On a trip to India in the late 2000s, Raj Grover walked by a paraphernalia store selling glass pipes for pennies, accessories that would retail in Canada for $20. While he wasn’t a cannabis user at the time, Raj saw an opportunity. He parlayed that New Delhi encounter into a 500-square-foot head shop in Calgary with two employees. That lone outlet has grown into High Tide, a Canadian retail powerhouse with more than 100 cannabis stores. In this episode of “Seed to CEO,” Raj shares:
- How he grew from an accessories shop to a vertically integrated chain.
- How to find and seize opportunities before others do.
- Why the best plan isn’t always the winner – and how “fast hands” helped build High Tide.
- The role franchising played in funding High Tide’s expansion.
- How he adapted to an ever-changing competitive landscape.
Who is Raj Grover?
Raj Grover cut his business teeth at the knee of his father, who still operates an import-export business in India. As a teen, Raj had more interest in learning the ins and outs of that business than in playing Nintendo, leading him to becoming a serial entrepreneur at 22. Today, he oversees Canadian cannabis retail chain High Tide, which trades on both the TSX Venture exchange and Nasdaq. Raj also leads High Tide’s partnership with World Vision, sponsoring more than 200 children in 2021, and is also a longtime supporter of Operation Smile, an organization that works to deliver free, safe cleft surgery to children in need.