Born on January 15, 1949 in Manila, Isidro A. Consunji is the eldest son of construction magnate, David M. Consunji. He started working at age 18 in a motor pool section of his father’s company after he decided to take a break in 1967 from his Civil Engineering studies in UP Diliman. For one semester he handled the trucks and cranes that the company rented out. He would buy spare parts in Binondo, as well as do the rounds of junkyards and surplus shops.
Consunji says that he learned valuable lessons from his father which he, in turn, would like to pass on to his own children. One such lesson: “There is no substitute for hard work. He [the elder Consunji] always says that in the end, we cannot get away from hard work to achieve success, no matter how smart or rich you are.”
The younger Consunji displays his engineering expertise and professionalism through his involvement in a number of companies and specific projects, one of which aims to help Filipinos enjoy a higher quality of life through well-conceptualized resident projects. He has ardently supported the College of Engineering’s goals and activities over three decades. A distinguished UPAE member, he has served as its officer, president, board member, board director, and council adviser.
Combining his undergraduate degree in engineering with graduate studies in business management and economics, Consunji has served as President/CEO/Director of DMCI as well as holding high-level positions in other companies. He says of management, “It is like putting together a Lego set or solving a [uzzle, and it is something that I really enjoy. I like putting structure into what is unstructured and undefined, like problems that confront the business. I believe this is why business is interesting in the Philippines because there is always a way to do things differently.”
He says the availability to brainstorm or toss ideas around and then come up with a solution is what interests him. This explains his preference to work on the business side of the conglomerate rather than the pure construction part. “Transforming mindsets, being a catalyst, that is what I enjoy; social engineering maybe, this is what interests me more. More than technical engineering, I consider myself as part of the solutions-providers.”