The BusinessMakers Radio Show

Episode #471: Yash Semlani

Audio for this transcript available

Russ: Welcome back to the Businessmakers Show brought to you by Comcast Business Built for Business coming to you today at the Lemonade Day Entrepreneurial Excellence Awards. And I'm very pleased to have with me the first youth recipient of a Lemonade Day Houston Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, Yash Semlani. Yash, welcome to the Businessmakers Show. How are you doing today?

Yash: Good.

Russ: Do you feel good about winning this award?

Yash: Uh-huh (affirmative answer).

Russ: Well, tell me how you won it.

Yash: I thought about a goal, and then I thought of ways to reach the goal. And when I figured those ways, I saw ones that were reasonable that I could actually do. And then I tried them out, and then I made like harder ? made it harder, and I think that's the strategy I used.

Russ: Sounds fantastic. So I understand the Thai organization, that organization where Ashok Rauh is the global leader, I understand they helped you a little bit.

Yash: Uh-huh (affirmative answer).

Russ: What kind of things did they do that helped you? Did they give you some ideas?

Yash: Well, when I went to one of the shows, I think it was a show, they took me there. I got lots of good ideas for my lemonade stand. Some about customer services. Other about visions that you could make. And that was one of the ways they helped me.

Russ: Well, that sounds really good. So was this the first year you did a lemonade stand?

Yash: No, this was the second year I did my lemonade stand.

Russ: Okay. How did you do last year?

Yash: Last year we did okay, but we didn't go like the extra mile.

Russ: Okay. And this year you went the extra mile?

Yash: Uh-huh (affirmative answer).

Russ: And that might be why you won this big award here?

Yash: Maybe.

Russ: Okay. Well, tell me some of the ideas that you implemented that worked well for you.

Yash: We used vouchers. So like pre-selling, and when we pre-sell we don't have to just do if people come to the lemonade stand. We get the money up front and if they come or not, it's their choice.

Russ: So you actually sold vouchers ahead of Lemonade Day for people to bring you if they wanted to actually get the lemonade?

Yash: Uh-huh (affirmative answer).

Russ: Did a lot of them bring their vouchers?

Yash: Not lots, but like an average amount.

Russ: An average amount of them did? Okay. So do you work real hard on making lemonade, too, or do you have somebody else do that?

Yash: The lemonade, my dad did the infusions, and he made the lemonade for me. So I think I'm going to pay him back.

Russ: Wow. So you'll take some of your profits and pay him?

Yash: Uh-huh (affirmative answer). Yeah.

Russ: Okay. Well, I heard several things about what you wanted to do, too. And you actually wanted to give some of your money to a good cause; is that right?

Yash: Yes, I was going to give half of the profits that I made to Texas Children's Hospital to the help kids be kids program.

Russ: Wow. That probably made you feel pretty good to give them a lot of money.

Yash: It made me feel very good.

Russ: Okay. Well, I read a little bit about you, too. And you went into this with the goal which was a pretty high amount of money. What was that goal again?

Yash: So my first goal was a million dollars, but my gram said it was way too much.

Russ: Yeah.

Yash: So I reduced it to a thousand dollars.

Russ: And did you make that goal?

Yash: We made that goal. And when my friend, Ananya, joined, we raised it to $3,000.

Russ: Wow. And did you make that goal?

Yash: Yes, I think we beat it.

Russ: Congratulations, wow. So I assume you're probably going to do Lemonade Day next year again, too, right?

Yash: Yes.

Russ: Okay. Have you already had some new ideas for next year?

Yash: They're coming slowly and steady.

Russ: Okay. That's really good. So what do you think you're going to do when you get older? Are you going to be a business guy?

Yash: Yes, I think I want to do like marketing.

Russ: Marketing? Wow. What do you like about marketing?

Yash: That you can like do ? you can advertise sort of, and you can do something of everything maybe. Like a little in that field of everything.

Russ: Neat. Well, you're probably pretty good at sales, too, if you were able to go out and sell and do these pre-sales of vouchers. Did most everybody that you presented the voucher to end up buying one?

Yash: Most everybody. I think one, maybe two people didn't, but that was pretty much it.

Russ: Wow. And how much did a voucher cost?

Yash: One voucher cost $25, and two vouchers cost $50.

Russ: Wow.

Yash: But you ? I thought there was enough value to one voucher and two vouchers because you would get ? we had tickets, and one voucher equals to six tickets. So if you had two vouchers you would have 12 tickets, and you needed tickets to go on the waterslide, get snow cones, and also get lemonade and food.

Russ: Okay. Where was the waterslide?

Yash: The waterslide was near the tennis court.

Russ: Okay. And that's where you were ? is that close to where your lemonade stand was?

Yash: The lemonade stand was in the front of the tennis court, to the side.

Russ: Okay. Wow, it sounds like you really thought this through.

Yash: Uh-huh (affirmative answer).

Russ: Okay. Well, Yash, thank you very much for sharing your story with me and congratulations.

Yash: Thank you.

Russ: You bet. And that wraps up my discussion with Yash Semlani, the first youth recipient of the Lemonade Day Houston Entrepreneurial Excellence Award. And this is the Businessmakers Show brought to you by Comcast Business Built for Business.