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He’s a community builder and a philanthropist

Gyan Jain came to Canada in 1964 on a whim. He was in Germany when Lester B Pearson visited the country and said Canada wanted young graduates who were fluent in English.

“I thought I was a perfect fit!” says Jain, who filled out an application and was accepted on the spot.

Told that he could expect to earn $300 a month and save $100, Jain decided he would be able to save at least $200 as he had very simple tastes. The plan was to experience a new country, save $800 for a Toronto-Delhi ticket in four months and return to India. Instead, he earned $550 in two weeks, bought a car, and is still here, over five decades later.

But the journey wasn’t without its bumps. With an engineering degree from India, he landed a job as a chief draftsman within three days of landing in Canada but his lack of a Canadian degree and a P.Eng. came in the way of moving up the ladder. He convinced the administrator at a Buffalo university of his commitment to succeed, completed the course in nine months with flying colours and was offered a well-paying job.

However, his mother, now in Canada, called him crying that she rarely got to see him and after he got married, she would see him even less if he settled in the us. He returned to Canada where he worked odd jobs, not divulging his Master’s and P.Eng qualifications on a few occasions lest they render him ‘overqualified’ for the position he was seeking.

Then came an offer to rent a Shell gas station. Jain hesitated. A qualified engineer was going to run a gas station? With his dad’s encouragement to go into business for himself, Jain did, and after an initial loss, saw success.

Jain went on to build a real estate development business with an annual turnover of $5 million.

He also ran soup kitchens and served free vegetarian meals at the Good Shepherd Ministries. 

He set up the Shri SS Jain Foundation, named after his father, and was the driving force behind the Bhagwan 1008 Adinatha  Swamy Jain temple built on a 25-acre piece of land he purchased. It is now being expanded to include residences, an auditorium and community centre, with a school and hospital, etc., in the works.

“The opportunities are always there, how one avails of them differs. Be honest with yourself, don’t lose track in competitiveness and work hard. God will help. Opportunities will arise.”

Posted: Mar 1, 2019

May 2020

Centennial College

Immigration Peel Canada

© CanadaBound Immigrant 2016