Philip Villa: Leading Entrepreneur Empowering Muay Thai In The Sports Industry

Philip Villa: Leading Entrepreneur Empowering Muay Thai In The Sports Industry

Philip Villa, Founder

Philip Villa


Philip Villa, Founder of YOKKAO Boxing, is playing a crucial role in empowering the sports industry, particularly in the field of Muay Thai. His vision of disseminating the culture of Muay Thai globally has led to the establishment of YOKKAO as a leading brand in the market. With a vertically integrated business model, YOKKAO covers a complete scope of operations, including manufacturing, event promotions, running a training center in Bangkok, and a sportswear collection. Villa's leadership approach of involving his team in all aspects of the brand has created an environment where every member can fully express their potential, allowing for the positive impact of Muay Thai to extend to clients and partners. Let’s hear more from him.

Can you provide a concise summary of your professional background and experiences? What inspires you to maintain your daily routine?

Initially captivated by Muay Thai in Italy where it was considered a niche combat sport, I developed a passion for this culture and moved to Thailand in 2007 to immerse myself in it. Drawing from my experience as both a fighter and an important player in the Muay Thai industry, I have a comprehensive understanding of this culture. I am motivated by the opportunity to improve people's lives worldwide through Muay Thai and Thai culture, which instills a philosophy of self-respect and respect for others. The success of my past efforts motivates me to continue promoting these values.

You have more than thirteen years of experience. What has been your path to success and what is your philosophy for achieving success?

My path to success began with my intense curiosity and dedication to learning everything I could about Muay Thai, along with a desire to give back with gratitude. My willingness allowed me to meet incredible people who have helped me grow both personally and professionally. This growth was crucial for the success of YOKKAO, where I have had the opportunity to interact with over 400 professional fighters in the past 13 years. Our passion and commitment to Muay Thai and its culture are real, and this has earned us the acceptance and respect of the community. Our work not only provides top-notch equipment for professional fighters but also supports local gyms and communities, contributing to the growth of this discipline.

Our aim is to introduce Muay Thai to a wider audience & demonstrate how it can enhance their lives both physically & mentally

How would you describe YOKKAO Boxing as an organization and its current market position? What sets your organization apart from competitors?

YOKKAO Boxing is a unique organization that promotes a lifestyle inspired by Muay Thai culture. Our operations encompass everything from manufacturing and event promotions to running a training center in central Bangkok and a sportswear collection that debuted in Milan's fashion showrooms.

As a leading brand in the Muay Thai market, we have three warehouses located in Asia, Europe, and North America and a direct sales network that allows us to be the first Muay Thai brand to be distributed globally. Additionally, we continually invest in research and development, both in Thailand and worldwide. Italy, in particular, plays a vital role in our R&D efforts, as it is a source of inspiration and creativity that helps us perfect our products and services. Our dedication to excellence and our commitment to promoting Muay Thai culture are what set us apart from our competitors.

Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow to lead your team?

My leadership approach at YOKKAO is based on creating an interconnected ecosystem where each part collaborates with the others. I work closely with each team member to ensure that they are able to express themselves in various areas, while also fulfilling their specific roles within the brand. Our way of working is rooted in the values of Muay Thai culture, such as integrity, hard work, passion, and self-discipline. As the founder, I have brought my personal values of excellence, beauty, and treating people like family to the company. By creating an environment where everyone can fully express their potential, we are able to extend positive energy to our clients and partners. Collaborations between teams also allow for the creation of new ideas and initiatives.

What is the future destination you are heading towards?

Our aim is to introduce Muay Thai to a wider audience and demonstrate how it can enhance their lives both physically and mentally. While YOKKAO provides support for professional fighters, we also want to extend our services to those who engage in everyday fights. Our message is to promote Muay Thai as a tool to improve one's well-being, and we want to share this lifestyle with as many people as possible. We have built a comprehensive package that enables us to expand YOKKAO globally, while simultaneously evolving the brand through new collaborations and projects. We remain committed to promoting the culture that has shaped us.

In light of your strong experience within the industry, what advice would you give to budding industry leaders?

I would advise budding industry leaders to bear in mind that creating a brand is no easy feat. It requires a strong team, a clear vision, credibility, and consistency. It demands full dedication and becomes a way of life. In my opinion, taking care of your physical and mental well-being is crucial for being better equipped to handle the challenges of entrepreneurship. Personally, Muay Thai has been fundamental to my career as an entrepreneur. It is essential to remain grateful for one's luck and to give back to the community. Always consider the impact of your actions on people and work to make it positive. And finally, never forget your roots, as a tree without roots falls.

Philip Villa, Founder, YOKKAO

Philip Villa is an Italian serial entrepreneur and martial artist, born in 1981. He moved to Thailand in 2007 where, three years later, he founded Yokkao a leading sports company. Villa’s Bangkok-based firm covers a vast range of services including sports event management, manufacturing and distributing sports accessories, a Muay Thai training center, and a streetwear-inspired clothing line.

Current Issue