EP #11: JYXDI (Jyothee Murali) – Amassing Over 150K Followers And Collecting $10,000 For A Single Piece of Art

Jyothee Murali, better known as JYXDI, is a 25 year old Tamil self-taught artist from Toronto who has found massive success on Instagram over the last half-decade. She joins Ara to discuss what it was like dropping out of university to chase her childhood passion for art, being handpicked by Michael B. Jordan to collaborate with Coach, creating art for Noah “OVO40” Shebib, and how her work has turned family skepticism to family support.

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Connecting with JYXDI – https://www.instagram.com/jyxdi/

Timestamps:

00:15 – Introducing Jyothee Muraliaka JYXDI
01:06 – How death note sparked her interest in anime
03:17 – Dropping out of school to pursue her passion and dealing with the pressure of south asian parents
04:33 – Being handpicked by Michael B. Jordan to collaborate with Coach
05:50 – Thoughts on NFTs and decision to release two pieces recently
07:18 – How her work has turned family skepticism to family support
09:01 – Using social media to create exposure, how she came up with the moniker JYXDI, and how anime has helped grow her brand
11:15 – Playing in chess tournaments growing up, and her love for hiking and Bali
12:31 – The types of people she surrounds herself with, being an introvert during COVID
14:05 – Plans to move out of Canada and to build an art school
15:23 – Teaching Tamil seniors how to paint
16:41 – Favourite books/podcasts
17:51 – Practicing discipline and meditation
18:56 – Growing up in Sri Lanka during the genocide, still visiting frequently
20:49 – The impact of the Toronto-Tamil community, being contacted to teach art 1-on-1
22:24 – Oil paintings being her favourite art-type to produce
22:56 – OVO40 (Drake’s Producer) and La Mar C. Taylor (Creative Director for The Weeknd) reaching out for art pieces
24:09 – Wanting to be known for taking a leap of faith and going against the grain
24:34 – From selling paintings at $100 a piece to now sometimes getting $10,000 per piece
26:36 – Being inspired by A.R. Rahman, OVO40
28:21 – Advice she would give to young aspiring artists
29:56 – Speed Round

EP #10: Vijay Sappani – Co-Founder Of A Billion-Dollar Cannabis Company, Philanthropist And Rare Disease Hunter

*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.


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Connect with Vijay –https://www.instagram.com/elacapital/

Timestamps:
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

EP #9: Sashee Chandran – A Chrissy Tiegen Tweet Helped Turn A Passion Project Into Tea Drops, A Multi-Million Dollar Company

Sashee Chandran is the Founder & CEO of California based company, Tea Drops. After initially starting the brand as a passion project and side gig, she has raised $3.5 million and garnered mainstream attention from the likes of Chrissy Teigen and Tory Burch. She joins Ara to discuss growing up on a tea estate and learning to sell from a young age, how one tweet changed her entire life, and the power of both learning to let go and celery juice.


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Connect with Sashee – https://www.instagram.com/sasheechandran/
Follow Tea Drops – https://www.instagram.com/myteadrop/

Timestamps:

00:15 – Introducing Sashee Chandran
01:23 – Growing up on a tea estate with entrepreneurial parents
04:35 – Learning to sell from a young age
05:24 – Starting Tea Drops while working a full-time job at eBay in Silicon Valley
06:46 – How Sashee knew it was time to quit her job and go all-in on Tea Drops
10:57 – The process of patenting Tea Drops
13:39 – The impact of being tweeted about by Chrissy Teigen
15:58 – Transitioning from bootstrapping to raising funds
18:31 – Maintaining open to feedback while having conviction in what you’re building
22:48 – Raising $3.5 million to date and embarking on a $5 million series A round
24:39 – Receiving support from her family, friends, and mentors
27:18 – Meeting people she would have never expected
28:06 – Following her father’s “Horizon Theory”
30:05 – Expanding beyond tea to incorporate and emphasize self-care
34:59 – Wanting to separate work from her personal life, and investing in other founders
41:20 – What Sashee would be doing if Tea Drops wasn’t a thing
46:24 – Why Sashee moved into a 250-sqft home and got rid of 75% of her belongings
49:47 – Sashee’s view on social media
51:40 – Sashee’s interests outside of work (spending time with family and travelling)
54:04 – How the book “Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer helped Sashee learn to let go
56:12 – The power of celery juice
57:20 – Wanting to make other people feel like they are the priority
58:40 – The influence of Tamil culture on Sashee
01:00:17 – Admiration for Maitreyi Ramakrishnan
01:01:37 – Sashee’s advice to other Tamil creators
01:02:38 – Would You Rather

EP #8: Dr. Ranjith Mahen – Being $190K In Debt To Opening Two Multi-Million Chiropractic Clinics With Just $10K

Dr. Ranjith Mahen is a health educator, chiropractor, and weight loss and clinic coach. He joins Ara to discuss being $190,000 in debt, opening his first practice with $10,000, the importance of mastering your energy, and overcoming self-doubt to pursue what you want.

