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/

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