The Year of the Water Tiger has arrived, and what better way to welcome it than to recognize the feats from some of the Filipino-Chinese business community’s best!
In line with this goal, CHiNOY TV, in collaboration with Globe Business, is releasing its inaugural MTK 8 List as this year’s edition of the Modern Tao Ke Campaign. The eight-part feature exhibits the achievements of outstanding Chinoy personalities who embody the values of a modern tao ke (read: entrepreneur in Hokkien), sharing their insightful stories in an effort to inspire and help local business owners understand their respective industries.
Equipped with experiences from various walks of life, here are eight Chinoy entrepreneurs who have demonstrated their ability to soar above and beyond expectations:
One phenomenon that has been accelerated by the ongoing global pandemic is the rapid transformation of the Philippines’ digital landscape. One of the pioneers of the now booming e-commerce industry is Steve Sy, the CEO and founder of Great Deals E-Commerce Philippines.
As an experienced entrepreneur, Sy was initially plagued by a multimillion peso debt which was overcome by twelve years of persevering grit and innovation. Since then, he has been able to raise a record-breaking $30 million in Series B funding led by the Logistics Firm Fast Group. Great Deals now caters to a roster of the largest multinational companies, providing end-to-end e-commerce solutions to Nestle, Unilever, Samsung, P&G, and more.
As the CEO of the Mother Spice Food Corporation, Eric Teng is responsible for presenting some of the best culinary delights that Metro Manila has to offer. That is to say, the company’s impressive roster of restaurants includes well-known names such as Genki Sushi, Sen-Ryo, Kureji, Mango Tree, Cocina Peruvia, and more.
Alongside managing these culinary ventures, Teng serves as the president of Resto PH, an association of Philippine restaurant owners and employees. He is also the marketing director behind local fashion brand Maldita, which produces alternative and contemporary designs for the modern Filipino.
Ambitious and innovative are only two words that describe Elcid Lao, who serves as the CEO and founder of the LAUNDRAFÉ Group. As its name suggests, laundrafé is a portmanteau of the words “laundry” and “café,” combining the two concepts together to provide the country with its first upscale laundromat and coffee service.
Since its inception in 2018, the LAUNDRAFÉ Group has expanded its portfolio to include the LAUNDRAFÉBox Corp, a subsidiary company that offers services in smart technology and IT solutions to the Filipino people. With this venture, Lao introduced the Philippines’ first-ever smart locker system, QUBE.
At the helm of the Philippine music industry is Kathleen Dy-Go. She is the managing director of Universal Records, which has grown to be the largest independent record company in the country under her management. As a second-generation member of the family business, Dy-Go is the successor to her father Dr. James Dy, who is known as the “Godfather of the Music Recording Industry.”
Dy-Go is also a firm believer in nurturing local talent by equipping them with the right tools they need to express their music, making sure the record label is able to keep up with the times by shifting from vinyl and cassettes to CDs and going digital. Universal Records now continues to serve as the record label for nationally recognized artists such as Gary Valenciano, Christian Bautista, Sponge Cola, and more.
Although he had initially wanted to pursue his dreams as a professional golfer in his youth, Miguel Tan became a third-generation tao ke when he decided to establish a more stable career path, taking on the role of CEO in his family business immediately after graduating from the University of Asia and the Pacific in 2018.
Having learned the ropes from his father Mr. Antonio Lee Tan, who now presides as chairman of the board, Miguel Tan is the chief executive officer of Fasclad Incorporated, a company that specializes in designing and installing glass and aluminum facades onto high-rise buildings. After engaging in his own share of business ventures, Tan has also become the CEO of the MVT Group of Companies, which holds investments in several enterprises, including Anytime Fitness Philippines, Studio 300 Bowling, and retail F&B outlets.
Fulfilling his family’s dreams of expanding their business to real estate is Chief Operating Officer Jardin Wong of Golden Bay Landholdings. Having been exposed to the world of business as early as when he was just six years old, Wong has always been a very hands-on leader. Being ambitious and interested in his trade is how he has been able to successfully navigate the company’s first forays into the highly competitive real estate industry.
Since its inception in 2017, Golden Bay Landholdings has planned and developed international awards for its projects Aspire Corporate Plaza and Garden City. Envisioning a more cosmopolitan Filipino future, Wong hopes to continue elevating the country’s modern architectural landscape.
Established in 2013, Prime Pacific Foods Corporation serves as a world-class food service provider committed to bringing in and distributing high-quality ingredients and services to their customers. Handling the reins of this rapidly evolving FMCG business is company CEO and President Euclid Schuyler Teng.
Having grown Prime Pacific Foods from its humble beginnings as a small distributor to what is now a full-service import and distribution company, Teng now leads a team with over 10 years of experience to provide local retail food businesses with the services that they deserve.
As a social entrepreneur, Melissa Yap believes in using business as a way to respond to the needs of the people. For example, as the CEO of Greenstone Pharmaceutical, Yap led a donation initiative that provided Katinko “bunny suits,” which functioned as personal protective equipment (PPE), to several hospitals at the height of the pandemic shortage.
Additionally, Yap has also founded the Got Heart Foundation and the Got Heart Shop, which respectively aim to aid indigenous farmers in growing organic produce and market their products. Since then the latter shop has also evolved into Earth Kitchen, a farmer-supportive restaurant that has notably been featured in the 2021 Essence of Asia List compiled by the globally renowned culinary website The World’s 50 Best.
To learn more about the MTK 8, stay tuned for more updates on CHiNOY TV’s website and social media pages!