Innovation, key to SMC’s success — CFO

INNOVATION—wanting to find better solutions to address people’s needs—was one of the main drivers of the diversification of conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) over a decade ago, and a critical factor

INNOVATION—wanting to find better solutions to address people’s needs—was one of the main drivers of the diversification of conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) over a decade ago, and a critical factor that enabled the 128-year-old organization to breach the P1-trillion mark in revenues in 2018, two years ahead of its target, said 2018 ING Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (Finex) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Year and SMC CFO Ferdinand Constantino.

“It was the innovative thinking and the vision of our president and chief operating officer, Ramon Ang, that started it all. He reimagined San Miguel as a company that could better answer many unmet needs of Filipinos: reliable, affordable power; secure, accessible fuel supply; better, future-ready infrastructure. Then he went on and led that transformation,” Constantino said.

“He wanted for San Miguel to have a positive impact on the lives of Filipinos and for it to be a true catalyst for economic growth.”

Business transformation

As a chief financial officer, Constantino’s role in San Miguel’s transformation likewise evolved: from being the number cruncher to budget planner and endorser, to being an active player in mapping the direction of the business.

“My job is to ensure, together with my partners, that we have enough funding, the right business controls, good governance, execution support to pursue and implement everything properly. Beyond that, I also have to help ensure that change is managed well,” said Constantino.

“Having been in San Miguel for some 46 years, I think I also offered a measure of stability for management, for employees, for the investing community and shareholders during major transitions in our history,” he added.

If there is one Filipino multinational conglomerate that has transformed its business model so dramatically, it is San Miguel.

Gone are the days when the mere mention of “San Miguel” would connote just beer or food.

Today, San Miguel is as much a leader in power generation, oil and fuels and infrastructure, as it is in the food and beverage and packaging industries.

Dedication to work

Constantino’s contributions to San Miguel over more than four decades were recognized last year when he earned the prestigious ING Finex CFO of the Year Award, given by Dutch financial giant ING Bank, N.V. and the premier organization of finance executives, the Finex.

The recognition was reaffirmed on April 2019 when Constantino was likewise named “CFO of the Year” by The Asset, a regional publication. PR

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