Perminder Chohan Businessman And Philanthropists Eminent South Asian
Perminder Chohan – Businessman and Philanthropists – one of the most prominent South Asians who can be called a name to reckon within the insurance industry! He has been awarded many prestigious awards in the past few years.
Perminder Chohan started his career in the financial services industry when he joined a Registered Education Savings Plan company in 1998. In six short months, he became their number one agent nationally. In 2003, Mr. Chohan expanded his career spectrum and started in the life insurance industry. Since then he has been instructional to over 200 agents in their career training and development. In 2009, Mr. Chohan joined Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network as a managing director. His office has since proliferated with great business success. Under Mr. Chohan’s leadership, the financial center received multiple top awards from the network in categories such as recruiting, business growth and total sales for a center with less than 50 associates.
Growing up in a small village near Chandigarh, India, Perminder Chohan recalls he always desired a better life for himself as well as his family. With his dad being a teacher, money was tight and barely enough to send Chohan and his two brothers to university.
As fate would have it, in 1990 Perminder made his way to Canada, filled with hopes and dreams. With a Master’s degree from Punjab University, the only job he was able to land was at a plastics factory which lasted only six months.
“I could read and understand, but I barely spoke any English when I first got to Canada. It was hard to adjust in the beginning, with the language barrier. The first six months were very tough, but I knew I had more opportunities here than back home.”
He knew early on that in order to find success on Canadian soil he had to start his own business. Upon a friend’s suggestion, Chohan started his first entrepreneurial venture, by launching a plumbing business. Though at the time he didn’t have his trades certification, he partnered with someone who understood the trade, while Chohan took care of the business side.
“I realized if I worked hard here I was going to get somewhere,”
says Chohan. “Once I believed that, I went all-in, 100 per cent.”
Ironically, for this self-declared “rotten student,” Chohan’s big break came from Registered Education Saving Plans (RESPs). Having researched them for his six-year-old daughter, he impressed an interviewer by asking a few astute questions. Promoting RESPs and recruiting salespeople was relatively easy because people valued Chohan’s willingness to share his own mistakes and experiences.
Credits: BC Business
When Perminder Chohan arrived in British Columbia from India in 1990, the field of finance was furthest from his mind. Like many immigrants, he set about finding work wherever it was available. This meant working at a plastic factory, a job he may have continued to do until this day were it not for the work slowing down and his being laid off.
He then owned his own plumbing company, which he sold after a few years and subsequently purchased several cellular phone stores. His business ventures continued when he sold these stores and moved into the field of direct selling and marketing. Ultimately Perminder found his calling in the late 1990s when he accompanied a friend to a job interview for a financial planning position. He was invited into the interview by the organization’s manager and found himself asking several questions that impressed that manager. His friend never went back for a follow-up interview, but Perminder did. “So I started with that company,” he recalls, “and I became their top manager within the year.”
Perminder did very well selling products like Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) and life insurance, but in 2009 a new opportunity arose that he simply could not say no to – it was the chance to join Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network and became one of its Managing Directors.
Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network and Desjardins Financial Security Investments Inc. as well as their counterparts in Quebec, SFL Partner of Desjardins Financial Security and SFL Investments, form a national financial products and services distribution network that provides a variety of financial security planning, savings and investments services. Their sales network is spread across the entire Canadian territory and includes more than 50 financial centers and branches and more than 1,600 representatives. Perminder’s responsibilities as Managing Director is to market a wide selection of products and to look for new people to train in order to reach more customers who can benefit from sound financial advice and support. While he represents the Richmond South Financial Centre, he can mentor any new recruits based anywhere in British Columbia.