A petite man with a big vision, he is a prime example of a man who can not only think of something beyond what others can imagine but actually go ahead and get it done.
When you want to set an example for people who have achieved great success on their own as you look around, Vishal Vivek can be one of them. A petite man with a big vision, he is a prime example of a man who can not only think of something beyond what others can imagine but actually go ahead and get it done. Today, Vishal is the CEO of the Hemp Foundation, a non-profit organization that strives to change the lives of thousands on Earth for the better. It is an organization of about 50 hard working people working around the clock to restore life in dozens of abandoned villages in the hinterland of Uttarakhand and empower the women who have been relegated to the margins in the past decade. Vishal believes that cannabis is the ideal tool to achieve these goals with self-confidence and profoundly affects rural life in India positively.
But how would someone in Delhi think of making a career around cannabis. Odds are that most people may not even realize that a plant like hemp can be in it not only to provide jobs but also to improve the environment and affect life in other ways in the right direction.
Vishal was born into a middle class family in Sitamarhi, Bihar state. A blue-eyed boy to his parents and a loving brother to his brother, Vishal’s childhood was like any other – daily school trips and play. He had a few family and school trips to the hills of Uttarakhand and pristine Himachal Pradesh and this instilled in him a keen interest in nature. These visits left an indelible mark on his young mind.
The chirping of birds, lush green plants, huge oaks, delicate little seedlings – everything seemed so animated and personal. He wanted to be in the midst of nature and do his duty to protect it. It also became a witness to the hard life in the mountain villages where men moved to the cities in search of work and all the women could do was wait for their husbands to return. Because of their need for economic independence, they were also marginalized in society.
Little Vishal, aware of everything he was watching, was eager to make a positive change. However, he, like other children of his age, was also interested in information technology. It was the time when computers were recently introduced into the Indian education system. Computer classes were treated by many as a “free period” because they were an elective. But these categories mean a lot to Vishal. He was fascinated by the way the huge, off-white boxes on the desk enabled him to play great games.
Motivated by his own interest in technology as well as guiding seniors to choose a safe career, Vishal decided to try working in search engine optimization (SEO), a new field at the time. Instead of going for a job, Vishal decided to create his own project which would give him the flexibility to implement his own ideas.
Flagship was set on its feet by Vishal and was known as the SEO Corporation. Through hard work, a determination to offer clients value for their money, and a desire to excel at what he was doing, SEO Corporation achieved success. A staunch supporter of women’s equality, he has worked to ensure this in his organization not only by hiring more female employees but also by giving them opportunities to thrive. Vishal has had great success with the SEO Corporation. He received recognition and fortune, but satisfaction did not come to him. Often, when he slept, he dreamed of working in the remote valleys of the hills. He felt that his life was meant to do something else and that the hills were calling out to him.
Despite his commitments as head of an SEO company, he has started spending more time cruising around the corners of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, talking to villagers, understanding their way of life, and figuring out how he can help them in the best possible way. In the meantime, he was also preparing his team for the groundwork that would work with the villagers to make a massive change.
Vishal was already convinced of the potential of cannabis as a harbinger of change, and was working on ways to connect these native plants to the local economy and turn them into a regular source of income. In other words, he was laying the foundation stone for the Hemp Foundation.
It was time to launch Hemp Foundation. The Indian government, realizing the folly of the ban on industrial hemp, lifted it. Government departments, however, were largely untrained to deal with the new situation. The infrastructure for testing different parts of the cannabis plant was also missing. Farmers hesitated to grow hemp after a prolonged ban and doubts about the crop. A great deal of work was needed to restore confidence in the cannabis economy and develop the supporting infrastructure – which means something like the Hemp Foundation is sorely needed.
Vishal has always believed that reckless consumption and endless greed have seriously damaged our environment and we need to step back quickly before things become irreversible. The problems we face—global warming, deforestation, the water crisis, plastic waste, pollution, or more—were of our own making. The Hemp Foundation reflected this approach to its founder.
