Vikram Vij is a household name in British Columbia and across Canada. He’s best known for his Vancouver-based restaurant, Vij’s, which connoisseurs of modern Indian cuisine line up for rain or shine.
The chef moved to Canada in 1989 to work at the Banff Springs Hotel. At the time, owning a restaurant was just a dream. Vij often says, “If someone told him back then that he would own several restaurants, food trucks, and a factory, and be on television, he would have laughed.”
Today, he’s accomplished all that and much more. Vij is a chef, restaurateur, television personality, author, entrepreneur, public speaker, and advocate for multiculturalism and sustainability.
He owns not one, but three restaurants – Vij’s, Rangoli and My Shanti. He produces a line of take-home food in his factory. His dishes are available at BC Place, Roger’s Arena, Whistler Blackcomb, and on the streets of Vancouver thanks to his two food trucks. He’s a sommelier, he’s been a judge on Dragons’ Den, and he sits on an independent advisory board that submits Senate candidate recommendations.
Vikram Vij has gone from dreaming about owning a single restaurant to running a small empire. And an empire can’t function like a well-oiled machine without support from a team of dedicated people, which Vij has at his restaurants and at Curve Communications.
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The Curve team has worked with Vij since 2011 and, over the years, we’ve had a front row seat to the growth of his empire. We’ve also played a role behind the scenes – pitching stories to the media, writing speeches and articles, producing newsletters, photographing events, running social media accounts, promoting new restaurants and products, developing creative ideas, and much more.
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Here are a couple examples below:
Have you ever watched a cooking show on TV and wished you could ask the chef a question? Curve came up with the idea of doing the world’s first live-streamed cookalong with a professional chef. Participants could watch and cook along with Vikram Vij at home and, if they had questions, could tweet him for answers. Curve also negotiated a national partnership with Metro Newspapers and had the shopping list printed ahead of time. This event generated its own media campaign, enabled us to get Vij on national TV shows, and provided us with an invaluable vessel to promote his frozen food line, Vij’s at Home.
In the lead up to Vij making his debut on Dragons’ Den, Curve suggested he do a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). It was a great way for people to get to know the celebrity chef and dragon. People asked questions about everything from the meaning of the word “curry” and his style as a dragon to his favourite dish, challenges experienced as an entrepreneur, how to balance family with work and much more. As Vij becomes more of a brand, it is important for him to connect with his fans. The AMA allowed people to feel like they were having a conversation with the celebrity chef. It also led to a social media campaign and a media appearance on Breakfast Television.