Murtz On The Scene: Exclusive Interview With Vikram Vij From Dragons’ Den

 

There is little doubt that CBC’s best show is Dragons’ Den.

The show features high-profile Canadian multi-millionaire investors where entrepreneurs have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pitch their business ideas to financiers with the cash and experience to push new ventures toward commercial success.

This season, the show’s panel of venture capitalists has undergone a major makeover with Kevin O’Leary and Bruce Croxon being replaced by restaurant magnate Vikram Vij and tech and media mogul Michael Wekerle.

In May, I had the chance to talk to the newest Dragon in the Den.

Vikram Vij was born in India and left his home at the age of 20 to start his culinary journey abroad. After working in Austria, Vij served a Canadian hotelier who invited him to bring his cuisine to Canada and the rest was history. Vij immigrated to Alberta in 1989 and started working at the Banff Springs Hotel.

From there, the celebrity chef opened his first restaurant, Vij’s, in Vancouver in 1994 to great success. A no-reservations policy has led to a nightly line-up outside the restaurant and celebrities who have lined up to taste Vij’s food include Martha Stewart and Harrison Ford.

I asked Vij about how he thinks the show will change with him and Michael Wekerle being added to the panel. We also discussed whether he can expect the majority of the food and cuisine pitches to be directed to him (in similar fashion to how online and digital brands often tailored their pitches to Bruce Croxon in past seasons). We also discussed how different the new season of Dragons’ Den looks. Instead of the stuffy blue blazers that were a constant staple in past seasons, Vij and Wekerle have certainly added their own style to the panel and Vij talked to me about this. Finally, we talked about how Vij is the first minority Dragon on the series and what that means to him.

Dragons’ Den premieres tomorrow, Wednesday October 15, at 8 p.m. on CBC

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