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Always moving forward


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The Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2022 has concluded its search for the country’s most undaunted and unstoppable entrepreneurs. Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines is a program of the SGV Foundation, Inc., with the participation of co-presenters the Asian Institute of Management, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Business for Social Progress, and the Philippine Stock Exchange. BusinessWorld will feature each finalist in the next few weeks.

Antonio Ynoc
President and CEO
Prime Movers Total Logistics, Inc.

FOR Antonio “Tony” Ynoc, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Prime Movers Total Logistics, Inc. (PMTLI), there’s never been any way but forward.

From his humble beginnings, being the sixth out of 12 children of a local fisherman, he has demonstrated that anything is possible with grit and hard work. Getting back on his feet despite life’s challenges and hardships gave him the self-affirmation that he truly has what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Mr. Ynoc has weathered many adversities over the years, some early in his life. Coming from an underprivileged background, he almost did not finish his education as his family could only afford to support him until sixth grade. His father did everything to prevent this from happening, even making salt from saltwater and raising animals so his son could finish his studies. Mr. Ynoc graduated with an accounting degree from the Cebu Roosevelt Memorial Colleges and went on to seek work in Cebu.

He started his career working as a waiter, doing odd jobs while he sent his siblings to school in Bogo. Even as a college graduate, he had difficulty finding good jobs because recruiters were unfamiliar with his hometown and college. After more than a year of waiting tables, one of his friends helped him get a job at a construction firm. Mr. Ynoc started out as a warehouseman, but he was fortunate enough to be given a chance to work as an accountant soon after one of his superiors discovered that he was an accounting graduate.

Seven years into his accounting career, Mr. Ynoc was retrenched from the company due to the difficult political and economic climate in 1983. His then-girlfriend (now wife), Gloria, was also retrenched from her work as an operations officer for a Manila-based cargo forwarding firm and suggested that they put up their own forwarding business. At first, they decided to focus on being an agent due to limited capital. While still supporting his younger siblings’ education, Mr. Ynoc was also providing for his young family.

Mr. Ynoc opened his own logistics business with his wife as a subcontractor. He drove an old Ford Fiera that he bought on installment to deliver goods to clients. He initially took on small, low-paying delivery jobs, until he decided that it would be best if he started offering services directly to companies. The forwarding business attracted more customers, and to keep up with growing demand, Mr. Ynoc partnered with other investors. But while the financing helped the business grow, he often faced disadvantageous terms, which prompted him to move on and start his own company in 1986.

Since then, Mr. Ynoc has grown accustomed to the challenges that came with running a business. But even with these challenges PMTLI has evolved from being a company that solely offered trucking services to being a logistics solutions company offering full supply chain services — from Customs clearance, delivery, warehousing, lifting and other manpower-related activities.

Mr. Ynoc does not dwell too much on negativity, as he realizes this can potentially hinder one’s progress. Instead, he sees challenges, failures and mistakes as normal parts of life. Like his business, he just keeps moving. He corrects what he can and pushes forward.

PMTLI continues to innovate by being in tune with the needs of its clients. Even with the dynamic nature of business, PMTLI continues to adapt to change and leverage its innovative processes for the business’s survival and growth.

To date, PMTLI has had a market share of 30% of the logistics services in the telecommunication industry. Mr. Ynoc takes pride in PMTLI’s high service standards, which he says differentiates the company from other competitors in the logistics industry. Clients place a great deal of trust in PMTLI’s reliability. This standard of business professionalism has helped the company get awards such as the Best Logistics Vendor award in 2018, Logistics Vendor of the Year award and Most Outstanding Logistics Partner in 2019 from a major telecommunication company in the Philippines. PMTLI was also the champion in the Department of Labor and Employment’s Productivity Olympics in 2009. Mr. Ynoc received the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the same year.

Having established a solid brand for PMTLI, Mr. Ynoc also ventured into other industries like hospitality and real estate. His group of companies support the activities of the Ynoc Family Foundation, which was established in 2002. The foundation focuses on the restoration of faith through education, family formation, environment and religious projects. It undertakes various environmental and social endeavors and supports scholars from far-flung and underdeveloped municipalities in Cebu.

As a member of the Rotary Club of Port Center and the Most Outstanding President of District 3860 from 2006 to 2007, Mr. Ynoc’s primary purpose has been to uplift the lives of people around him, particularly those who, like him, come from a less privileged background.

“Business should always go beyond profit,” he said. “We should measure success by how much we can positively change lives and help people keep moving forward as well.”

The media sponsors of the Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2022 are BusinessWorld and the ABS-CBN News Channel. Gold sponsors are SteelAsia Manufacturing Corp., Uratex and Navegar. Silver sponsors are Intellicare, OneWorld Alliance Logistics Corp. and Regan Industrial Sales, Inc.

The winners of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2022 will be announced on Nov. 21 in an award banquet at the Grand Hyatt Manila. The winner will represent the country in the World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2023 in Monte Carlo, Monaco in June 2023. The Entrepreneur Of The Year program is produced globally by Ernst & Young (EY).

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