By Renu Mehta
TORONTO: An Indo-Canadian has brought his unique talent to make a success of his career in Canada and he wants to share it with new Canadian immigrants.
When Pravin Patel came to Canada almost two decades ago, he did not even own a computer. Today, he is the CEO and President of Canadian Career College of Innovative Technology and Management (CCCITM), HiTech Institute, and Dynexa Corporation. His story began in 1996 when he landed as a new immigrant in Canada.
While most Canadian immigrants find it difficult to land their first job, for Patel it was relatively easier. “I was fortunate enough to get a job with Pardigm IT, an IT Consulting Company,” says the electrical engineer. “I had a unique skill and all I did was to showcase that.”
Patel then joined Prescient International and worked there, but the hunger to start his own business began to build up. In 1998, he took the plunge and set up a corporate training School called HiTech Institute. At the time, Patel did not even own a computer. Soon students began to line up. “We used the money from the fees students paid to buy a computer,” says Patel who taught courses himself in the first year.
Using his networks in the immigrant community, libraries and bookstores, Patel found people looking for jobs and offered to train them for teaching positions. Over the years, he built and promoted his business and today the company provides short certification and diploma courses in business, IT, law, or healthcare. There are also free English and basic computer literacy courses for newcomers to Canada.
“Our focus market is women, especially homemakers, who have come to Canada but do not have the level of proficiency in English or computer skills required to get a job.”
Once he established himself, he decided to hand over the reins for teaching to someone else and instead focused on business development. He initiated his own business management company, Dynexa Corporation. “Today, the company has a successful history of student placement through the CCCITM co-op training program and small classes with personal attention to each student,” says Patel who is also the recipient of the prestigious “Consumer’s Choice Award” in 2002.
The entrepreneur has helped hundreds of new immigrants establish themselves, providing jobs and training them with new skills, thereby building bridges between the communities and the Canadian work force and integrating them into the country’s workforce.