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Read his feature story on TamilCulture.com – https://tamilculture.com/dr-ranjith-mahens-secret-to-running-two-successful-multimillion-dollar-practices-be-generous-and-give-back

Connect with Dr. Ranjith via Instagram https://www.instagram.com/doctormahen/

Ep8 Timestamps

00:15 – Introducing Dr. Ranjith Mahen

01:36 – Ranjith recalls how he met Ara, contemplating dropping out of school after his mother’s sudden passing

04:13 – What does a chiropractor do and why should someone go to a chiropractor

11:39 – Being $190,000 in debt with student loans

13:13 – Ranjith speaks on how Ara’s dad was a mentor to him and how a solid network helped him start his first practice with $10,000

17:48 – Struggling with self-doubt and overcoming it

19:26 – How to find a balance between work and life, and the importance of getting your energy right

21:30 – Ranjith speaks on the health transformation he underwent during COVID, and how this is the first generation of children who won’t outlive their parents

25:44 – Purchasing his first commercial real estate property for the business, where Ranjith sees himself in the next 3-5 years

28:32 – Books and stories that inspire Ranjith

30:57 – His mom’s passing has inspired him to help others, and recapping an example of how when you give more is given to you

32:54 – Being Tamil a major part of Ranjith’s identity

34:29 – Being inspired by Tony Robbins and A. R. Rahman

36:25 – Putting aside fear to build certainty

38:26 – What Would You Choose

42:35 – The Wrap Up

EP #7: Jananie Baskaran – Raising $60K For Charity Using Photography

Jananie Baskaran is a photographer, artist, and founder of the non-profit organization Palm Roots. She joins Ara to discuss how she raised $60,000 through sponsorships, what it was like being one of the first female photographers in the Tamil community, and how The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari completely shifted her perspective, before Ara runs her through another speed round of Would You Rather.


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Connect with her:

Ep7 Timestamps

00:15 – Introducing Jananie Baskaran

01:47 – How her visit to Jaffna lead to the creation of her non-profit Palm Roots

03:53 – Raising $60,000 and the sponsors that helped make it happen

04:49 – How transparency lead to the evolution of Palm Roots

06:18 – Jananie’s plans for Palm Roots going forward

07:23 – The negative perception of Jaffna (Jananie’s ambition to
display the positive), and the entrepreneurial energy of the Tamil
community

09:19 – Jananie’s writing work, and speaking on the feeling of being a social outcast

16:34 – Being one of first female photographers in the Tamil
community and how the scene has changed since, in addition to how COVID
has affected photographers

19:29 – The importance of art in the world despite the negative perception that surrounds it as a career choice

22:08 – Medical field by day, photography and creative arts by night

23:52 – The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari completely changed Jananie’s perspective

25:52 – How self-reflection has helped Jananie overcome the famous Tamil phrase “what will other people think”

29:20 – Where Jananie sees herself in the next 3-5 years

29:55 – Wanting to be remembered for living life on her own terms and embodying kindness

31:45 – The legacy Ara wants to leave behind

32:32 – Finding identity in being Tamil

35:59 – Jananie’s admiration for Tamil immigrants and Princess Diana

39:29 – Advice Jananie would give to other aspiring Tamil creators

41:33 – Would You Rather

46:40 – Wrap Up

 

EP #6: Vozhi – How A Seattle-Based Real Estate Entrepreneur Vozhi Got To Rap In A Kollywood Film

Vozhi is a Tamil-American Seattle-based entrepreneur, rapper, and community activist. He joins Ara to discuss how he got the opportunity to rap in Kollywood film Vellai Pookal, how Arnold Schwarzenegger inspired him to get into real estate, getting the governor of Washington to officially make March 9th Tamil Heritage Day, and why the victim mentality is counterproductive to you achieving your goals.


