KEVIN MCHALE YAO walks the hallways of Autokid’s headquarters in Barangay Balingasa in Quezon City, wearing the same polo shirt uniform that his employees wear every work day. If it wasn’t for the frequent good morning, sir greetings from his workers, you wouldn’t know that this guy is the chief executive officer of Autokid Truck Solutions. 

Kevin Mchale Yao walks the floors and stairs of the Autokid HQ with controlled humility but apparent presence. 

Unlike the typical introverted successful Filipino-Chinese businessman we’ve always known, Kevin Yao is a people person. He would not hesitate to mingle with people to talk about their concerns and how he would be of help to address those concerns. 

An entrepreneur’s awakening

Kevin Yao has a degree in nursing he took at the Chinese General Hospital Colleges. But, he always knew he had a passion for entrepreneurship. He even worked while he studied, venturing into sourcing coconuts and rice and selling them to wholesalers. 

Kevin grew up in Bicol, where his grandparents had a grocery store that he helped run. 

Kevin Yao and Autokid

In 2009, a rice wholesaler client swindled Kevin Yao out of half a million pesos, forcing the latter to sell a multicab he owned. 

The incident definitely left a mark on Kevin Yao’s journey as an entrepreneur. This misfortune allowed him to grow into a better businessman. 

The incident also led him to try out selling vehicles. When he sold three vehicles, he realized that he made a good deal.

Kevin Yao thought of expanding the car buy-and-sell business and started looking for investors. 

His first investor was Marvin Tiu Lim, who now serves as Autokid’s President. Marvin was a churchmate of Kevin at the Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF). The name Autokid is a nod to Laptopkid, Marvin’s on-the-job training project, wherein he sold laptop computers from the United States. Eric Daryll Lim, another friend of Kevin, also joined him in founding Autokid and became the company’s Executive Vice President.

Autokid started as a dealership of second-hand passenger cars. However, Kevin, Marvin, and Eric saw that the country is rapidly developing with construction projects happening everywhere. There was a demand for trucks and services for trucks. They realized that while trucks are significant drivers of industry in the country, there are not that many servicing centers that offer care for them. “For the longest time, people resorted to backyard servicing [for trucks],” Kevin said in an interview with The Manila Times back in 2019. The trio then rebranded the company they had started and started calling it Autokid Truck Solutions

Business style

Kevin Yao’s role model in business is Ray Kroc, a tycoon associated with the fast-food giant McDonald’s. “I don’t agree with his [Ray Kroc’s] ethics,” Kevin told The Manila Times. “But I admire his passion in growing the business.” 

In CHiNOY TV’s and Globe Business’s Modern Tao Ke Business Diaries, Kevin Yao said that “You can never truly control how the world changes; what you can control is how you will strategize and continually adapt to these changes.”

In the same program, he also said that “The most important virtue that a businessman should have is discipline. You will never be able to handle huge responsibilities if you do not have the discipline to manage your time, priorities, and commitments wisely.”