Cars > Steed

How this 22-year-old entrepreneur worked his way to a BMW

And he’s looking to next purchase his fancier dream cars

We guess you’re allowed to pose like this with your car if you’ve worked nonstop to buy it. PHOTO FROM INAND IBASCO

There’s this automotive show I’ve been binge-watching lately on Netflix, called Car Masters: Rust To Riches. Not because it features a voluptuous engine mechanic named Constance Nunes, but because I truly find the show’s concept amusing. Basically, a bunch of petrolheads working for Gotham Garage look for rust buckets in junkyards and then restore and sell these for substantial profits. In other words, a simple, universal formula: small stake plus hard work equals big gain.

That, in essence, is the success story of Inand Ibasco, a 22-year-old businessman who owns restaurants around the University Belt in Manila. This guy is a lesson in resilience: He wasn’t always successful, but he persevered through a number of challenges to get to where he is at the moment.

At 16, he invested in a humble barbecue grill—a food cart in SME parlance—and it flopped. He then took up a six-month culinary course while buying and selling mobile phones, motorcycles and even cars.

“I was already into cars at a very young age,” Inand told VISOR. “It was always my goal to own my dream car. I would rather save money from my hard work and use it to buy cars instead of other things. I’m that much of a car lover.”

You know a person is a genuine car lover when he starts acquiring these iconic sedans. PHOTOS FROM INAND IBASCO

His first dream car was the Mitsubishi Lancer box-type sedan. He liked it so much he bought two: a 1983 model for his very first car when he was 18, and a 1985 model soon after. At 20, he upgraded to a 1995 Toyota Crown Super Saloon.

He hit it big when he opened brick-and-mortar restaurants in the university district of Manila. He did well enough to afford his first brand-new vehicle, a 2017 Toyota Altis. He also added a secondhand 2016 Ford Everest just because he could.

A legitimate business model instead of multilevel-marketing BS. We very much approve! PHOTOS FROM INAND IBASCO

Business has been so good to Inand that he now owns four restaurants: Chicks and Fins, Mixed Stone, Iron Pan and Mixed Wrap. So good that he was finally able to recently purchase another dream car—a pre-owned 2018 BMW 318d sedan. Asked why he didn’t get a brand-new unit instead, he said: “Because I need to put up a new branch for Mixed Stone. A brand-new unit would have cost me P3,500,000, but this secondhand one set me back by just P2,100,000. A brand-new BMW versus a used one and a new restaurant? I chose the latter.”

A pretty mature decision for someone who won’t be turning 23 until August.

His next automotive target?

“I want to get either a Porsche Cayman or a Nissan GT-R within the next five years,” he shared. “And a Toyota Land Cruiser.”

Nothing beats seeing the fruit of your hard labor in all its glory. But buy a good camera. PHOTOS FROM INAND IBASCO

The young entrepreneur’s advice for anyone wishing to start a business?

“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Someone said that the first ingredient of success is to dream a great dream, so always have a goal for yourself. Try to achieve it even if you do so bit by bit.”

And then learn to reward yourself for all your labor: “Do what makes you happy. There’s nothing wrong with buying cars, as long as you know what your priorities are.”

Now excuse me as I go back to working for my dream sports car.

Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist since July 1995. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. God has watched over him throughout his humble journey. He writes the ‘Spoiler’ column.