Born to be an entrepreneur

Chicken Charlie CEO Ifore Yu Photos by Miguel Nacianceno for Entrepreneur Philippines Magazine

By: Irene Tria |Executive Chronicles

In an interview with Chicken Charlie’s CEO, Ifore Yu, the young entrepreneur shared his life story from where he started up to what he still wants in the future.

Looks are deceiving but who would’ve thought that this 31 year-old and happily married with a son and soon baby girl started his own business way back in high school as a fireworks re seller. At a very young age his mindset was to become an entrepreneur. That is why, instead of asking extra allowance from his parents to sustain his lifestyle, he decided to start his own small business.

Chicken Charlie CEO Ifore Yu Photos by Miguel Nacianceno for Entrepreneur Philippines Magazine
Chicken Charlie CEO Ifore Yu
Photos by Miguel Nacianceno for Entrepreneur Philippines Magazine

Ifore, who’s a business administration graduate from the De La Salle – College of St. Benilde grew up aspiring to become an entrepreneur just like his parents who were into the construction business.

From fireworks to rice to drinking water to garments; he even tried the car buy and sell business, which lasted for 10 years, he landed into the food industry, the birth of Chicken Charlie.

Must be by fate and faith, Ifore believes that God guided him in finding the right industry for him.

During his vacation in New York, that’s when he found his niche. After trying the double-fried chicken, he suddenly thought of an idea, of why not create something “proudly Pinoy”, and develop his own home grown brand instead of franchising.

So what makes their brand unique from the other chicken parlor in the metro? Ifore quipped that in keeping customers, you must value their well-being. That is why, he make sure that the ingredients they use are all natural and as much as possible, he refrain from using extenders and preservatives. He have also hired experts to handle the development of their recipe. He wanted that their product to have a distinct taste for branding.

EC: You are quite a busy man, how do you manage to balance work and your personal life?

Ifore: I think proper prioritizing in life. Family should always comes first. Mawalan ka man ng pera sa mundo, ang constant lang ay pamilya mo.

The reason why this debonair make sure to spend time for his wife and son. As much as possible he leaves the office at exact 5pm to be home early (at least 5 times a week) and have dinner with the family. Hanging out with friends twice a week keeps Ifore the same old homeboy his friends knew.

EC: What makes Ifore satisfied?

Ifore: I think working with people more than money is my priority. I think I have proven that to myself. Growing together with the team gets me excited and I guess that’s my greatest satisfaction. The experience I am gaining over the years, I may not be the veteran when it comes to this kind of industry but learning from it, is very satisfactory. And last, having people look up to you as an inspiration, motivating them to have the passion and vision to their chosen business gives me gratification.

EC: Do you consider yourself successful now?

Ifore: No. We are still growing, I am still growing. It’s a very small dot in a whole bond paper. At least a dot but there are still a lot that I want to achieve. I want our brand to someday become an international brand. If I am able to provide more jobs and be able to help when it comes to their growth level, I think that’s the only time you can call or consider yourself successful.

EC: How far are you willing to go to succeed? Sacrifices?

Ifore: Being an entrepreneur itself is a sacrifice. You are always “on-call”, this is not an 8-5 job. The pressure is always on you even when you go home, when you’re having fun with your friends, or even when you’re on a vacation, it is your responsibility to look after your business, and that’s the hardest challenge of being an entrepreneur. You will also experience being financially drain. I think people doesn’t realize that. The stress level from your day-to-day job as an entrepreneur is mentally agonizing.

EC: Are you willing to give up your business for the sake of your family?

Ifore: YES DEFINITELY! No question asked. You know if everything falls apart, your family is the only constant and your relationship with people. But with business, if things go wrong, with one wrong decision, you’ll start all over again.

EC: Lastly, what are the 3 things that you need to consider in becoming an entrepreneur or in putting up your own business?

1. Prayers. I’ve been a testimony to these. I prayed about having my own business maybe for 5 years, as in my legitimate business.

2. Hard Work. If you are persistent, just work hard on it.

3. Perseverance. It doesn’t matter if you’re only selling candies as long as if you are putting your 100% to it. People may laugh at you but regardless of what you do, why be ashamed. Just keep on learning. Do not be afraid to fail, because failure is your key of becoming successful someday. Knowing your strength and weaknesses.