As innovation accelerates at a breakneck pace, businesses have to constantly keep up in order to stay relevant. Philip Villa, founder of Bangkok-based Thai boxing brand Yokkao believes that diversification and vertical integration is the key to success.
Yokkao started out as a fight gear company when it was founded by Villa in 2010. After a decade since it started, Yokkao’s vertically integrated business model now covers a complete scope of operations from manufacturing to event promotions to running its own training center in downtown bangkok and a sportswear collection that just made its debut in Milan’s fashion showrooms.
During the first few years, Philip Villa relied on local manufacturers until he struggled to cope with the increasing demand for Yokkao products. It was challenge to maintain consistency in both the product quality and the turnaround time. By 2015, Yokkao’s own manufacturing facility was up and running, eliminating the disruptions from suppliers.
In the last 3 years, Villa doubled down and focused on increasing Yokkao’s direct sales through its own online store. Yokkao’s Bangkok factory expanded in 2018 in order to meet the exponential global sales supported by logistic facilities in Republic of San Marino and Las Vegas (USA) for worldwide distribution. The direct sales network makes Yokkao the first Muay Thai brand to be directly globally distributed.
Yokkao’s growing popularity over the years can be attributed to a series of outreach strategies put forth by Villa. Within just the first two years of the company’s founding, Philip Villa put Yokkao on the Muay Thai and kickboxing world map with a series of high-profile events and training seminars that featured the biggest stars in the sport. To date, Yokkao has promoted over 80 Muay Thai events and hosted nearly 100 seminars all around the world. All of Yokkao events are also live streamed over its social media channels, allowing them to reach out to a global audience.
Yokkao is also known not just for its gear and events but also the engaging social media content that it puts out on a daily basis. The trend-savvy founder harnessed the power of social networks to promote his products. Yokkao was the first in its industry to upload full-HD videos of Muay Thai training and interviews onto YouTube.
Despite 2020’s global slowdown, Yokkao has been able to defy the odds and increased its sales by over 300%. With proper planning and effective execution, Philip Villa has demonstrated the profound benefits of vertical integration in his business.