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Wrong Anton Gonzalez?

Mr. Anton Gonzalez

Chief Executive Officer

Mondragon International Philippines

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Mondragon International Philippines

Background Information

Employment History

Marketing Director

Nike , Inc.

The Dial Corporation

Web References

Anton Gonzalez: The Boy ...

www.philstar.com [cached]

Anton Gonzalez: The Boy Wonder By Chris Nieto-Lopez

Anton Gonzalez: The Boy Wonder By Chris Nieto-Lopez
Anton Gonzalez: The Boy Wonder
It's a wonder there are still people like Anton - handsome, rich, hardworking, humble and principled.The only thing is, he does not fly.
We are walking around KIDZ Station, Rockwell, looking for the ultimate spot to shoot the resident "Boy Wonder."Spiderman is dangling from the ceiling.A brilliant thought comes to mind.The fantasy is immediately interrupted.I am reminded that our "Superman" cannot fly.Minor detail-considering, he can do everything else - 13 Nike Stadiums, seven Planet Sports, and 16 The Athlete's Foot stores, shareholder of California Pizza Kitchen plus Street.com, New Balance Shop and KIDZ Station to add to his growing collection of exploits.
Jose Antonio Sevilla Gonzales, or simply Anton, walks into our precarious set-up of miniature bikes, blow-up pools and playhouse rooftops.We unleash a mob of adorable little children to attack him: Ignacio Escaño, Natalia Matute, Matteo Cu-Unjieng and Miguel Lopez all take turns roughing him up.The coolness is admirable.The smile never wavers.He takes every pow, boom, kablam and what seems to be an endless series of shots like a pro.Even after the abuse, Anton, the consummate gentleman that he is, thanks us for the experience.We are all impressed.Our superhero has a heart of gold - not to mention unyielding patience.
We are led to the next set-up at the other end of the mall.Midway, we look back and deliberate on the massiveness of KIDZ Station."It's a coding nightmare sometimes," Anton explained earlier.That's not hard to imagine, with over 100,000 toys and merchandise to sort out."It can get crazy trying to get something like that to work," he had added.No small feat, but he did it, anyway.At present, there are four KIDZ Stations in the Philippines, with seven more planned in the future.With Anton at the scene, you can expect great things to come.
We get to Nike Stadium and Anton is in his element.As he shows us around, it's clear to see that the sports business is closest to his heart."It's where I started," he points out.He recalls the day his father, the celebrated CEO of Mondragon International Philippines, Tony Gonzalez, called him in from the US to run the Nike business in 1993.He then left his position at Dial Corp. to be the marketing director for Nike, which was more of a distribution business at that time.For Anton, it was just the beginning.He had big plans for Nike in the Philippines and the mild-mannered demeanor changed to an animated, child-like excitement when the conversation centered on setting up the "Nike stand-alone" stores.
He borrowed money from his parents and started building his dreams as soon as he got the go-signal from Nike International.A year later, he borrowed more money to buy the master franchise of The Athlete's Foot, around P15 million which he managed to pay back in just two and a half years."With favorable interest rates, of course," he says with a wide grin.Naturally, he was successful in all of these endeavors - and more.The brand new KIDZ Station, Nike Stadium and Planet Sports outlets at the Power Plant Mall in Rockwell are a testament to that.The man has a golden touch and he's only 31.
Remarkably, Anton is humble about his success.Too modest, in fact, to take an ounce of credit for the phenomenal growth of his businesses."I had help from a lot of very good and competent people."Like his father, who Anton merits for bringing out the best in him, "I've paid my dues since I was 10."
Anton remembers his dad sending him on a shuttle bus at 7 a.m. for one month every summer to work the packing lines of their businesses in FTI."It was hard work," Anton describes."Especially when you know that all your friends are out there enjoying the summer."Despite the sacrifice, Anton admits that the difficult training paid off in the long run."It teaches you discipline," Anton specifies, "and respect for the people who work there," he adds, while citing the importance of knowing and helping the people who work for you - and with you.It's an Anton Gonzalez standard that the elder Mr. Gonzalez should be very proud of, particularly since it was inspired and encouraged by him."We have different working styles," Anton remarks, while pointing out the contrasts between his conservative, cautious nature to that of his father's big risk-taking approach.
"But I'm like him when it comes to respecting people," Anton explains."I have 300 people in my organization.They are the building blocks of business.They are the true MVPs."
Anton stresses that no matter the difficulties, his father's employees have always remained loyal."He takes care of his people," Anton reaffirms.
Anton has not missed a single Sunday mass in over five years because of this."(You have to) go to mass every Sunday, or else feel the wrath of Mom," Anton warns.Oh yes, confession is also a must.
Heard enough of his good side?Well, brace yourself for more.On a professional level, he maintains a highly principled outlook.Anton cannot stop emphasizing the virtue of never stepping over people or compromising your principles in whatever you do."It's not all about money," he affirms.He sees no need to be a Donald Trump.He's in no hurry to be a magnate, no urgency to build a conglomerate."It's the fulfillment you get from doing something you enjoy," he pronounces.The personal values are unbelievable as well.We're talking about a man who formally sat down with his parents to apologize for all his rebellious and mischievous acts in the past.It's true.He did so when he was 25.It may seem profound yet completely unnecessary for some people, but to Anton, this was a moment to be praised - an opportunity dealt with integrity and courage no matter how outlandish it seemed.For Anton it was a significant gesture to make.It mattered to him.I'm sure it meant a lot to his parents.
Our day ends and the perfect finale would have been to shoot him dramatically flying or at least walking off into the sunset.The fantasy is once again interrupted.I am reminded that Anton is not the flashy type.Instead, he exits without fanfare while professing undying gratitude, with discount cards affixed.
BLURB:"I've paid my dues since I was 10." "I have 300 people in my organization.They are the building blocks of business.They are the true MVPs."

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