Profiles, Taoke (Business)

Modern Tao Ke: How 5 Businesses Survived the Pandemic

Several business leaders share their stories and advice in Modern Tao Ke, a special video series by Globe myBusiness. Hosted by Valerie Tan, the videos aim to provoke learning, inspiration, and connection among Chinese-Filipino tao kes.

Here are 5 modern tao kes and their entrepreneurial advice across various industries, namely food, BPO, online grocery, financial technology, and printing:

1. Mike Lim, Co-Owner and Current CEO of PushKart.PH

PushKart.PH is an online grocery delivery service company that provides e-commerce and logistics services.
Back in 2017, they launched a website, along with a mobile app. They marketed digitally, using various tools to help boost their online presence. To stay connected with their clients, they used Globe myBusiness for communication and internet connectivity.

“The pandemic was a wake-up call for everyone,” Lim said. “And it showed us the importance of adapting to the digital technology.”


2. Mark Escueta, Founder and President of Eastwest BPO

Eastwest BPO is a contact center and a business processing outsourcing company. They understand the importance of supporting its staff, especially during this challenging time. As the work is physically demanding for its employees, Escueta and his company provides health services, vitamins, and supplements to keep them healthy amid the public health  crisis.

“We’ve added certain things along the way, especially during the pandemic. [We provided a] digital health service, which really helped our employees be able to monitor their health and to be able to ask questions when they need to without physically going out to a clinic or a doctor.”

The company also always makes sure that they recognize their employees and reward them for their work, which Escueta shares is a “constant thing” in their office.

3. Edward So Kua, President and CEO of Print Media, Inc.

E.S. Print Media sells and imports various advertising and printing equipment, like large format printers,  laser engravers and cutters, direct-to-garment printers, LED displays, and more.

Unfortunately, the pandemic’s business restrictions prevented the on-site exhibition of their products and services. Since the sales team couldn’t meet their customers on-site, they had to think of a way to stay connected to their customers and with each other, along with using another sales approach for their business.

“The key to surviving this pandemic is to be mobile and to be efficient,” advised So Kua. 

Now, E.S. Print’s sales team is working from home and using various online platforms to stay connected, meet clients, and promote their products. They also provided webinars to give tips on how to take care of their printers.

4. Stan Tanchan, CEO of Choobi Choobi Flavors Corporation

Choobi Choobi is a family-oriented casual dining restaurant that serves Filipino comfort food. Due to the pandemic, the restaurant invested in an online platform to sustain their sales.

Aside from that, they utilized digital marketing and Facebook and Viber groups. They also use digital payment platforms that help their customers conveniently pay online.

“The more modes of payments [that] we can accept, other than credit card and cash, then it will be more advantageous for us,” said Tanchan. “It’s quite convenient especially right now when dine-in is already allowed. It’s also a more clean more sanitary way of paying because you don’t have to handle the cash.”


5. Raymond Ong, CEO of ZYBI Tech, Inc.

ZYBI Tech, Inc. provides an innovative digital payment option for people to pay their bills, buy load, and trade virtual currency through their app, Juan Cash, which was released last July 2019. Juan Cash offers a reseller program that aims to provide business opportunities to its users as well.

“Always be visible on social media and other online channels,” Ong advised. “For SMEs, online presence through the lines of social media will greatly help in introducing your business to everyone. It amplifies business possibilities of tapping into new customers at a greater reach. It allows you to tap potential consumers far beyond the reach of your physical store.”


For more advice from modern tao kes, check out the stories of George Siy, David Leechiu, and Katrina Ong.

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