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  1. Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Billionaire's secrets
    (Inquirer News Service 10/21/2005 Victor Agustin)

    TYCOON John Gokongwei must have felt like a movie star Wednesday night when he was besieged by autograph-seekers and instant paparazzi from among, of all people, young and aspiring Chinese-Filipino tycoons themselves.

    The JG Summit helmsman was the guest of the Anvil Business Club, a.k.a. the club where his son Lance met his then future wife, for the high-net-worth networking. Rather than deliver a speech, Mr. John, animated by three shots of scotch, gamely took questions from the adoring audience sitting down.

    Here are some of the billionaire's newer revelations:

    To ensure family and corporate succession, the 79-year-old diversified business magnate is bequeathing 51 percent ownership of JG Summit Group to his only son, Lance.

    Mr. John in jest said he took the advice of the evening's host, insurance magnate and Porsche/Audi dealer Robert Coyiuto Jr., whose father's family was riven by succession and diversification problems after each sibling had been given his respective and equal share in the family fortune.

    Demand for his Universal Robina's C2 green tea drink has overwhelmed supply that the factory in Calamba, outside Manila, already operating 24/7, will add five more production lines, which should be fully operational by the first week of November.

    Mr. John is not a great believer in feng shui, but instead believes in dedication, hard work, knowledge of the market, timing, access to cheap financing and, of course, luck, as the keys to success.

    He does not believe in buying life insurance policies for himself. To keep fit despite his hearty appetite, he works the treadmill and does 20 laps a day in his private swimming pool.

    JG Summit Group allocates P50-P60 million annually for charity projects, which it quietly distributes among select recipients.

    Although a De La Salle alumnus, Mr. John made a headline-making donation to the business school of rival Ateneo de Manila University some years ago in grateful appreciation for the Jesuit education of Lance and Mr. John's nephews and nieces.

    "Besides, they [Ateneo] asked for it," he said.

    His more memorable business failures include Presto Ice Cream and computer boards, and -- this the tycoon forgot -- Robina Farms' (named after his eldest daughter, not the other way around) dressed chicken and cooked chicken.

    Still, Robina Farms is very much around, supplying day-old chicks and veterinary supplies and medicines.

    Philippine manufacturing will remain uncompetitive unless the government succeeds in bringing down power costs and interest rates. Because of these factors, JG Summit is now the lone surviving petrochemical player and, out of the dozens of the 1960s and 1970s-era textile millers, the lone textile manufacturer in the country.

    Despite his aversion to politics, Mr. John did manage to slip and told the young businessmen that the government and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should be supported. Privately, he has been heard telling friends that his businesses are relatively doing well despite the daily barrage of toxic talk from politicians-NGOs and negative news from the media.

    And, for fellow collectors of celebrity trivia, Mr. John now uses a Lexus LX 470 for his daily transport. Among the recent books he has read is "The World is Flat" by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman.

    There are many other interesting life lessons and business morsels that the tycoon served that evening. They will all be available in a biography that Anvil club president and newspaper columnist Wilson Lee-Flores is preparing in time for Mr. John's 80th birthday next year.

    Flea market wars

    THE Ortigas district is formally firing the shot this Friday, hopefully to be heard around the shopaholic world to challenge nearby Greenhills commercial center as the flea market capital.

    Saint Francis Square, an air-conditioned mall, will open its doors to shoppers this Friday, and hopes its lower rent (P25,000 a month for a four-square-meter stall versus P30,000 in Greenhills) would translate to cheaper retail prices.

    According to the grapevine, 150 jewelry (pearl, gold, silver and fashion accessories) stallholders and 320 RTW merchants, mostly from Greenhills, have leased all spaces in their respective sections in the new 2,000-stall flea market.

    In addition to free cell phone vouchers it would release to the sky through balloons, Saint Francis Square is also unveiling this Friday what arguably is the world's biggest lighted billboard, a 96-meter by 27-meter structure mounted from the 23rd to the 52nd floor of adjoining St. Francis Square Twin Towers condo -- very visible from beside Megamall on the EDSA highway.

    If these marketing tactics bring the desired effects, then St. Francis Square's developer, Luke Roxas of ASB Realty, would be restored to his pre-1997 fighting form. But that is another story.

  2. Join Date
    Nov 2002

    "If you can still count your money, you don't have a billion dollars."


  3. Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Nice article...

    I hope that he would say... "And I'll give 20 month's bonus to all JG Summit Group employees... "

  4. Join Date
    Nov 2002
    kanya kanyang swerte yan, most pinoy pray and pray (me included) that God would provide, God would give, God will have mercy... sometimes we question nga bakit sila ok bakit ang iba hinde... ituloy nalang dasal andwork harder

  5. Join Date
    Apr 2004
    indian proverb:
    "have faith in God... but lock your car!"

    "nasa diyos ang awa nasa tao ang gawa..."

    luck is the product of opportunity and preparation...

Billionaire's secrets