5 Filipino Entrepreneurs Who Are Changing the Game
Stories on quests for solutions turning into successful businesses
Pioneering. Adaptive. Resilient. These are just some of the words that best describe the successful Filipino entrepreneurs who’ve managed to thrive during the pandemic. In the past couple of years, leaders in the world of business also had to power through the disruption to find new and compelling ways to conduct their businesses as well as their lives.
It’s interesting to see how these individuals have sought ways to bring about transformation, innovation, and solutions. And here, we look into the stories of five Filipinos who have led the charge. Scroll through to get to know them.
Angeline Tham, Founder and CEO, Angkas
Angeline Tham is no stranger to Metro Manila’s heavy traffic. She also knows how difficult it is to commute to and from work. To help ease the traffic congestion in the country’s capital, she founded the motorcycle ride-hailing platform Angkas in 2016. Before this, Tham launched Sold.sg, an online entertainment shopping website in Singapore, which she then sold. This gave her valuable experience in the tech industry, which ultimately helped her set Angkas in motion.
It hasn’t been a walk in the park for Angkas, but what’s noteworthy about the company is how it overcame numerous setbacks, eventually becoming the number one professional motorcycle taxi in the Philippines. Today, Angkas has over 27,000 accredited bikers, over four million app downloads, and a 99.997% safety record (Tham also advocates for the safety and regulation of motorcycle taxis).
Through Angkas, this leader gives Filipinos a more accessible means of transport while providing livelihood to thousands of people.
Paul Rivera, Co-Founder and CEO, Kalibrr
When Paul Rivera was still signed on with Open Access BPO, an outsourcing company he co-founded, he saw how difficult it was to match employers with potential employees. Because of this, he sought to address a need in the market: to improve the recruitment process. This led him to co-found Kalibrr.
Established in 2013, Kalibrr is an end-to-end recruitment and hiring platform that has made the hiring process better, faster, and simpler for both the candidate and the company. This careers platform aims to educate applicants and help them land meaningful careers while allowing organizations to find talented individuals who might just be the next captains of the industry.
This commitment to people makes Kalibrr one of the most sought-after IT-powered recruitment companies in Southeast Asia. In 2021, it was even recognized as one of the most notable startups across the Asia-Pacific in Forbes Asia’s 100 To Watch List.
Earl Patrick Forlales, Co-Founder, Cubo
Inspired by memories of time spent in his grandfather’s traditional bamboo house in the province, Earl Patrick Forlales came up with the idea of modular tiny house designs made from renewable, sustainable materials.
Made of engineered bamboo, which grows fast and in abundance, these prefabricated components allow for speedier construction and assembly, enabling the Cubo team to put up a house in a matter of hours.
The company, in addition, goes the extra mile by tapping Filipino bamboo craftsmen with decades of knowledge to build these world-class homes. Not only does it put the spotlight on Filipino expertise, but it also makes homes affordable. Cubo offers a housing payment plan with 0% interest for up to a 10-year payment period, backed by a 50-year lifetime structural warranty.
Today, Cubo is a global award-winning company that offers sustainable and affordable housing made by Filipinos, for Filipinos.
Abba Napa, Co-Founder for Creative Development, The Moment Group
Growing up in a family whose business centered on food, it only seemed natural that Abba Napa would choose the same path. Armed with knowledge from her first ventures in retail, she settled eventually into the food industry, landing the role of Creative Director for Brand and Business Development and R&D for The Moment Group.
Established in 2012, this dynamic company quickly expanded to 14 homegrown brands and a partnership with the award-winning Din Tai Fung. It now includes beloved favorites such as Manam Comfort Filipino, 8Cuts Burgers, Ooma Bold Japanese, and Mecha Uma, as well as Mo’ Cookies, Papa Pancitan, Cuckoo, Bank Bar, Manam Express, Moment Catering, Moment the Grocer, and The Mess Hall. The Moment Group also hit a milestone when it launched its in-house delivery website and app.
Josh Mahinay, Founder and CEO, BEAGIVER
Josh Mahinay’s own story drove him to establish BEAGIVER. As a child who grew up in Zamboanga, he had to trek 10 kilometers to school each day while carrying his books in a plastic bag that kept on ripping open. When a distant relative gifted him with a hand-me-down school bag, it gave him renewed confidence and inspired him to do better in his studies.
Life hasn’t always been easy for Mahinay, but his experience inspired him, along with two friends, to start the social enterprise BAG943 (Be A Giver) in 2013. This was later incorporated as BEAGIVER VENTURES INC. in 2017.
BEAGIVER began by focusing on selling bags following a buy-one-give-one model, where customers who buy a bag can give another high-quality item to kids in need. Today, the social enterprise’s customers can choose to directly purchase the number of “give bags” that they want for their chosen school or community. BEAGIVER today has also diversified its lineup of offerings to include clothing and other items that help various causes in the communities.
As the world embraces a digital lifestyle, more and more organizations are revolutionizing their processes and finding ingenious solutions to everyday problems.
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