CEO Spotlight

Profile- Carlos Slim: How he built his fortune after the loss of his father at the age of 13

How Carlos Slim became one of the wealthiest people in the world is a really interesting story. Carlos Slim was born in Mexico. He is 81 years old. From an early age his father taught him many things about running a business like management and accounting. So, he was ready to follow his dream. He always wanted to be a businessman. At the age of 11 he started investing small amounts of money.

Unfortunately, when he was 13 years old, his father died. So, he used all his father’s advice in order to continue working. At the age of 15 he had become a shareholder in Mexico’s largest bank. When he was 17 years old he earned 200 pesos a week working for his father’s company. He studied civil engineering at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He was also interested in economics. Thus, he took economics courses in Chile once he finished his engineering degree.

Soon after he finished all his studies he started working as a stock trader in Mexico. He used to work long hours. In 1965, profits from Slim’s private investments reached $400,000, allowing him to start the stock brokerage Inversora Bursátil. In addition, he also began laying the financial groundwork for Grupo Carso. In 1965, he also bought Jarritos del Sur. In 1966, he founded Inmobiliaria Carso worth $40 million.

He didn’t focus his business plans in one specific sector but he expanded into numerous industries including automotive industry, airlines, tobacco, cement, hotels, telecommunications and financial services. Some years later established or acquired several businesses in these categories. In 1980, he formed Grupo Galas as the parent company of a conglomerate that had interests in industry, construction, mining, retail, food, and tobacco.

The entrepreneurship tactic he followed was to buy shares in various companies. His profits skyrocketed when in the early 1990s Mexico privatized its telecom industry and Grupo Carso acquired Telmex from the Mexican government. Telmex provides telecommunications products and services in Mexico. The company has more than 50.000 employees and was founded in 1947.

In 1990 the Grupo Carso was floated as a public company initially in Mexico and then worldwide. Grupo Carso also acquired majority ownership of Porcelanite, a tile making company in 1990.

No matter how hard he tried to grow his business, the time has come to face losses. The Mexican government during the last years has tried to limit Slim’s efforts and his near-monopolies. After all, in 2014, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed a law aimed at increasing competition in the telecommunications arena.

However, Carlos Slim never stopped expanding his businesses. Even an oil company, he has formed. He took this decision in 2015 and created Carso Oil & Gas. The company’s assets were listed at 230 million dollars. The same year he also invested at a technology start-up, the IMatchative.

Carlos Slim is also CEO of America Movil. It is a Mexican telecommunications corporation headquartered in Mexico City, Mexico. It is the 7th largest mobile network operator in terms of equity subscribers and one of the largest corporations in the world. America Movil added 4.2 million wireless subscribers in the second quarter of 2021. At the same time the revenues were 253 billion pesos, slightly higher than in the year-earlier quarter in nominal peso terms.

Carlos Slim’s net worth is estimated at 53.1 billion dollars. As of April 2021, he was ranked 24th richest person in the world according to Bloomberg L.P. listing of Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Carlos Slim is the richest person in Latin America.

Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at