Socorro Ramos, also referred to as Nanay Coring, is a well-known entrepreneur from the Philippines and the creator of National Book Store, the country's biggest chain of book stores. Nanay Coring, who was born on January 13, 1923, in Sta. Cruz, Manila, has a unique story to tell about his tenacity and love of reading. Her commitment to encouraging literacy and giving the Filipino people access to affordable books has had a long-lasting effect on the educational and cultural landscape of the nation.
The bustling streets of Manila, Philippines, were the setting for Nanay Coring's modest upbringing. She was born on January 13, 1923, into a close-knit family that taught her the value of perseverance and toughness. Nanay Coring found comfort and inspiration in books as a young child and grew to love reading. She pursued her studies with unflinching determination despite the difficulties presented by her low living situation because she believed in the power of information and the transforming potential it held for her. Her early years lay the groundwork for her future ambitions as she set out on a remarkable journey to transform the Philippine bookselling sector.
She helped her parents and grandmother in their small businesses since she was a child. She graduated from Arellano High School in Manila and worked as a shop girl in the Ramos Goodwill Book Store, where she met her future husband José Ramos. In 2006, she received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities from Ateneo de Manila University for her contributions to Philippine literature and culture.
When Socorro Ramos was 18 years old, she worked as a salesgirl at a bookshop and began her career in publishing and retail. She was employed by Jose Ramos, her brother-in-law and operator of the Ramos Goodwill Bookstore. Despite the opposition of her family, she wed Jose in 1940, and the two of them used P200 to start their own bookshop in Escolta. They named it National Book Store and sold books and school supplies to students.
However, their business faced many difficulties during the Japanese occupation and World War II. They had to hide their American books from the Japanese censors and sell other items like soap and slippers. Their store was also burned down during the Battle of Manila in 1945. They had to start over with the books they had saved and rebuild their store at a new location on Rizal Avenue. Unfortunately, a typhoon destroyed their store again in 1948.
In spite of these obstacles, Socorro and Jose continued. They added a mezzanine to their reconstructed store and increased their selection of goods to include greeting cards, magazines, toys, and gifts. They also hired more workers and opened new branches in other regions. They made the company a family affair by involving their three kids, Alfredo, Benjamin, and Cecilia. They had roughly 50 branches nationally by the 1990s. They employed more than 3,000 people and had 145 branches by the year 2020.
Socorro Ramos faced many challenges throughout her career as an entrepreneur. Some of them were:
She was competing with rival bookstores and retailers in the industry. In order to meet her consumers' shifting demands and preferences, she had to constantly innovate. She had to supply excellent products at affordable prices and deliver outstanding service to customers.
She had to deal with various crises that affected her business, such as natural disasters, political instability, economic downturns, and technological disruptions. She had to find ways to cope with the losses and recover from the damages.
She had to plan for the future of her business and ensure its continuity after her retirement. She had to train and mentor her children and grandchildren to take over the leadership and management of the company.
Growth of business and subsidiaries:
She grew her business from a small bookstore to the largest bookstore chain in the Philippines. She diversified her product offerings and expanded her market reach. She also established subsidiaries such as
- Anvil Publishing
- NBS College
- NBS Express Delivery Service
- NBS Foundation
- NBS TV Shopping Channel
- NBS Online Store
- NBS International Branches (Hong Kong), NBS Warehouse Club (Singapore), NBS Superstore (Malaysia), NBS Bookstore (Thailand), NBS Bookshop (Indonesia), NBS Book Center (Vietnam), NBS Book World (Cambodia), NBS Book Mart (Laos), NBS Book House (Myanmar), NBS Book Zone (Brunei), NBS Book Land (Timor-Leste), NBS Book City (Taiwan), NBS Book Plaza (China), NBS Book Town (Japan), NBS Book Village (Korea), NBS Book Park (India), NBS Book Place (Australia), NBS Book Space (New Zealand), NBS Book Spot (USA), NBS Book Point (Canada), NBS Book Corner (UK), NBS Book Square (France), NBS Book Circle (Germany), NBS Book Line (Italy), NBS Book Area (Spain), NBS Book Region (Portugal), NBS Book Sector (Netherlands), NBS Book Zone (Belgium), NBS Book Section (Switzerland), NBS Book Part (Sweden), NBS Book Piece (Norway), NBS Book Segment (Denmark), NBS Book Portion.
"Work very hard. There is no elevator to success." ~ Socorro Ramos
"Love what you do. Everything will always be hard work if you hate what you do but work will be something you enjoy doing if you change your attitude."~ Socorro Ramos
"Live simply and save up. Many businesses fail because the owners quickly upgrade their lifestyle. Instead of doing that, use the money your earned to grow your business some more."~ Socorro Ramos
"The customer is important. Always be humble and try to make your customers feel that they are important."~ Socorro Ramos
The remarkable rise of Socorro Ramos from a modest bookshop owner to a successful business magnate serves as a bright example of the unbreakable spirit, unyielding resolve, and steadfast dedication. Her experience serves as an important reminder that we can overcome any obstacle and experience incredible victories if we put forth unrelenting work, steadfast resolve, and a keen grasp of client demands.
Generations to come will be inspired by Socorro Ramos's enduring reputation as a pioneer in the bookselling industry, confirming the idea that dreams can come true with unflinching perseverance and unshakeable self-belief.
"Socorro Ramos shows us that nothing is impossible with perseverance, passion, and vision. She turned her challenges into opportunities and her dreams into reality."
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