For Aron Harilela, joining the family business was only a matter of time. 'Ever since I can remember, I knew I would be in the hotel industry,' says the 40-year-old director of Harilela Hotels, which manages properties across Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada. 'I remember when we built our first hotel. I was four years old when it opened. My father [Hari] walked through it time and again, as a construction site, understanding the menus, understanding the operational side, the financial side. I grew up completely engrossed in this culture.' Even as a university student in England, Harilela would take summer jobs in hotels to understand the business, from the restaurants to room service. 'One time my parents were quite shocked that I was serving them breakfast in London,' he recalls. After graduating with a bachelor's degree in law and politics, and a PhD in political philosophy, Harilela joined the company's London office in 1994. Two years later, he made his first hotel acquisition, the Sheraton Belgravia in London. Since returning to Hong Kong in 1996, Harilela has taken over his family's hotel operations in Southeast Asia and Europe, become head of acquisitions for the Harilela Group and joined several leading civic, business and university committees. The avid sportsman, who is also getting married next month, admits it's difficult to find time for everything he needs and wants to do. 'Managing time has become a much more complicated issue. Now, we have phones that follow us, we have BlackBerrys that show us e-mails all the time. Everything seems to be marked urgent,' he says. Harilela spends at least two weeks of the month travelling among the group's properties. He also tries to travel once a month to play polo - 'it's an obsession' - and fit in regular time on the tennis court. The secret to his success has been efficiency. 'I'm extremely quick,' he says. 'I don't really just sit there and think. I fit quite a few things in the day. If you give me nothing to do, I'm miserable. I always end up finding something to do.' The only time he truly shuts off is in the air or on the polo field. 'The one thing my dad taught me about time management is that once you get on a plane, you just switch off. I read my book, I'll watch a movie, I'll have a few glasses of wine,' he says. Back on solid ground, Harilela remains focused on getting the most out of his life. 'It is always the present. You have to take hold of it. One shouldn't let time slip away and 20 years later realise that everything and everyone is gone.' Rolex Vintage 'This was the first watch I ever bought for myself. I found it at a vintage market in London. I love the design and I particularly like old Rolexes.' Jaeger-LeCoultre Vintage 1950s 'This was a present from [my fiancee] Laura for my 40th birthday. It's very elegant.' IWC Portuguese Minute Repeater 'This is one of my favourite watches. I just love the way it looks. You can wear it for formal events or with jeans and loafers. And it just feels great on your wrist.'