BRAMPTON, Ontario – Talk about changing career goals! It seems Paramjit Singh has mastered the art.
He originally wanted to pursue engineering, then medicine, then dentistry before finally settling on agricultural studies.
In 1995, a bachelor’s degree from Punjab Agricultural University helped him land a job at a bank in his home state of Punjab, India, where he was given responsibility for farm financing.
“They liked my customer service skills. So, they moved me to regular banking,” Singh said.
That skill proved useful in getting a job at a bank in Canada when Singh and his family arrived as immigrants in 2001.
But his mind was elsewhere.
“From Day One, I had the ambition to become a businessman,” Singh said.
His wife, Aman Preet, also got a break when a trucking company offered to train her as a dispatcher.
Singh, 49, said that was when the idea of starting a business focusing on safety and compliance struck him.
With a large number of his compatriots working in the trucking industry, he thought there would be no shortage of clients.
Soon PAP Trucking was born.
But that was a part-time job as Singh had continued working in banking. He also took several courses on risk management and safety compliance at the North American Transportation Management Institute (NATMI).
In 2006, Singh launched FSI Freight Solutions, assuming the role of president.
FSI offers a variety of safety and compliance services to trucking companies. It also helps entrepreneurs set up new trucking businesses.
Singh said many people working in the industry have no clue about the rules and regulations governing the sector.
When it comes safety and compliance, he said he is frank with clients, telling many of them their approach is wrong.
“They don’t even know, under which regulations they are working,” said Singh.
“This is my passion. I often tell them, ‘You must have a proper budget for training people.’”
He is also not happy the way Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) handles claims from truckers.
He said it is time to reform the agency.
“I am saying this in a constructive way, not a destructive way,” Singh added.
FSI employs nine full-time staff, but his wife Preet is not one of them. She still loves her dispatcher’s job, he said.
Away from work and family, Singh spends time playing badminton or table tennis.
Singh and his wife live with their two children, Prabhjot, 21, and Ekjot, 16, in Brampton.
Prabhjot is interested in electrical engineering, but the younger son has not made up his mind yet, Singh said.
“He may or may not like trucking. He is a different man.”
Profile by Abdul Latheef