortune of 1.7 billion dollars and was the second Mexican to enter the ranking, since the Garza Sada family had previously debuted on the list with a net worth of 2 billion dollars thanks to the operation of Grupo Alfa, a consortium that included businesses ranging from petrochemicals to tourism management.

In 1986, he began his philanthropic work through the creation of the Carlos Slim Foundation, whose purpose is to serve Mexican society, as well as to contribute to the development and formation of human capital through permanent programs of high impact and coverage.

At the end of 1990, Slim won the bid to acquire Telmex, together with Southwestern Bell and France Telecom. Subsequently, Carso Global Telecom was created, as well as the Telcel brand, one of the first mobile telephone services in the country.

So far, the businessman has received several distinctions due to his trajectory, among which stand out the Starlite Humanitarian Award 2014, the World Telecommunications Award granted by the International Telecommunications Union, and also the Medal of Honor for Business Merit of the National Chamber of Commerce of Mexico City.