Abhishek is a Player in India’s First Research to Retail Venture in Medical Cannabis
What’s your story?
I was on the periphery when the first domain was registered in India, then embarked on a career that, over 15 years, saw me being a part of several ventures, from video games publishing to data entry to mobile security, and I am now into a startup, as a retail medical cannabis player, in India. I have always been about taking risks in “sunrise” industries. Some have done well, some have failed, but the last 2 years have taken me to new heights in business.
What excites you most about your industry?
I am excited about the impact of responsibly dispensed cannabis medication that has the potential to provide pain relief to hundreds of millions in India. Also, cannabis is a cash crop that can potentially move small farmers out of poverty and put them in a higher level of income class, and just as important, current research into this indigenous plant can potentially stop opioid abuse in its tracks. Besides being a multi-billion dollar opportunity, what’s not to be excited about?
What’s your connection to Asia?
I grew up in India and have lived in south east asia for over 15 years, starting and running several businesses.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
To me, it used to be Hong Kong, but now I don’t know. It was the perfect blend of east and west and a highly efficient city with a diverse population and a long history.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Everybody in the world knows something you don’t. Give them the time of day, and you’ll learn something for free.
Who inspires you?
Ajit Balakrishnan. The father of the Internet in India. He also founded the biggest domestically owned ad agency, pioneered chipmaking in India, as well as many other endeavours. He came from a small town, no drama, no inheritance, just efficient execution. A true serial entrepreneur.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
Benford’s law. Google it and have your mind blown!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I’d pay more attention to stats and data science in college.
How do you unwind?
Music, my dogs, and playing the drums.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali by far. Complete isolation, or extreme interaction with nature.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“The Wave Rider: A Chronicle of the Information Age,” by Ajit Balakrishnan.
Shameless plug for your business:
We are India’s first Research to Retail venture in the Medical Cannabis sector. With 16 products and a network that includes 60,000 doctors and 300 clinics, in September, we will begin what will be the biggest single brand deployment of medical cannabis to clinics in the world.
How can people connect with you?
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.