Vijay Sappani is a Tamil cannabis entrepreneur and investor who co-founded a billion-dollar company called TerrAscend. He joins Ara to speak about biryani, biryani, and more biryani. They also cover topics such as why he entered the medical cannabis industry, the process of taking a company public and receiving a billion dollar evaluation, and if money can buy happiness.
**For a chance to win a $100 gift card and get future podcast updates, interviews and other news, please sign up for the newsletter - CLICK HERE!**
***To support the work we do to tell creator stories around the world, become a VIP fan - CLICK HERE!***
- CLICK HERE to listen on Spotify!
- CLICK HERE to listen to us on Apple Podcasts!
- CLICK HERE to listen to us on Google Podcasts!
***Want to leave feedback, guest recommendations or interested in being an advertising partner - CLICK HERE!***
00:15 - Introducing Vijay Sappani
01:53 - Nuanced opinions in the Tamil community
05:17 - Vijay’s obsession with biryani, and where to find the best kind
08:16 - Why Vijay entered the medical cannabis industry
12:20 - The biggest challenges Vijay faced upon starting his business
14:13 - Skepticism that Vijay faced early on, and important mentors
17:19 - Taking TerrAscend public and receiving a billion dollar evaluation
22:47 - The importance of knowing when it’s time to step aside
24:51 - Can money buy happiness? Has money changed Vijay?
28:52 - Ela Capital
30:45 - Companies that Vijay has invested in
35:12 - Money being a taboo subject in the Tamil community
39:10 - Vijay’s daughter having a rare genetic disorder, starting a foundation in her name
43:34 - How Vijay balances work and life
46:28 - Wanting to be remembered as “Mr. Troublemaker”
47:44 - Growing into his Tamil identity, and funding projects in Sri Lanka with his wife
53:08 - Ara asks for one piece of advice for Tamil creators; Vijay gives way more
57:31 - Would you rather speed round
**Looking to create your love story? Join the other couples who have dated and got married through myTamilDate.com!***
- "The Tamil Creator (EP.9): Sashee Chandran - A Chrissy Tiegen Tweet Helped Turn A Passion Project Into Tea Drops, A Multi-Million Dollar Company"
- "The Tamil Creator (EP. 8): Dr. Ranjith Mahen On Being $190K In Debt To Opening Two Multi-Million Chiropractic Clinics With Just $10K"
- "The Tamil Creator (Ep.7): Jananie Baskaran On Raising $60K For Charity Using Photography"
- "The Tamil Creator (Ep.6): How Seattle-Based Real Estate Entrepreneur Vozhi Got To Rap In A Kollywood Film"
- "The Tamil Creator (Ep.5): Podcast/Radio Host Kausalya Vimal (Showkace) Is Normalizing Conversations Around Mental Health"
- "The Tamil Creator (EP. 4): Micro-Business Investor Chen Vasanthakumar Talks About Buying a Business For $0K And Selling It For $60K"
- "The Tamil Creator: MBA Grad Dilani Rabindran Talks About The Business Of Media"
- "Episode #2: Learn From The Real Estate Investor Who Acquired 41 Units In A Few Years"
- "Award-Winning Division 1 Basketball Player And Pre-Med STudent Shayna Mehta Challenges The Notion That Brown Girls Can't Ball"
- "This Tamil-Canadian Co-Founder Of An Aussie Startup Raised $7.1M Series A To Manage Property Differently"
- "Tamil Innovators Spotlight: Abarna Raj, CEO of Australian Social Startup Palmera, Is Tackling World Poverty"
- "Tamil Innovators Spotlight: Tea Drops CEO & Founder, Sashee Chandran"
- "Tamil Innovators Spotlight: Knowledgehook's CEO, Travis Ratnam"
- "Tamil Innovators Spotlight: Kabo CEO & Founder, Vino Jeyapalan"
- "Danny Sriskandarajah's Journey From Rural Sri Lanka to CEO of Oxfam Great Britain"
- "The NBA Bubble: Dr. Priya Sampathkumar Helped Make It Happen"
- "These Tamil Founders Behind Agritech Startup Dunya Habitats Want To Alleviate Food Security Globally"
- "Marketing Maven Jackson Jeyanayagam Shares Insights From His Illustrious 20-Year Career"
- "Angel Investor Jay Vasantharajah On Building His Portfolio One Day At A Time"
- "Meet Tamil-Canadian Journalist Kumutha Ramanathan"
- "Breaking Into Hollywood: Meet Tamil-Canadian Actor Vas Saranga"
- "Meet Rebecca Dharmapalan - Filmmaker, Legal Scholar, And Activist"