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Language skills help entrepreneurs bring in a franchise

How a group of entrepreneurs sealed the deal with their knowledge of Mandarin Chinese
By Carlo P. Mallo |

Getting an Asian franchise is not as easy as it sounds. How difficult could it get to bring in a brand from a neighboring country? Not as easy as you might think.

When Kelvin Gaisano and his other business partners decided to bring in Happy Lemon from Mainland China, the biggest problem they had to face was not the distance nor the time difference (as if there’s any), but the language barrier.

While the group faced a little difficulty in closing the deal, the decision to franchise the brand may have been the easiest in this business venture.

"The moment I had my first sip of a Happy Lemon tea in Hong Kong, I just knew that we had to bring in the brand to Manila," Gaisano said.

Happy Lemon is a milk tea brand that originated from China and is also available in other countries in the region.

The proposals from Gaisano and his team were written in English and did not send their message quite as clearly as they hoped.

“It was only when one of us talked to the owners in Mandarin Chinese that we actually got to close the deal to bring Happy Lemon to the Philippines,” Gaisano told Entrepreneur.com.ph in an interview.

Aside from having a product that is a growing trend in the country, the upbeat interiors, and joyful experience of drinking the product is what makes the brand a big hit.

Currently, Happy Lemon is available at Promenade, Greenhills in San Juan and at the Eastwood Mall in Libis, Quezon City.

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