Welcome to my personal website. I was born and raised in India and moved to Canada as a teenager. My home town in India was the city of Chandigarh; it’s a beautiful place nestled just below the Shivalik Hills that eventually rise into the majestic Himalayan Range. Being the youngest of five siblings, I had the benefit of a supportive environment that fostered learning and a strong commitment to social responsibility and sustainable living.
After having to complete high school twice; both in India and Canada (long story) I attended the University of Winnipeg and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in economics. At UW, I got into student politics and was elected to Students Association. A liberal arts school complemented my progressive social upbringing. Eventually, I attained a Master of Business Administration degree.
During my career, I have owned and operated a restaurant (the accidental Chef; another long story) and a successful consulting firm that worked with small and large public and private sector clients to deliver training on leveraging Canada’s diverse population as a strategic advantage. I was into D&I before D&I became a thing.
I have held several jobs during my career with each being a very conscious choice to immerse myself in very specific experiences. As a labour relations specialist and eventually a manager, I had the chance to work with some very interesting people and take on some interesting challenges. Two important ones were putting paramedics on fire apparatus and introducing a cadet force at the Winnipeg Police Service. Both have worked very well and saved money and lives.
After leaving the City, I have selectively taken on change challenges by joining organizations that really needed to get somewhere other than where they were. I wasn’t just looking to change organizations, I was also looking to change what I was learning and practicing. Each time, there has been something significant and new.
After helping Manitoba Nurses and other healthcare professionals achieve pension indexing, I went to become and Executive Director of Corporate and Community services with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. That was an interesting challenge. I commuted from Winnipeg weekly and getting to and from work meant over 800 take-offs and landings in three years.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation didn’t like that much as it didn’t see value in flying a Manitoban in and out weekly instead of hiring someone locally. But I digress; while there, I helped save a lot of money. I also put my head in the guillotine as the Executive responsible for an SAP project. Those can be messy and in fact, an earlier effort had gone very wrong. Ours was on time and budget. That’s a big deal.
Now, I am the CEO of Manitoba Building Trades. It’s a neat organization but was also a massive change undertaking for a 110-year old organization. Things are going well. Within five years, we have undergone very significant transformation. But that’s not just my doing, there are some very good people here who have helped.
I am lucky to have been asked to take on some interesting and even daunting challenges. I haven’t been afraid of making change, taking risks and most importantly, I have insisted on patient and sustainable change. In the long run, that matters far more than chasing fleeting growth.
I am married to Suenita Maharaj who has worked extensively in workplace diversity and inclusion and is a published author (Rousing the Sleeping Giant). While pursuing higher education, each of our three daughters are also pursuing their real passions; which are stand-up comedy (oldest), tattoo artistry (middle child) and acting (youngest).