Lance Gokongwei says a good business leader is a master of many skills.
As CEO of one of the biggest business conglomorates in the country, he knows whereof he speaks.
The Gokongwei scion explains, "Maybe you need a true entrepreneur at the start.
"Then as the business gets started and more complex, you need someone of my skill set.
"But if you go to an environmental economist…then you'll need a different skill set.
"I think there's different stages of business life. You'll find that not many CEOs have all the prerequisite skill sets."
Summing it up, he says, "I would say there are two challenges. You know, there's not one type of manager or CEO.
"There are different CEOs for different parts of corporate life...
"That also means that when you know you're not the right person for the job anymore, you should know when to find someone better than yourself."
Speaking from experience, Lance elaborated, "I've started a business purely on a corporate context.
"I've started Cebu Pacific within a corporate context and a couple of other businesses like some of the URC subsidiaries abroad."
He also stressed, "But I've always started with the support of at least some capital. My dad started it."
He couldn't have grown the business to what it is today without his father guiding him all the way.
Lance is the only son of the late John Gokongwei Jr., the founder of JG Summit Holdings Inc.
Lance took over as CEO when his father passed away on November 9, 2019.
URC or Universal Robina Corporation is a local food and beverage brand, which is known for local snacks such as Chippy, Chiz Curls, Nova, Cloud 9, and Cream-o.
Cebu Pacific is one of the local airline companies in the country.
Success comes through hard work
Lance takes pride in the fact that the success of the family businesses started by his parents, John and Elizabeth, came off the back of their hard work.
He continued, "My father worked extremely hard to reach the level of success that they did.
"They worked tremendous hours, and I'm proud to say that they didn't use any political influence or the like to achieve what they did. Fairly, squarely, by just working very hard to be close to the customer."
Underlining that their billionaire status didn't come easily, Lance says people tend to forget his father's humble beginning as a peanut vendor in Cebu.
"I think there's still a path, I should say, to entrepreneurship in the Philippines. It is possible.
"Of course, in many ways you have to be lucky, you have to be fortunate.
"But I think the luck really goes to those who are well-prepared, and my dad and my siblings were well-prepared.
"They really put in the hours and they were willing to sacrifice a lot. A lot of delayed gratification.
"I think that's the way we've been taught that we're just stewards of this business.
"I think I've said before. The family is here to serve the business, not the business to serve the family. I really, completely, believe that."
Lance adds, "Hard work creates the luck."
His siblings are Robina, Lisa, Faith, Hope, and Marcia. They've been consistently on Forbes list of the wealthiest Filipinos in the country, occupying the fourth spot in 2020.
PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) met with Lance through a virtual video conference with its fellow Summit Media websites on December 15, 2020.