Raman Dua is proof of the Canadian dream.
While born in India, Canada has become Raman’s home, the country where he has been able to realize his pursuit of becoming an entrepreneur with his business, Save Max Real Estate Inc., which has grown into an empire – the Raman Empire, if you will.
Moreover, because Canada has been so kind to him with its inclusiveness, he is giving back to others through employment, charities, businesses and youth initiatives.
Suffice to say, for someone who came to Canada in 2003 with a business background and $10,000 but never expected to stay longer than two weeks because he wasn’t sure about the long-term prospects, Raman understands what a great country this is – this country that has made him feel welcome without prejudice.
And never has that feeling been more pronounced than now with this being Canada’s 150th birthday and the overwhelming feeling and appreciation that has collectively embraced this sesquicentennial.
“Canada means a lot to me,” Raman says. “I always considered Canada as a land of opportunity for me. When I came to this country, I did not know the power of this country. I came here just to go back after 10 days, but when I came here I saw the multiculturalism, I saw the kind of opportunity this country has, and then I decided ‘I want to stay here. I want to do something in this country.’
“As a new immigrant there are a lot of challenges, there are a lot of issues to get jobs and stuff like that, so I have been through all of those challenges, but at the end of the day there were a lot of opportunities for those people who actually wanted to work hard and grab those opportunities, and I was one of them. So when I see the 150th birthday of Canada, it is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to send a strong message that we live in a multicultural society which gives an opportunity to every person to become successful and to contribute in this economy.
“I love the country where I came from, but I think it may not have given me these kinds of opportunities as in this country.”
Because of his global travelling, including Australia, the United States, England and the Isle of Mauritius, to name a few, Raman says Canada is the best place in the world to live.
“There could not be any better example of an inclusive country than Canada,” he says. “This is the country which actually welcomes with open hands, open hearts, to any and everybody whosoever. It doesn’t matter what their religion is, what their background is. It gives opportunity.
“The whole world is full opportunities for those people who have a positive attitude, who have the right vision and zeal to grow. If I didn’t have zeal to grow, if I had no vision, what could Canada do for me? My message to everybody is, Canada is a land of opportunity, but you have to grab those opportunities. You have to have that kind of attitude, that kind of thinking. If you want to work hard in this country, I guarantee you there won’t be any reason you won’t be successful.”
Seven years ago, after working various jobs, he launched the Save Max brand with the idea of listing a house for $999.
“Our idea was to give something in the market which was actually cost effective but offers the best services in real estate,” he says. “That idea was so accepted in the public it has actually become a big brand today. We started from a basement with two people on board, and today we’ve built up an empire.”
Raman has expanded Save Max into a workforce of more than 100 with three offices, $600 million annually in sales volume and $2 million a year in advertisement across a variety of media, including the Brampton Guardian and Mississauga News. He’s also advertised Save Max in more than 300 bus shelters in Brampton and Mississauga because it gives him exposure 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Save Max is also involved in social, cultural and sporting activities, sponsoring events such as Carassauga, Raptors 905 games and boxing cards. Save Max has also participated in the annual Brampton Santa Claus parade (in which it has been awarded the best float) and plans to do likewise in Mississauga’s and Toronto’s Santa Claus parades.
Save Max also funds the Krish Hope Foundation, named in honour of his son, who was born in 2014 on August 6, the same day as the Hindu God Krishna. Raman and his wife, Nidhi, also have a daughter, Shreya.
The Krish Hope Foundation supports 100 children every year providing financial resources for recreational/sports activities, be it memberships, equipment, etc.
Moreover, if there are any underprivileged families that need any kind of support, Raman says they merely need to contact his company and he will help.
“I chose real estate because that was my passion – I eat, sleep and drink real estate – but I wanted to use my business as a platform to do something good for society, to do good for the community, and make sure we share our vision, our success, with those who are underprivileged, who could not get the equal opportunities in their life as we got,” he says. “This is my way of returning back to this country and this community that gave me an opportunity to be a successful entrepreneur.
“My philosophy of success is different. I enjoy my success when I make other people successful, and that is how I’ve run this company. Every individual in this company is a success story in itself.”
Raman is particularly excited about his most-ambitious plan since coming to Canada. He plans to build a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly 70,000-square foot commercial structure, which will be named the Save Max Tower, in Meadowvale. Save Max will occupy office space totaling 20,000 square feet. The other 50,000 will be used for business-related venues, including a gaming centre for youths.
“I want to create more employment over there for new immigrants or different communities or different walks of life,” Raman says. “My focus, my target, is always the next generation. That is what I love doing. I always get myself involved when it comes to involvement with the kids.”