RFM chief helps others to have balance in his life | Inquirer News

RFM chief helps others to have balance in his life

/ 07:29 AM June 23, 2011

Confidence, optimism and being happy by achieving balance in life are the factors that help mold Jose Concepcion III, president and chief executive officer of RFM Corp., to become one of the country’s most successful businessmen.

However, what makes Concepcion unique from other successful businessmen is his willingness to help other Filipinos through the Go Negosyo, a movement that he envisioned to instill a positive and enterprising attitude in Filipinos.

He said he believed that poverty could be solved not through politics but through an economic revolution spurred by entrepreneurs, who would create jobs.


“I want to plant a seed in you that one of you here could be the next Mang Inasal’s Edgar “Injap” Sia who started his business in Iloilo with just about 50 branches and now has sold 70 percent of his business to Jollibee for P3 billion,” Concepcion said.


The Go Negosyo caravan awarded Sia as one of the most inspiring Ilonggo entrepreneurs.


Concepcion said giving back to people made him happy and thus gave him balance in his life.

He believed that there should be balance in one’s life to achieve real happiness.

Concepcion, who was one of the speakers of the recently held LH Foundation Inc.’s Leadership Conference 2011 “Aim High” at Oakridge Pavilion in Mandaue City, shared the secret of his success during the conference.

Concepcion said his journey started in his school days where he spent time learning from his mentors – particularly his teachers, parents, and brothers.
“Mentorship is crucial at a very young age because it molds the right character of a person,” he said.


Concepcion, who studied at De La Salle University (DLSU), said as a child he was not a bright student. He failed in grade 3.

But his parents did not destroy his confidence by punishing him. They figured that the embarrassment of repeating a year in school was punishment enough for him.

“Realize this: do not destroy the children’s confidence. The moment you do, it’s game over. They will have difficulty meeting challenges later on in life,” he said.

He said this was the reason he appreciated schools and teachers, who maintain the students’ confidence despite the mistakes they made.

He also said it would be good for a young boy not be spoiled by luxury.

He said this was the reason why he studied in the country – DLSU – eventhough his parents could afford to send him to study abroad.

“Studying at DLSU was a great exposure to the real world,” said Concepcion.


He said many of today’s successful men did not enjoy the luxuries of life at a young age and this helped form their character.

“Realizing the value of money at a young age because you see your parents working hard to send you to school and being raised in a Christian family as a devout Catholic make for a very strong foundation,” Concepcion said.

His father also instilled in him the love for country. The elder Concepcion helped organize the National Movement for Free Elections during the Marcos dictatorship.

At that time, RFM was threatened with a government takeover. When he asked what he was going to do, his father told him that he was working on something that would help not only the businessmen but also the rest of the Filipinos rise against the Marcos regime.

Despite the threats, Concepcion said his family stayed in the country. His father even spent a couple of weeks in prison for his advocacy – guarding ballots.

Concepcion got involved in the family business (RFM Corp. ) when he was a third year college student. He got the chance to lead the company when his father became the trade secretary during former president Corazon Aquino’s time in the late 80s.


He then bought the ice cream firm Selecta from the Arce family to challenge San Miguel Corp.’s Magnolia ice cream.

Selecta was a P20-million business with a small plant in Malabon.

Concepcion said his reason for buying Selecta was to give Filipinos an alternative to Magnolia ice cream.

Today, Selecta is considered a leading ice cream brand in the country.

After that, RFM under his leadership also acquired Cosmos Bottling, the makers of soft drinks Pop Cola and Sarsi.

Since RFM’s company’s main product was flour, it took Concepcion four years to learn about the soft drink business, which was based on the return of bottles. However, Cosmos stayed afloat by keeping soft drink prices low.

This investment paid off after 15 years when Coca Cola bought the firm from them for a whopping $320 million.

“At 22 years old, I bought Cosmos Bottling for only $50 million and at 37 years old, I sold it for $320 million,” Concepcion said.

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“One has to have the right attitude in life. All of you should be an optimist, no room to be a pessimist. If you do, you will never succeed,” he said.

TAGS: Go Negosyo, People, RFM Corp.

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