IF THERE’S one thing entrepreneur Mark Anthony Ynoc hopes to achieve in his lifetime, it would be to preserve the business his parents have worked hard for all these years.
Ynoc, the eldest among three siblings, is running the family’s resort business—San Remigio Beach Club (Sports and Leisure Resort) and San Remigio Pension Suites.
He is also the chief executive officer of his own Ynoc International Trading Company, an import/export business.
Ynoc’s formal entrepreneurial journey started some months after college. Like an eager graduate wanting to prove himself, he landed a job in a telecommunications company.
“I didn’t work for the family at first because I felt I needed to know if I could land a job without their help,” he said.
Ynoc completed his business administration degree in the University of San Carlos. His family owns Prime Movers Total Logistics Inc., where he currently sits as vice president.
Ynoc, though, didn’t last a year working for somebody else. He was asked by his father to immediately join the family business and manage the San Remigio Beach Club, which was going through some difficulties at the time.
“The resort had to be managed by someone who understood its value. So I heeded my father’s request,” he said.
Ynoc has been managing the family’s hospitality business for 14 years now.
Under his leadership, he was able to grow the family’s tourism business by making San Remigio Beach Club known as a leisure and a team-building destination.
“It was a challenge I accepted, a decision I did not regret,” he said. “So when I took the responsibility, I committed to expand the whole resort.”
The San Remigio property was one of the family’s prized possessions which, according to Ynoc, was bought from his father’s hard-earned money. His father was a fisherman.
The 5.5-hectare resort was opened in 2002. The beach club, which initially had small cottages, now has 48 rooms. It also has various facilities ideal for team-building activities like ziplining, wall climbing and rappelling.
Out of the 5.5 hectares, Ynoc said some 3.8 hectares are already developed. More facilities will be built in the next few years.
Ynoc’s exposure to tourism and his family’s robust business network led him to meet influential people in Cebu’s business scene.
Ynoc is a member of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry and currently chairs the Mandaue Business Month Summit.
What was your first job?
At the age of 20, I took a brokerage exam to run my own San Remigio Realty and Ventures. I was building the company while I was working in Smart Telecommunications’ customer service department.
It didn’t last long though, as I was asked by my father to take over the resort business in San Remigio. He wanted a family member to run the property so the business could run well.
But, while I was helping the resort business grow, I set up my own company seven years ago—Ynoc International Trading. I felt like it was the right thing to do because I also wanted to feel what it was like to build a business from scratch and really work hard to grow it.
Who inspired you to get into business?
My father played a huge part in this journey. He inspires me every day.
His victory—from being a fisherman, waiter, construction worker to a business owner who is now giving back to the community—is a story I would love sharing to people because it is my source of inspiration. Everything I am is just a small reflection of what my father went through in business.
I learned from my father that it’s okay to lose money, but never one’s credibility. Money lost can be found but losing trust is difficult to earn back. I also learned from him the attitude of giving back. Now he has 1,500 scholars.
When did you realize this was what you were meant to do?
When San Remigio Beach Club started earning and gaining popularity as a team-building destination, it was able to generate employment in the local community.
We hired locals to help us out in the resort, but I also saw indirect businesses that sprouted in our area. There I learned the high income and employment potentials of tourism and the opportunities it could give to both the investor and the community where the business is located.
For every tourist in your property, one job is generated. Tourism is a business that makes everyone in the chain win.
Why did you pick this type of business or industry?
My passion is in business, specifically in the hospitality industry. I believe this is the industry that has the biggest chance of eradicating poverty by just telling the locals and foreign tourists to come and explore your place.
This is also a lucrative venture if you just know how to properly market it. Ours is not just a leisure destination because we identified a specific market that we could regularly tap into, hence, our indoor and outdoor facilities, which are ideal for group or company activities.
We also help tailor-fit activities that help companies achieve their goals.
Where did you get the training you needed to succeed?
I did not pursue any advanced studies about hospitality management. But I take inspiration from the ways my parents run and grow our other businesses. I believe that if you have the passion for what you’re doing, managing it would be easier.
How many times did you fail before you succeeded?
When super-typhoon Yolanda hit some parts of the Visayas in 2013, San Remigio was one of those that was hit the most. The beach club was almost wiped out. So, we spent the last five years getting back on our feet.
Putting everything back to normal was a big challenge because you’re not only dealing with properties that were destroyed. The people who helped grow the business were also affected, and they were rebuilding their lives too.
But it was just a temporary setback. It did not discourage me. Now, we are more driven to grow and get back what we’ve lost.
Managing people is also one of the hardest parts of running a business but it is something that hones your character.