Jolli Good Business

It's Ernesto Tanmantiong's first television interview and I was delighted he chose to do it on Managing Asia.

The low key and soft spoken entrepreneur comes across as humble and unassuming. However when I asked the media shy Tanmantiong about his family business, he gets all excited.

It was his elder brother Tony Tan Caktiong who founded the company. I'm told he is even more reserved than Tanmantiong. But the brothers' quiet working style has made the Jollibee fast food brand a high profile household name in the Philippines.

Every Filipino knows the Jollibee mascot. Many years ago, it took on the Golden Arches in the Phillippines and won. But overseas, Tanmantiong is honest about some of the mistakes they've made, expecially in China. While catering to the Filipino community overseas has been a success, making that transition to the mainstream market has proven to be a bigger challenge.

Today, Tanmantiong has more immediate problems to tackle. Rising food prices is posing a big headache. Will his price sensitive customers pay more for burgers? Tanmantiong already knows the answer.

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