A group of new companies to Weyburn are offering new services and new opportunities, and they were created by three new immigrant entrepreneurs.
Chakra (Chad) Balayar, Gurbinder Sidhu and Beant Singh are partners in the businesses of Country Cab and DT Convenience. In addition, Beant puts full-time hours managing the Weyburn Mac’s Convenience Store, Gurbinder works full-time for ComIT Technologies, and Chad operates Kimron ITS Corp., a contracting company
“Every guy has their own full-time job,” said Balayar. Each of the three partners has invested in to the companies, using money they brought with them when they immigrated to Canada.
“When we came to Canada, our parents gave us certain money to invest,” said Balayar. “Our country’s culture is different than Canada, (our parents) support us for our whole life. Their property is ours, it is divided equally between our brothers and sisters.”
“All three of us come from business families,” said Balayar. “Our long-term goal is to pay our staff first, establish into our businesses and new opportunities, and invest back into the community. ”
Beant and Gurbinder immigrated from India in 2008, and both have two-year diplomas from colleges in Toronto. Chakra immigrated from Nepal in 2007, and has a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Regina.
Chad and Beant both met through the Mac’s Convenience Store franchise, when Beant was working in Melfort and Chad was managing the Weyburn franchise. They became friends, and their first company idea was to create Country Cab.
Balayar felt that there was not enough coverage by the lone taxi cab company for Weyburn, especially when comparing rates and difficulty with getting a cab after-hours or on Sundays.
“I thought it was a monopoly, and we needed another company to compete with, so they can bring the best out of each other,” said Chad. His company offered 24-hours service, seven-days a week and it was not long before the other cab company matched those hours too.
Then shortly later, the partners opened DT Convenience. “We had managed Mac’s before, so we knew the retail business,” said Balayar. “We had resource s and manpower.”
The partners also felt that it would be another good business decision to have another convenience store in Weyburn, especially one located downtown.
“In downtown, one store is always good, but if you have another store you have more choice to make the customer 100 per cent satisfied.”
DT Convenience also offers a seated area, where residents can sit for coffee, and there is WIFI availability offered. “This makes our store a little different than the other stores,” said Balayar.
Another way DT Convenience is different is that they offer ethnic food, specializing in East Indian and Filipino groceries. “We targeted the growing community from all over the world,” said Balayar. “Before, they were driving to Regina to buy their groceries.”
Chakra, Gurdbinder and Beant have found the community to be very welcoming. “The business community here is very receptive and informative. So many people helped us, and we took it as a positive,” said Balayar. “There are a lot of opportunities here. We never felt we were in a small city.”
One of the challenges they are starting to face is hiring more employees. “It is hard to find people, especially since the government changed policies for foreign workers,” said Balayar.
“We are lucky to have those who work with us, they are like our brothers and sisters. To bring in new people is really hard.”