Well aware of how cannabis has suffered the shame of Prohibition, Vishal’s cannabis has become a victim of a misperception. However, contrary to popular opinion, cannabis has nothing to do with any intoxicating ingredient. The presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in cannabis is below the permissible limit of 0.3%, which makes it completely harmless. Moreover, hemp is one of those rare plants that you can use as a whole. In other words, you can use the seeds, leaves as well as the stem of the plant. Hemp can be used to produce a range of products such as clothing, seed oil, gloves, masks, hemp concrete, and many other things. Moreover, it restores nutrients to the soil, improves the groundwater level, and helps preserve our environment.
Under the able leadership of Vishal, the Hemp Foundation has begun work on three levels – encouraging people to produce cannabis, working with government officials to broker solutions whenever needed, and creating a system to connect the local economy to the global economy. His idea was to train people in the skills that would earn them a stable job and advise them on the right direction. He was sure that the hard-working people in the remote villages of Uttarakhand and Himachal would pick the signs.
Vishal was aware that few men were left in the villages as most of them migrated to the cities for work. Furthermore, he was also keen to get as many women as possible on board to create the cannabis economy and, in the process, make them economically independent. He and his team toured dozens of villages, talked to the villagers, and explained how a return to the cannabis economy would benefit them. Although people were a little anxious at first, they gradually started joining him.
The Hemp Foundation has worked to form women’s groups in these villages. His team aimed to train at least one woman in each group to produce different raw cannabis products. This person will then coach the other women in the group and develop self-reliance on the unit.
Delhi’s most modern cannabis shop comes
At the other end was the upcoming Hemp Foundation store in Delhi. Vishal’s idea was to create a state-of-the-art store that would allow anyone to simply enter and display a whole range of products that could be created outside the factory. Anyone who has walked has been amazed at the range of cannabis products.
As someone who has been in business since the beginning of his career, Vishal realized that he needed to hire the best talent when it came to industry knowledge and product design. He has earned the support of people who have been in cannabis research for years, have been running NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) in Uttarakhand for decades, have long management experience, or have product design skills. Their association with the Hemp Corporation brought a diverse skill set, which turned out to be a huge advantage.
As someone with a high sense of business, Vishal is well aware that the end customer is the least concerned with theory and more concerned with quality, comfort and fashion quotient. To ensure that the products emerge victorious when compared by customers to other products in the market, Vishal has roped some of the best designers around. The designers with the Hemp Foundation have trained in the nation’s premier fashion institutions and have worked with a few of the leading brands.
In just a few years, Vishal led the Hemp Foundation to be the numerouno organization in the cannabis field. He is happy to see the smiling faces of disadvantaged villagers after a long era of poverty, thanks to the re-established cannabis economy.
An insight into Vishal Vivek as a person
A shy person at heart, Vishal Vivek is someone who is committed to his ideals, working around the clock to envision his dream of creating remote mountain villages, living in abject poverty yet, on his own. He is keen to stop migration and replace it with reverse migration, which means permanently returning people who had to leave their home villages in search of work. He also wants to see women economically independent and employed chopsticks Effectively to stop the deterioration of the environment and get things back to normal.
Vishal is a workaholic. You will find him always working 15-16 hours a day to make his dreams come true as soon as possible. Well aware of the steep rise you need to reach the goals, he is busy in gathering like-minded people and motivating them to do their best for prosperity in these villages of Uttarakhand and getting the women back on their feet. .
What to expect in the coming days
As an optimistic and pragmatic person, Vishal Vivekis is well aware of the challenges he may face in the days ahead. Despite leaving a blanket ban on hemp, officials at the local level remain generally unsympathetic to the cause of cannabis growers and producers. They need awareness of the role that cannabis can play in the above causes and Vishal wants to meet with senior government officials to share his view.
Recognizing cannabis can be a huge forex resource for the country, Vishal often talks about how China left India behind in industrialization and does not want to repeat the same story in the case of cannabis. However, this will not happen unless the majority of the country understands the role of cannabis in shaping the economy. Vishal intends to spend more time on the awareness campaign. Hemp is also expected to play a role in reviving the handloom industry.
Vishal is also keen to do his part to not allow a tragedy like the one in Chamoli to happen again. He believes that cannabis, thanks to its enormous positive impact on the environment, can help prevent such incidents in the future.
According to Vishal, everything that has happened regarding cannabis in the country since the emergence of his organization has been just the foundation. There is a lot that needs to be done to realize the fruits of cannabis cultivation and production. He wants to work even harder and make the dream he’s been watching all these years come true.