What drives San Miguel's top boss Ramon Ang

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San Miguel President and COO Ramon Ang (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 24) It takes a delicate balance of work and play to keep a conglomerate's engine at full throttle, and tycoon Ramon Ang reveals what keeps him going.

The president and chief operating officer of San Miguel Corporation bares his foolproof routine that puts him in top shape to keep the business running and ready to pounce on new opportunities.

Ang, 66, is far from slowing down as he pilots SMC to new heights, with big-ticket infrastructure projects as his latest target.

The long-time COO says he begins his day at 6 a.m. with a cup of coffee. He then takes a trip to the garage to check on his prized collection.

"I have lots of very old cars... The most enjoyable cars are — for example, if it’s a sports car, you want the 1960s Ferrari, they are the best. So those are the things I tinker with every weekend or every morning," Ang, a mechanical engineering graduate, told CNN Philippines' The Exchange with Rico Hizon.

"If I need to, I drive around the village. Happy na ako," he added with a smile.

Ang has $1.4 billion (about ₱71 billion) to his name and is among the wealthiest Filipinos, according to Forbes.

Beginning the day on a positive note revs him up. His mornings would then involve reviewing all the tasks he's set to do, as well as writing and planning strategies for the group's businesses, which include Ginebra San Miguel, Petron Corporation, San Miguel Food and Beverage, to name a few.

A lot of this he picked up from the late Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco, Jr., the long-time SMC chairman who passed away in June. Despite their 20-year age difference, Ang considers him a close friend and mentor.

"What I learned from him is the entrepreneurship. He's not a bookish guy but he is very quick in sensing a good deal," he said fondly of the late billionaire, who is also a big sports aficionado.

Ang said there won't be any major changes within SMC despite Cojuangco's passing, as they already picked up the biggest lessons on running a business, being persistent, and practicing good governance.

Cojuangco's portrait now hangs at the lobby of the SMC headquarters in Mandaluyong City, in memory of his dedication to the empire.

Apart from the rush he gets from running SMC's show, Ang gets an energy boost from his beloved grandchildren — four girls and three boys — with all of them living right next door.

"I bought land around my house so they can be my neighbors," he adds, chuckling about his "selfish" offer to his kids just to keep them and his dear apos within reach.

Ang isn't just a whiz in the boardroom, as he can command the kitchen pretty well too. He cooks his favorite dishes when he can, most of which involve mud crabs, prawns, and other locally-sourced seafood.

The lockdown has given him even more time at home too, away from friends and business partners but closer than ever to his loved ones.