If there is one person in the world Arnold Wong would choose to meet, it's Terence Conran, the brains behind British furniture and household accessories store Habitat and some of London's favourite restaurants, including Quaglino's. 'Conran single-handedly changed London's dining scene 20 years ago,' Wong says. 'The Q-shaped ashtrays at Quaglino's, designed by Conran himself, were London's most stolen items.' Stolen at a rate of about 1,000 a month, Conran eventually put a price on the ashtrays and sold them in the restaurant. 'His vision of what a restaurant could be was totally different. But today he is still very relevant. Conran has had the biggest impact on my thinking.' Wong, as one of three owners of the Press Room Group, is making his own impact on the local dining scene. The Pawn, SML and The Press Room remain popular and well-regarded dining spots, while the concept behind Classified - neighbourhood food stores offering premium quality artisan cheese and wines - is so successful the group is planning to open three to four more branches within the next year. Managing the existing venues and making plans to expand put a great deal of pressure on his time, but Wong says it's nothing new for him, having been an investment banker before starting the Press Room Group in 2006. He also holds a master's degree in jurisprudence from Oxford University in Britain. 'Most of my time is spent on people management. In the restaurant business you have to focus on training and incentivising staff to get the best from them. Investment banking and the food and beverage [F&B] business are at opposite ends of the spectrum - investment banking is very fast, every second counts, and everyone is working at the same pace. In F&B, people get distracted and it's much slower in terms of efficiency.' Although far from leading a nine-to-five life, Wong makes sure to spend time with his wife and children, aged four and six. 'They grow up so quickly. I try to spend as much time with them as possible, especially travelling with them,' he says. Balancing work - he describes the restaurant business as at times 'crazy' - and family is no easy feat, but Wong eschews the use of a secretary, preferring to be fully in control of his own time. 'I like people who respect time. I try to always be on time, otherwise I am wasting someone else's,' he says.