Discussing growth with Bharat Vasan, CEO of PAX Labs

Your company is growing quickly. What lessons can you share about how to double your staff without the company losing its focus?

When you’re having fairly substantial growth, you need really great management. We have folks coming from some of the best companies in Silicon Valley. We say, “How do you take that expertise from Google or Apple and apply it to the cannabis space?” We build with a filter for that, looking for talent that has experience building a great company and applying that expertise to cannabis.


Any advice on avoiding the pitfalls of growing too quickly?

You’ve got to keep trying to do the right things despite the messiness of the space. In cannabis, it’s tempting to take shortcuts, because everything is so new and you’re blazing a new trail. But you pay for it down the road. It’s important not to take shortcuts. For example, the other companies that you work with, make sure they have licenses. Make sure they’re compliant. Don’t just think about your customers as you grow. Think about the people you’re doing business with.


How do you sustain growth?

One big thing is thinking about the longer term rather than this quarter or this year. Instead of thinking about your sales numbers, you should think, “What could we do to make our products that much better? Where are our customers headed and how can we serve them better?”


You’ve made diversity a priority as PAX expands. What are your tips on managing that? It’s a goal many cannabis companies share.

Cannabis is creating a ton of opportunity for a ton of different people. So, we’re able to operate with high empathy, public service, with diversity and inclusion in mind.

We have the opportunity in cannabis to all do all that more consciously than in other fields. As our company scales up, we think about how to create new opportunity for folks.

The first thing is to sit down and think about what your internal values are. What are the company’s values, and what do you represent? Think about your employees, too, not just your customers. What do your employees need to make their families proud? We’re a company that wants to be aspirational, not just selling devices. We’re doing something more.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

– Kristen Nichols