Former Janitor, Now CEO Of Tapawarma, Says Faith Led Them To Success: “For His Glory Alone”
Tapawarma’s President, Founder, and CEO Mr. John Oliva shared his inspiring journey of success. He also shared how every chapter of his life served as a teaching moment from God, encouraging him to be more and better.
From a young man in Koronadal, South Cotabato, Sir John flew to Manila to start running after his dreams. Like any journey, he started from the bottom as a janitor with a P50-a-day salary. He also became a call center agent until he landed his first business venture, Cheapdito. This was where he struck gold and earned his first million. This was also his first downfall when he learned the value of humility.
According to Sir John, through it all, it was his wife, Ladyh who was guiding him. Since she introduced him to God, Sir John has paid close attention to the life lessons that God has imparted to him in his journey.
With P5,000 savings left and almost half a million in debt, Sir John launched his 2nd businesss, Juan Cloud IT Business Solutions. Although he claimed to have little (‘laway lang ang puhunan’), his faith in God enabled him to proceed.
He recalled, “Each chapter of my life He taught me different characters before niya ako fully magamit sa gusto niya, maging ako at ang aking pamilya.”
When their daughter Euna was born, they also ventured into food business with Senyor Juan Suman Latik. From 1 branch, it grew to 45 branches, but after 4 years, it also slowed down. The lesson they learned, according to Sir John, was the value of relationships.
Using their old equipment, Sir John opened their first Tapawarma branch in 2019. He recalled the moment his sister, wife, and himself joined the crew in serving customers as a memorable one.
In just a few months, Tapawarma grew to over 30 branches. They paid P1.5 million for an international franchising system leader to keep them in line this time. While it taught them new systems, it didn’t help increase their sales.
But they soon realized the missing piece of the puzzle.
Sir John said, “Dito namin natutunan, first time after 15 years namin pagsasama ups and downs, never kami nagkaroon ng target, specific amount, specific number. How much or ilan ang gusto namin target para sa Panginoon.”
With their hearts full of devotion, they launched a number of projects aimed at serving and giving back to the people and the Church. This time, they were specific with their intentions. By giving more, they received more.
Their Tapawarma branches grew and expanded more than they expected. Within a year, they were able to get a celebrity endorser, Andrea Brillantes, to represent their vision of serving and dreaming big.
Through it all, Sir John believes everything they have is God’s blessing to them. Their business journey and the experience they had were testaments to how their faith led them to success.
“It’s not an overnight, years. Pero the sooner I get to learn what He wants me to do, the sooner tinutupad Niya promises niya. Sana noon ko pa natutunan na in everything I do, my time, my treasure, my talent – It’s not for me, but for his people. For His glory alone!”