Ramon Ang 1st Filipino in elite Bloomberg 50 global icons and innovators

Ramon Ang Bloomberg
Ramon Ang, president of San Miguel Corporation, is credited with expanding the company from a food and beverage business into a multi-industry giant. Credits/Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Ramon S. Ang, of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), has been named in the Bloomberg 50 top achievers in 2019, the first Filipino to make it to the annual list.

Ang, the president and chief operating officer of conglomerate San Miguel Corporation, was listed in the 3rd annual “The Bloomberg 50” selected by editors and reporters and published by Bloomberg Businessweek on December 6.

Bloomberg cited Ramon Ang’s leadership of San Miguel Corp.’s winning a bid in May to acquire a majority stake in Holcim Philippines Inc., the country’s largest cement maker, a purchase that will help it build a 734 billion-peso ($14.4 billion) airport, the biggest infrastructure project in the nation’s history.

In the Bloomberg Businessweek article “Ramon Ang, Magnate Remaking the Philippines” written by Cecilia Yap, the SMC chief was credited for expanding the homegrown company from primarily a food and beer conglomerate into a business with interests in the electricity, oil, and construction industries.

“San Miguel is building a light-rail system and will soon break ground on the airport in Bulacan province, not far from the capital. It will have three times the capacity of Manila’s current one, which is 71 years old and regularly ranks among the world’s worst,” Yap reports.

“It’s a great honor, and I’m grateful to Bloomberg for taking note of our work and the developments here in the Philippines,” Ang said in the SMC media release. “I hope this helps to showcase the many great and positive things happening in our country.”

Ang is joined in the list by Warner Media News and Sports Chairman and CNN President Jeff Zucker, TV host Jon Stewart, pop star Rihanna, Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke, Glaxosmithkline CEO Emma Walmsley, Marvel Studios president Kevin Fiege, American gymnast Simone Biles, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, Disney International Chairman Kevin Mayer, celebrity and Kylie Cosmetics CEO Kylie Jenner, and climate activist Greta Thunberg, among others.

In the last decade, Ang engineered the massive diversification and transformation of the over 100 years-old San Miguel from a beer, food, spirits and packaging company with market leading positions, to a diversified conglomerate with interests in industries crucial to Philippine economic growth: Food and Beverage, Oil and Fuels, Power, Infrastructure, Banking.

SMC is one of the Philippines’ largest companies by revenues and profits. In 2018, its revenues breached P1 trillion, equivalent to about 5.9% of the Philippines’ Gross Domestic Product.

Ramon S. Ang is the first Filipino to make it to the Bloomberb 50. Photo from SMC.

Reinvesting in the Philippines

Much of San Miguel’s earnings are ploughed back and reinvested in the Philippines in the form of growth-generating manufacturing facilities and infrastructure projects aimed at improving people’s lives, decongesting cities, and sustaining economic growth.

Currently, SMC’s Food and Beverage business is in the midst of the largest capacity expansion program in its 129-year history. It is building additional breweries, new feed mills, flour mills, food processing plants, poultry facilities, and a ready-to-eat plant, in various locations nationwide.

These new facilities bring direct and indirect jobs, livelihood opportunities, and boost local economies.

SMC, under Ang, is also managing, operating, and constructing some of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects.

Its operating expressways include the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Skyway 1 and 2, Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR), the NAIA Expressway (NAIAX), and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).

It is building Skyway Stage 3, which will connect SLEX and Skyway 1 and 2 to the Northern Luzon Expressway from Buendia, Makati; Skyway Stage 4, from Skyway FTI, Paranaque City to the Batasan Complex in Quezon City and to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, and the Skyway Extension from Alabang to SLEX Susana Heights.

SMC is also set to build the SLEX TR4 project, which will extend SLEX from Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Lucena City in Quezon province.

San Miguel is also building the MRT-7 project, which will stretch from North Edsa through Quezon City, to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. The project includes an intermodal transport terminal and a road component that will connect to the North Luzon Expressway.

Most ambitious project

SMC’s biggest and most ambitious upcoming project to date is the new Manila International Airport project in Bulacan province, just north of Metro Manila, and accessible via an expansive infrastructure network.

At US$15 billion, it is the company’s single largest investment to date, and the largest in the country. The new airport will be the Philippines’ largest and most modern.

To be built on a 2,500-hectare facility, it will have four runways, upgradable to six, and world-class facilities seen to boost the country’s competitiveness as an investment and tourism destination.

Philantropy, Sustainability

Ang is also a known philanthropist. Through the San Miguel Foundation, he has channeled billions of pesos towards building housing communities for thousands of families affected by natural calamities and armed conflict.

The foundation has also built community hospitals, schools, and libraries, among others. It’s thrust today is to address hunger and education. It recently completed its first learning and feeding center and food bank in the poorest district of Tondo, Manila, where Ang grew up.

Under Ang, SMC has also pushed for greater sustainability, initiating a landmark water sustainability project which calls for an ambitious 50% reduction in the utility and domestic use of water across all its businesses by year 2025.

In 2017, as part of efforts to reduce the company’s solid waste footprint, he announced the discontinuation of San Miguel’s plastic bottled water business.

In 2019, he announced several major sustainability initiatives: a P1 billion donation to clean up the Tullahan River; building the country’s first recycled plastics road, and adopting the Philippines’ first fully-certified biodegradable plastics for various packaging requirements.

From an early age, Ang has had an entrepreneurial spirit. He started in business importing and reconditioning heavy equipment for the local construction industry. He is a mechanical engineering graduate and an avid car aficionado and collector.

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Angie Quadra-Balibay
Angie is a self-confessed reformed news critic who vows she has finally found infinite value in delivering the good news. She teaches students of all ages how to make the important interesting for audiences across media platforms.