Alfredo Yao’s Rags-to-Riches Success Story

Alfredo Yao’s Rags-to-Riches Success Story

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Poverty is never a hindrance to be successful – this has been the life mantra of the self-made businessman, Alfredo Yao. through hard work and sheer determination, he has been able to achieve his life’s goals. Furthermore, aside from being dedicated, one should always be as innovative as he can be to get the most out of this life, said Yao. let us all look back on how this Alfredo Young travelled his path to success. Be inspired by what he has done!

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Alfredo Yao, born in November 23, 1943 is a man who conquered poverty to be the successful person he is today. At a very young age of 12, Yao has already faced heavy challenges in life. By that time, he has shouldered the responsibility of being the family’s breadwinner, because his father died. Being a member of large family, since he has 5 other siblings, he has bore the need of helping his mother support their whole family. His mother was once a sidewalk vendor, and since the income was not enough to support all of them, the young Alfredo engaged in several sidelines to contribute to their budget. Because of this financial instability, Alfredo hardly finished his primary and secondary education. Thanks to some of their helpful relatives, he was able to survive. During his college education, Alfredo stopped; not because he did not want to study anymore, but because the family cannot support his needs, and his sidelines were not enough to still him in Mapua Institute of Technology.

Despite not graduating in college, Alfredo’s dreams did not die out. He searched for better jo0b opportunities, in which case has found through the help of his cousin who worked in a printing press. He then discovered that printing business makes a good fortune, and learned everything he need to learn about it. Later on, he ventured into operating the same business. He named his very first business,, Solemar Commercial Press, in honor of his mother. The funds he used to put this up was all his savings from the numerous jobs he had. This business thrived for twenty years, from 1959 to 1979.


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In 1979, while the middle-aged Alfredo is roaming around Europe to witness several business exhibits, he happened to noticed the newly invented doypacks. These are sealed plastic bags that are designed to stand upright. Since his business was already, somehow related to the manufacturing of these packs he started producing them too. However, there were no Philippine companies, mostly juice manufacturing companies, who were willing to take the new packs. So what Alfredo did, to not put his effort into futility, he himself started a juice manufacturing business.

A year after that, in 1980, Alfredo Yao started concocting fruit juices in his own kitchen. After several consumer tests, and getting positive feedbacks for it, he launched Zest-O Orange. It is his very first doypack product. It became an instant hit as every mother saw the practicality of putting the light but tightly-packed orange drinks in their kids’ lunch boxes. Kids loved it that their chilled fruit drinks stayed cold and fresh till snack time.

Today, the Zest-O product has already 12 variants, which includes ready-to-drink doy pouch, ready-to-drink PET bottle, ready-to-drink can, carbonated drinks, power drinks, dairy products, water noodles, condiments and a lot more. Because of these products, Zest-O now holds 80% of the market for fruit juices. Aside from being the leading company here in the country, this corporation has also expanded in other countries like China, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Singapore, Europe and in the United States.

What’s good about Alfredo’s doypacks is that, these packs are very muchy recyclable. If the juice was consumed already,. The pack can be made into different handbags which were made locally. These handbags are then exported to different countries, which generates even more revenue to Alfredo’s kababayan.

Alfredo Yao has indeed travelled a path to success. From being a boy who used to work numerous jobs, he has now a well-established business empire. Aside from Zest-O, he already has an airline which he renamed Zest Air from being Asian Spirit in 2008. On March 12, 2013, Zest Airways, Inc. signed a share swap agreement with AirAsia Philippines, a domestic airline with foreign ownership interest. The share swap deal involved exchange of shares between the owner of Zest Airways, the Filipino shareholders of AirAsia Philippines, Inc. and AirAsia Berhad of Malaysia. Less than a year after AirAsia and Zest Air’s strategic alliance, the airline was rebranded as AirAsia Zest. In 2016, the AirAsia Zest brand was retired in favor of the AirAsia brand.

With the right amount of determination, courage, patience and hardwork, Alfredo Yao sa reached his ultimate life ambition. He has conquered poverty by never letting it define the limits for him. To some individual, this event of poverty may be depressing, but let us all be like Alfredo. Let us look at poverty as a challenge that we should overcome. Do not let life knock you down. Instead, face it with your head up, and take hold of it.

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