Passion Vista is proud to share the success stories of some of the most prolific and illustrious Indian leaders who have made a mark on the global front. Their charisma, diligence, a multitude of virtues, powerful personality, insurmountable goodwill, and cascading influence makes them stand out from the rest. The highly anticipated “Most Admired Global Indians 2022” issue keeps in mind this ethos to present stories of such mavens who have left no stone unturned for their work to get thunderous applause worldwide. We present to your their passion journeys.
An award-winning global entrepreneur, Baljit Gill was born in India. Her father, a former Indian Army Officer, decided to immigrate to Canada with his family to provide them with international opportunities. In turn, Baljit fulfilled his desire and completed her studies in Business, in British Columbia.
Initially, the family faced many challenges with regard to cultural differences and racism. But Baljit found strength in her father and elder brother, who were real estate developers and construction contractors. Coming from this background, Baljit knew she wanted to enter the business world.
The adage ‘First attempts aren’t always successful’ proved right when her cosmetics business failed to take off, paving the way for her to successfully build spec homes. When a friend overseas needed to procure some hardwoods, it led to a partnership in a wood wholesale/export company. This eventually led Baljit to take over the Kitwanga Mill, in the Northern region of British Columbia.
Unfortunately, she had to sell the mill at a great loss in 2009, but the strong relationships forged became priceless as the years went by. It also exposed her to the challenges existing in Northern BC, which led her to work with Gitanyow First Nations with whom she had prior experience.
Baljit then presented a plan to First Nations to find a solution to a decadent old growth forest. This also became a project for creating many jobs, educational opportunities with transferable skill sets in the region, and brought many opportunities to the North West of British Columbia. In addition, her work contributed to the education of indigenous children.
Every person’s life is full of challenges and no one is exempt from this. Baljit’s philosophy is simple – either one can sit and sulk, or get up and take action to make it better. The one way she maintains her sanity is by practicing SKY meditation by the Art of Living Foundation.
Her company – Northcrest Forest Products’s export business was also brought to a halt due to the lockdowns. This led to outsourcing with other countries to develop custom cut programs and to pursue new markets. Speaking of that time, Baljit says, “Never, never give up.” She fondly remembers Mr. Ted Roger’s words from an event where he said, “If you fall, don’t take it personally, just dust yourself and restart”. After all, self-doubt is always one’s greatest enemy and weakness. “Being human, it has been my weakness as well, but it also helps keep one’s ego in check. Recognizing one’s weakness is the key; face it and deal with it!” adds Baljit.
Baljit’s professional contribution is that she is constantly creating opportunities in a very depressed region of British Columbia. She states, “We are currently developing a green energy source (wood pellet plant) from rotting forests and wood waste so new trees can be planted and healthy forests can flourish. This is creating over 200 direct and indirect employment positions. As a company, we are committed to educational and stress management courses for the youth and the communities we work with.”
By successfully turning waste into green energy, Baljit is changing the region she works in. Her passion and inspiration for the betterment of the environment and communities have turned this leading Canadian woman of Indian origin into a global business player. Some of her accomplishments include being Top 25 Exporter in 2008 in Canada; Business Woman of the Year in 2009 in Canada; Nominee of the Surrey Business Award and Stanford’s Who’s Who. To know more about Baljit, check www.passionvista.com or to nominate email, [email protected]
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