Ones to Watch 2020: Vishal Rungta
The inaugural Greenway Ones to Watch class were nominated by their peers as those will be some of the most responsible for setting the tone of Missouri’s newest industry. From activists to consultants to operators themselves, the following industry influencers are responsible for determining not only how the industry overcomes the obstacles of 2020, but how the industry will be better for it. The same questions were asked of all; submitted answers and related information edited for grammar and clarity.
NAME: Vishal Rungta
COMPANY: QPS Missouri Holdings LLC
OPERATING FROM: St. Louis, St. Charles, St. Robert, Columbia, Cape Girardeau
TITLE: Co-Founder, President, and CFO
BACKGROUND: Vishal received his Bachelor of Business Administration at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, where he studied finance and accounting. Directly after business school, he began his career in investment banking. He worked for Moelis & Company, a global investment banking firm with offices in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. He then moved on to Texas Pacific Group as a Private Equity Associate, working with such companies as Adknowledge, Azul, Hilex Poly and Vincraft. Thereafter, he turned his attention to the world of business strategy and was recruited by Google and worked at its headquarters in San Francisco in Business Operations and Strategy. There, Vishal completed initiatives across multiple business lines including Motorola Mobility, YouTube, Google+, and Indirect Sales. Vishal’s work across these industries and performance in some of the top companies in the world has provided a wealth of experience and a rich network of contacts in various industries around the world.
Following his work in investment banking and business strategy, Vishal shifted his focus to entrepreneurship. Alongside his brother, he co-founded Nickel City Pictures, a film and television production company that has produced such well-known films as John Wick 2, November Man, and Mother’s Day. He remains a current Board Member of Nickel City, in addition to his responsibilities as Co-founder, President and CFO of C3 Industries (a multi-state cannabis operator) and QPS Missouri Holdings.
I have had a passion for cannabis for much of my adult life, both as a believer in the medical benefits of the product in addition to as a personal consumer. This industry combines my personal interest and curiosity for all that cannabis has to offer with my professional interest to build a strong, scalable business that challenges me intellectually and has the ability to impact the lives of a great number of people. There is no other industry in the world that is currently experiencing the challenges and opportunities that exist in the cannabis industry today, and I am keen to be a positive contributor to the industry’s ongoing evolution for many years to come.
What is your vision of the industry in Missouri?
Our company’s primary focus is to provide high-quality, compliant, and consistent products and services to all consumers of cannabis in the markets that we operate within. I am excited to bring our operational expertise and quality to Missouri and work with our local partners to provide the best offering available. I believe that if we are successful in providing that type of positive experience to consumers, it will not only benefit our business but will also broaden the appeal of the industry overall and encourage additional patients to consider cannabis as a solution to their needs. In this way, our company and the cannabis industry overall can be a very positive force to the residents of Missouri. I believe the industry in Missouri will be a sizeable one that will positively impact the lives of all Missourians through the medicine available, employment opportunities, charitable contributions and meaningful tax revenue at both the local and state level.
What opportunity/opportunities does the industry create in Missouri?
The opportunities are endless. The industry will create meaningful job opportunities and the opportunity to economically benefit the entire state through employment opportunities, real estate development, taxes, charitable contributions and more. We hope these opportunities will be especially beneficial to those communities that have been adversely impacted by historical policies towards cannabis.
We are also very excited about opportunities to further advance medicinal research on all aspects of cannabis and have a partnership in place with a leading research institution in Missouri to do so. The opportunities for research and more targeted care in this industry are massive, and we believe any additional research and data will hugely benefit all patients that consume cannabis products. We are very excited to be contributing to the growth of the industry in that area.
What is one thing you wish all Missourians knew about cannabis?
My hope is that over time more and more Missourians will understand the benefits of medical marijuana and how broad a benefit cannabis may be able to provide once additional research and data becomes available. I think it is also important that the industry do its part to continue to educate consumers on the benefits of cannabis, and to provide transparency on how robust a program the state of Missouri has instituted in terms of compliance regulations, security, product testing, etc. This type of education will be important in combating the historical stigmas that have been associated with this plant as well as for maximizing the potential of the industry.