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Read the feature interview on TamilCulture.com – https://tamilculture.com/seattle-based-entrepreneur-arivozhi-adiaman-vozhi-uses-real-estate-and-music-to-empower-local-community

Connect with Vozhi


Timestamps

00:15 – Introducing Arivozhi Adiaman aka Vozhi

02:51 – Following the traditional corporate path before having an epiphany

05:10 – Transitioning towards working in real estate, making music, and engaging in community service

08:51 – Why people are fearful of owning real estate, why they shouldn’t be, and how technology is bridging the knowledge gap

14:52 – Where Vozhi’s name came from, and how hip hop has helped him express himself without worrying about insecurities

20:39 – Getting to rap in Kollywood film Vellai Pookal after only six months of putting his work out for public consumption

23:35 – This golden age of the creator era, treating social media as a tool to track progress and connect with your audience

25:41 – The importance of consistency and not getting caught up in the metrics that society sets

33:33 – Taking advantage of every opportunity, how the victim mentality is counterproductive to achieving your goals

36:46 – How Vozhi manages to balance real estate, music, and community activism

39:51 – Resources Vozhi uses to build his knowledge, and how Arnold Schwarzenegger inspired Vozhi to get into real estate

43:59 – How Vozhi wants to be remembered, and what he’s doing to hopefully achieve that

45:16 – Appreciating his parents for immigrating to America without Google Maps and other people he finds inspiration from

48:01 – Talking about the Tamil community

51:01 – Getting approval from the Governor of Washington to officially make March 9th Tamil Heritage Day

51:51 – Advice Vozhi gives to other aspiring Tamil creators, forgetting about other peoples’ opinions

53:46 – Would You Rather

60:24 – The Wrap Up

EP #5: Showkace – Podcast/Radio Host Is Normalizing Conversations Around Mental Health

Kausalya Vimal aka Kacy joins Ara to discuss mental health, manifestation, and why Aunty Kamala’s opinion doesn’t matter, before diving into another round of “Would You Choose/Rather.” For the first time ever, this episode of #TheTamilCreator also includes a bit of bonus audio, so make sure you stick around until the end.


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Connect with Showkace:

EP5 Timestamps
00:15 – Introducing Kausalya Vimal (aka Kacy)
02:11 – Kacy’s mental health podcast
03:35 – Launching the podcast shortly after her sister’s cancer diagnosis and a work incident
06:38 – The false glamour of social media and how people have received her podcast
08:30 – Why conversations around mental health are only becoming normalized now
11:55 – Hosting a radio show with the aspiration of bridging generations together, how it’s different from her podcast
16:07 – Belief in manifestation, and end goal of having a TV show on national television
17:50 – How Kacy’s full-time job as a mental health counsellor and hosting a podcast/radio show feed into each other
19:00 – How growing up around youth violence and “groups” drew her towards a career in mental health
22:31 – Kacy’s love for dance, how she wants to tie it into her brand going forward
25:14 – The perception of a career in the creative arts, specifically in the Tamil community
27:45 – Kacy’s PSA to follow your dream and work hard
28:36 – Representation matters (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Lilly Singh)
31:10
– Finding inspiration from motivational speaker Trent Shelton, other
Tamil podcasts, and Social Change Activist Amanda Seales
35:43 – Numbers driving people’s decision to perceive something/someone as important
37:44 – Waking up early and affirmations have changed Kacy’s life
41:08 – Wanting to be remembered for taking the time to listen to others
41:57 – Kacy’s admiration for her mom and Will Smith
45:31 – Ara recalls a story of rebellion from his childhood
47:02 – Kacey delivers another PSA encouraging other creators to ignore the numbers and instead create out of passion
49:20 – The negative effect social media is having on kids
51:01 – Would You Rather
60:38 – Wrap up
63:25 – Bonus audio

EP #4: Chen Vasanthakumar – Buying A Business For $0 And Selling It For $60K

Micro-business investor Chen Vasanthakumar joins Ara to drop some knowledge on the best places to find and buy a micro-business, and how to assess if it will be profitable. Some of the other topics they discuss include Chen’s passion for travel and learning about other cultures, being in Barcelona at the height of the pandemic, ambitiously working towards the goal of having his family and friends possibly thinking he has a few screws loose, and his newfound love for Teslas.

