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Jonathan is the Season 1 winner of the hit pan-Asian reality TV show, The Apprentice Asia hosted by Malaysian business mogul Tony Fernandes. He was the youngest male contestant at the age of 27 and was popularly known in the show for his people skills, leadership and passionate speeches in the “boardroom”. Jonathan has inspired thousands of young Asians for his popular quote, “You can never be too small to dream big”, and is a strong advocate of youth empowerment, leadership and entrepreneurship. He is currently Chief of Staff at Air Asia.


Born and raised in Manila, Jonathan takes pride of his humble beginnings from his parents who were both government employees. Pressured to study under scholarship, Jonathan consistently finished as the class valedictorian from grade school to high school, and graduated Cum Laude with a degree of BS Economics from the University of the Philippines (UP) in 2006. Jonathan has been an accomplished varsity member of the UP Debate Society, having reached the Semi-Finals of the prestigious Asian University Debate Championships in 2006 for besting more than 400 debaters all over Asia.


Jonathan entered the corporate world as a management trainee for Globe Telecom, a leading telecommunications company in the Philippines and matured to become a Product Manager for international services focusing on Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) market. In 2009, he moved to GlaxoSmithKline Philippines as a Sr. Brand Manager and earned his first national award as the 2012 Mansmith Young Market Master Awardee (YMMA), a distinction awarded to top 7 marketers in the Philippines under the age of 35 for having launched a pharmaceutical brand that earned the highest and fastest market share take up in the history of the company. For his leadership and marketing excellence, Jonathan also served as a Filipino ambassador to the 2012 London Olympics for GlaxoSmithKline, the official laboratory games partner.


For winning the Apprentice Asia, Jonathan today is based in Kuala Lumpur as the Chief of Staff of AirAsia under a 1-year contract with Tony Fernandes. He is also engaged in a series of school and corporate talks about youth empowerment, passion and leadership called, “Journeys of Inspiration” in the Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. His book, "From Grit To Great: The Journey to Becoming Asia's Apprentice", features corporate tips and life lessons from winning the hit TV show.


Jonathan loves traveling and cooking. He dreams to build a food and travel empire in the next ten years featuring Filipino and ASEAN cultures. At a young age, he takes pride for having backpacked solo in Southeast Asia and Europe, and for finishing 4 marathons with a yet-to-be-improved personal best record of 3:54.


When inspired more than the usual, Jonathan still entertains the thought of running to become the next President of the Philippines or the ASEAN Secretary General when he turns 45. 

Jonathan Yabut

Speaker Categories :

  • Competitiveness

  • Leadership

  • Motivation
  • Winner of The Apprentice Asia Season 1, Bestselling Author

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