Moving a product or service from supplier to customer isn’t easy, but it’s what Sandeep loves to do. Originally from India, he started his professional career in the hospitality industry and went on to work for different media groups. He always had a supply chain role, but he got a taste of various business sectors as a buyer and purchaser.
Holding two Bachelor degrees, one in Hotel Management and another in Commerce, he came to Canada because “there were more opportunities in terms of professional growth.” Still, Sandeep was aware that it would take work to continue his career in Canada.
“I knew I had to start from scratch because I was moving to a different country, and I didn’t have any experience here. I knew I had to go through some hurdles,” says Sandeep.
Immigrating as an international student, Sandeep enrolled in the International Business Management program at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario. With a work permit in hand, he got a part-time job working in the kitchen of a small local restaurant for the last four months of school.
After completing the program, Sandeep moved to Mississauga. “I went looking for a job, but I couldn’t find much. I got a three-month contract job in an office. It was an administrative job with no relationship with supply chain,” adds Sandeep.
A little frustrated, Sandeep moved to Calgary in 2012. “The economy was much better at the time, and there we more opportunities,” indicates Sandeep. It took him two months to find the right job in his field, so to pay for his monthly expenses in the meantime he took a job in retail as soon as he arrived.
“I got a job in Teavana as a District Manager, supporting their supply chain needs,” says Sandeep. “At the same time, I got another job with a big furniture company in Edmonton, also supporting their supply chain. So, I was working five days in Calgary and two days in Edmonton.”
Almost two years later, he moved permanently to Edmonton to work full-time for the same furniture company. He went on to work at Loblaws as an inventory and supply chain manager.
Even though his profession isn’t regulated, Sandeep knew he needed a Canadian Supply Chain Management Professional (SCMP) designation to accelerate his career. So, he decided to go for it. Since he met the pre-requisites for the SCMP Designation Program, educational credentials and a minimum of three years in the last seven years of related work experience, he was able to enroll.
Sandeep was accepted into the program and became a Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA) Alberta member. He registered for a series of courses he needed before writing the final examination. “I received credits for four courses I took in India and needed to pass nine additional courses to write my final exam,” adds Sandeep.
Even though he was able to pay for most of the program with his savings, he needed to take some of the financial burden off his shoulders. While attending a job seminar in Edmonton, he found out about Windmill Microlending. He applied and received the loan in 2015, which helped him pay for his courses.
“I’ve taken all but one of the courses, which is a six-week intensive course. After that, I can write my exam,” indicates Sandeep.
His goal is to write the final examination next year because “I’ll have better prospects to grow, although right now, I’m pretty happy where I am.” However, one of his long-term goals is to start his own business as an exporter and importer in supply chain.
Today, Sandeep has 14 years of experience in his field and continues to live in Edmonton with his wife and three-year-old daughter, where he works for Fat Franks as Director of Operations, a position he was able to take because he’s working towards his designation.
To people who want to continue their career in supply chain in Canada but can’t do it just yet, Sandeep gives this advice: “If you really want to work in your field, you need to get your credentials assessed and get your designation. It will pay off in the long run for sure.”