Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia wants you to thank your teachers

Backstage at WE Day Vancouver, Nav Bhatia shares the secret to his success: compassion and positive role modelling.


Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia wants you to thank your teachers

Backstage at WE Day Vancouver, Nav Bhatia shares the secret to his success: compassion and positive role modelling.


Treat people how you want to be treated.

Nav Bhatia, a.k.a. the Raptors Superfan, lives the old adage every day, both at and away from the Raptors’ home court.

A lesson instilled in him early on by educators he fondly likens to “parents,” the motto has led to a life of purpose for the entrepreneur.

Owner of some of Canada’s most successful Hyundai dealerships, Bhatia’s business prowess is matched by his charisma—a charm defined by exuberant positivity. (See his 275,000 Instagram followers for proof of his popularity.)

Given the reach of his public platform, Bhatia felt it “necessary” to use his celebrity for good. And so was born the Superfan Foundation, a community-minded non-profit dedicated to uniting people across Canada through their shared love of basketball by refurbishing courts and creating programming for youth to play the game

Bhatia’s other public forum is WE Day. As a regular speaker, the inspiring role model has used the spotlight to call attention to his own mentors: educators. “Teachers play a big part in who you turn out to be. In my case there were many,” he says. “Teachers are like the parents in the school.”

From backstage at WE Day Vancouver, Bhatia takes a walk with us and chats through the power of embracing diversity, the role models who shaped him and why he’s inspired by the youth at WE Day.

Q&A with Nav Bhatia

Q: You just got off stage; how did you it feel being up there in front of thousands of young change-makers?

Nav Bhatia: Very inspiring and satisfying. I’ve done it a few times, and every time it gives me more energy to continue speaking in front of kids, and learning from them and inspiring them

Q: I’m sure they find you inspiring, too! On that note, what do you hope the audience will take away from your speech?

NB: The message that there is a solution for every problem in life—every situation that is negative can be turned positive. I hope they also get that when they see anybody being bullied, they have to help the person out.

Q: How has that type of compassion played a role in your success as an entrepreneur?

NB: People ask me that question all the time. In the end, it’s all about treating people how you want to be treated yourself … it has worked for me; and I believe it will work for everyone.

Q: What inspired you to start the Superfan Foundation?

NB: I’ve been doing little things over the last 10, 15 years, but now with all the love I’m getting from the fans, I decided to serve it in a bigger, better way, and that’s why we created Nav Bhatia Superfan Foundation. The support this foundation is getting has been amazing. Hopefully we’ll be able to help more people who need it.

Q: So happy to hear it’s going well! Who were your role models growing up?

NB: Growing up, Muhammad Ali was my big role model. What he did and how he faced the challenges of being a black man, and being a black athlete, has been a big influence on me.

Q: In your speech today, there was a lot of love for educators. Speaking from your own experience, how have teachers helped encourage your development, inside and outside the classroom?

NB: All the principles I learned as a student with teachers made me what I am today. I’m using their lessons every moment of my life.

Q: What would you say if you could thank your teachers today?

NB: All the teachers were like a team. Just like how it’s not one coach, it’s a team of coaches who carry the team of players, that’s the way it has been for me. To all of the teachers who were a part of my growing up, I thank you.

Q: Research shows that teachers often lack the resources they need to do their jobs. Why do you think it’s important these teachers get what they need to help students succeed in the classroom?

NB: Because teachers work very hard with their students and that relationship carries on for a long while. In my case, it carried beyond the school. They play a big role in your life.

Q: Does being at WE Day inspire you to give back to the community even more?

NB: The audience recharges me! Every time I’m up on the stage talking to them, even off the stage when I talk to them, it gives me energy and inspiration—the energy to continue what I’m doing now with WE Day as long as I’m alive.

Q: What will you remember most about WE Day?

NB: The energy of these kids. These kids are so amazing. They’re already so intelligent and they’ve achieved so much by being here at WE Day. I learn from them every time I come.