The Best Business Quotes and Insights From Filipino Tycoon Enrique Razon Jr.
By the time Enrique “Ricky” Razon Jr. was born in 1960, the Razons had been involved in marine cargo and ports for three generations. But it wasn’t until Razon Jr. entered the family business in the ‘70s and took charge in the ‘90s that it grew exponentially.
International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) was incorporated by Ricky’s father, Don Enrique “Pocholo” Razon Sr., in 1987, and Ricky has spent the last three decades expanding it into a globally competitive conglomerate with ports all around the world. Now, ICTSI is a major ports player in Asia, with significant investments in nearly every corner of the globe, from Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and Australia, to Iraq, Pakistan, Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Despite its indisputable reputation as globalized business, ICTSI still remains headquartered in the Philippines, the home country of the 61-year-old tycoon. An avid golfer and the country’s second wealthiest man with a reported net worth of $5.6 billion, Razon has largely flown under the radar, preferring to stay low-key and away from the limelight. Razon is known for his straightforward manner and sharp business acumen. Other tycoons, like Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Teresita Sy-Coson, have shared how they, as well as many others, look up to Ricky for his insights.
Here are the best quotes, business lessons, and advice from Enrique Razon Jr., Chairmand and CEO of ICTSI and Bloomberry Resorts Corp.
On Persuading His Father to Let Him Into the Family Business
“He (my father) tried to make it impossible so I would not last a week, so I’d go back to school. But I was determined that it was not going to happen. To me, that’s where the action was. It wasn’t in a classroom. I’d rather be out there."
On Dealing With Crises
“You can’t overcome [crisis], you can only survive them. So we’ve set ourselves to be able to survive this. We expect crisis more often than other people do. I always expect to wake up to another crisis, so we’re always prepared for that. That’s always at the back of our minds.”
On Having a Long-Term View
“We look at 10, 20 years ahead, and in certain areas even generations ahead. We go to markets where no one wants to go. Over time, we make money.”
On Filipino Resilience During the Pandemic
"What continues to amaze me is the spirit of the people, how most people step up in situations like this. One thing everyone should learn is to be prepared for the next one. Surely, there will be a next one. When I was very young, I read in a book, 'There are no desperate situations, only desperate men.'"
On Cautious Optimism
"To always expect the worst. But of course, always hope for the best."
On Finding Out He Was a Billionaire
“That’s what people like Forbes are saying. At a certain point, they call you a billionaire. But hindi mo naman tinitingnan yan eh. Mga listahan yan na ginagawa ng iba, eh. Nabasa ko lang [sa Forbes].”
On What Life Is Like For a Billionaire
“Work, work, and more work.”
On Certainty and Risk-Taking
“Hindi ka pwede sigurista to do what we do. Everything is a risk.”
On the Global Competitiveness of Filipino Businesses
“We’re trying to build an organization that is world-class. Why do you have to just be the biggest in the Philippines when the whole world is a market? Bakit [kapag] Filipino, dito [ka] lang? Hindi tama yun.”
On His Penchant For Traveling via Private Planes and Helicopters
“Time is gold.”
On Disappointing Deals
“If you’re taking risks, you’re not going to be right every time. The important thing is the ones that are correct, pay for your mistakes.”
On Fears and Failures
“Kapag natatakot kang matalo, talagang talo ka.”
On What Defines Success
“People become successful for many reasons. One of course is drive and passion. I guess that quality is pretty common among very successful people. Success is if you’re the best in whatever you do. Whether you’re the best teacher or the best taxi driver, it doesn’t matter. As long are you’re up there, you are successful. It may not be money.”