Rajinder Mannwas the youngest of seven children born into a farming family in northern India. He learned the importance of hard work from an early age, and he found his focus divided between his education and managing the family farm. As a goal-driven individual, Rajinder worked long work hours, but it also provided many opportunities to celebrate the results of his hard work.

At twenty-one, Rajinder married his beautiful wife, and shortly after the wedding, they moved to Canada together. While his wife remained home to raise their three children, Rajinder worked for nine years in a sawmill, learning the industry. Finally, capitalizing on those years of experience, Rajinder set his plans in motion and fulfilled his dream of opening and running a business that secures his family now and into the future.


He worked his company's way into the Surrey lumber and roofing supply market, leading it forward from one success to the next. As a developer, Mr. Mann has been able to use his skills and knowledge to forge new construction projects with lasting impacts on the community.

Rajinder Mann has created a successful company capable of serving a full range of customer needs, with a strong focus on minimizing debt while maximizing clientele and customer satisfaction. His relentless determination, confidence, strong work ethic, and positive outlook have carried him through every situation and continue to push him forward. Rajinder and his family benefit from his work to this day. He is proud to have instilled the same entrepreneurial drive into his children.

What do you think makes your company stand out?

I worked at a lumber mill in Fort St. James for a time. While processing trees the potential in the industry for products and uses became obvious to me. I made it a point to study the market and realized there was only one company of note in Surrey selling cedar roofing supplies. This paved the way for competition. From there I opened the company with a focus on cedar roofing and supplies.

What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

I would say they should learn the industry. You do not want to begin a company without direction or knowledge about your industry. It would be like entering an industry blind.

What is the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?

The biggest difference is the hours I have to put in. Initially, I thought I’d plan a project and we’d hire the team and I’d spend time with my family at home while the work got done. In reality, I put in a lot of hours, track the projects, and help the teams make the building projects come to reality.

Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?

Yes. I wish I had trusted myself to take on the adventures and business choices entirely on my own. I learned that doing things on my own, without a business partner, motivates me to take risks and move the company forward.

Do you think everyone is cut out to be an executive?

No, absolutely not. Everyone has different strengths. Some of us are managers, and some of us are good with putting things together. Not everyone is good at everything. We should work with what we are good with and the successes we create.

In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated?

The personal cost involved. The years I have dedicated to creating, building, and growing this development company has meant time away from the people I love and neglecting my health. While we have benefited financially and socially, we have not spent time together as would have been nice. I have also encountered some health issues that I am addressing. I do not believe there is anyone who hears they’ll have to work long hours for their business that truly understands what that is until they are deep into the growth and success.

What advice would you give to other leaders to help their team to thrive?

Build a relationship with your team. Everyone who works at your company, no matter the company or position, is important. They should know that. Their effort means the success of your company. I would say to make sure you build a relationship where your team feels as important as they truly are.

Make sure your management team knows how to do this too. Help them create those connections with their teams and you will see a happier workforce.

What do you think are crucial traits for an entrepreneur to have?

BThey must be a go-getter. Someone getting into business must be dedicated to taking decisive action on the part of their business.

Organization is important too. A business owner must be able to organize their effort and their time. Having this organization means moving forward can be planned out and action steps can be taken effectively.

Time management is very important. You need to know where you will be and what needs to be done by when to ensure you are meeting deadlines, making clients and suppliers happy, and ensuring your development results meet your expectations.

What direction would you like to take your company in the next five years?

I would like to take on more commercial development projects. It has been a growing market for us and offers new challenges. This gives us the opportunity to grow and develop new opportunities and take new growth risks.

Perhaps one day I will hire a manager and move on, but that is not today. It may not be in five years, or ten. Today, I am enjoying this position and the challenges running a development company gives me every day.

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