Yevgeniy Lukyanov ’05
Home town: Volgograd, Russia
U.S. City and State: Niagara Falls, NY
Year returned home: 2005
Education: MA in Radio Physics , BA in Economics. Volgograd State University
Job: Co-founder of a food delivery company Express Panda
FLEX Lessons: I can talk on that question for hours but to make it really short – FLEX is the most exciting thing that ever happened in my life. This experience completely changes you, makes you think out of the box and really pushes you towards creating great things. Thank you very much FLEX for making people open minded.
I really miss my host family and will probably visit them this year. But what I miss most about the U.S. in general is that I could go to the local food store in the morning to get some milk just in my white socks and pajamas. God bless America for that!
FLEX Values: FLEX reunions are really fun! I have missed it this year but will definitely make it next time. There is so much fun and “positivity” in the air when FLEX alumni gather around.
Current Job: At the moment I run a food delivery service company – Express Panda. We make outstanding pizza, delicious sushi and rolls and also my favorite and exotic-to-Russia item – Chinese food (check out our menu at expresspanda.ru). We have a very client -oriented philosophy and willingness to provide maximum service quality to our clients. We make pretty good food too.
I should probably thank FLEX program for the idea of creating Panda! I believe I was in Buffalo that day and we stopped at one of Chinese buffets to get something to eat. That day I literally fell in love with Chinese food and the idea of taking it back with me to my home city in Russia instantly popped into my head. Later on when it was the right time to start doing something interesting, I remembered that day in Buffalo and told my best friend: “How about we start making Chinese food and deliver it to people. It should be fun!”
Current Highlights: The idea that your company is like a little panda bear and you are the one to take care of it is very interesting to me as a co-founder. One has to come up with creative ideas, organize things around it and get the right people on board to make it grow strong and happy. Did I mention the bamboo trees? My panda just loves them.
I am happy with the fact that we make people happy, because they like our food. That’s the main prize for me. On the official side, this year we got a “Breakthrough of the Year” reward in a local entrepreneur competition and are proud of that.
Current Concerns: What could possibly be more important than children? We have a couple of orphanages in Volgograd and we try to help them together with all local FLEX alumni. But what really kills me is seeing young ladies who are supposed to be called “mothers” being hostile to their kids. People, please stop being mean to your children – they did absolutely nothing wrong to you. I wish I could do something about that.
Current Reading: The current book I am reading is written by Carlos Castaneda – The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge. Also I have a collection of poems by Sergey Esenin which I often read in the evenings.
FLEX Alumni Message: Don’t be afraid to change the world around you – you really can!
Profile edited by Tatyana Movshevich ’04