 

 

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Connect with Chen:

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/whatsgoodchen/

Timestamps:

00:15 – Introducing Chen Vasanthakumar

02:45 – How Chen’s corporate finance background, and a friend from middle school, spurred his interest in buying businesses

09:49 – Buying his first business for $0, running it for less than a year, and profiting $60K

12:47 – Taking some time off to travel, network, and evaluate Southeast Asia

14:09 – Finding a needle in the haystack business on Flippa

17:40 – The impact of COVID and the lesson Chen learned about mitigating risk

19:52 – Chen’s next move after buying a travel based business at the height of the pandemic and remote work visas

24:00 – The difference between behere (https://gobehere.com) and Airbnb

25:54 – The best place to find and buy businesses

31:32 – Doing the de-risking yourself to make more money

34:35 – Where Chen sees himself in the next 3-5 years

35:56 – Wanting to be remembered by friends and family for going against the grain

37:11 – Chen’s favourite book (Shoe Dog)

39:33 – Embracing a marathon mindset

41:47 – Chen’s connection to the Tamil community on a personal and professional level

45:36 – Chen pays respect to Shiv (co-founder of TamilCulture)

47:09 – Tim Ferris almost made Chen quit his job, Nipsey Hussle being the only rapper who rapped openly about entrepreneurship

50:11 – Would You Rather

55:40 – Wrap up

EP #3: Dilani Rabindran – How To Make Money In The Film Industry

Ara chats with the founder and managing director of Viewfinder Film Consulting, Dilani Rabindran, about her passion for global cinema, starting a short film fund in her late father’s name to help independent filmmakers, the South Asian stigma of having a career in the creative arts, who she finds inspiration from in the entertainment space, and much more.


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00:15 – Introducing Dilani Rabindran

01:40 – Working for TIFF and the doors it opened

03:16 – Starting Viewfinder Film Consulting to help filmmakers

08:45 – COVID’s impact on film festivals and transitioning VFC to a production company

10:30 – What film product entails, production in India vs. Canada

12:12 – Starting a short film fund in her late father’s name

14:08 – Dilani’s writing journey with the likes of Behindwoods, the Juggernaut, & TC

17:53 – The misconceptions of someone living in the West when they perceive Chennai

23:47 – Is the stigma of having a career in the field of creative arts changing? How Dilani’s parents reacted to her pursuing her creative passions

26:30 – How Dilani mitigates risk by working with Cineplex

28:23 – Dilani’s favourite book(s), her newly launched podcast called The Attitude to help promote South Asian women and their endeavours

31:17 – Beliefs and behaviours which have helped Dilani grow, specifically the importance of delegating

34:05 – The impact of being a part of the Tamil, Canadian, and Chennai communities

36:07 – Finding inspiration from individuals in the entertainment space, both in the Tamil community and globally

39:09 – The legacy Dilani wants to be remembered for

40:15 – Would You Choose speed round

45:03 – Where you can find Dilani, other projects she’s working on, Kim’s convenience

47:18 – Outro

 

Read more of Dilani’s content on TamilCulture.com including her time spent in Chennai!

Dilani Rabindran

Viewfinder Film Consulting

The Attitude Podcast

Krish Rabindran (Dilani’s brother)

EP #2: Mayu Thava – Real Estate Investor Talks About Acquiring 41 Units In A Few Years!

Mayu Thava is a Toronto-Tamil real estate investor who has managed to secure 41 units in just under 6 years! He joins Ara on episode 2 of The Tamil Creator to discuss his investing journey, using social media to level up, educating others about real estate through his RISE platform, the FIRE movement, the Tamil community, and much more.


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00:14 – How Ara met Mayu

01:16 – Who Mayu is and how he got into real estate investing

03:53 – What Mayu’s family felt about him entering the real estate investment market

06:26 – Mayu’s wife’s reaction to his real estate investment strategy

09:33 – How mayu uses social media in favour of his investing

11:59 – Craziest ROI off of a social media post

14:07 – Where Mayu sees himself in the next 3-5 years

16:02 – Biggest failure, lessons learned, and advice to someone who wants to get into the real estate game

19:29 – Mayu’s RISE platform

22:28 – The FIRE movement

31:14 – The idea of working a safe corporate job

33:12 – The Tamil community’s support, affinity for property, and taboo mindset when it comes to discussing money

35:54 – The taboo of talking about money in the Tamil community

37:18 – Trying to find out what you want to be

38:10 – Favourite book that’s had a bag impact

40:32 – Process of turning an idea into action

42:33 – What would you choose?

46:22 – Wrap up

Mayu was also on TamilCulture.com with a few others discussing growing your side hustle!

Follow Mayu Thava on Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mayu.thava/.
Follow RISE Network – https://www.instagram.com/risenetworkevent/.

To learn more about FIRE, here are a few popular accounts: