Perminder Chohan, managing director (MD) of Desjardins Financial Security Independent Network, had a childhood dream to do something for the community and help other people. He was finally able to fulfill this dream a few years back. Today, Chohan is well-known in the community as a veteran insurance industry leader and a dedicated philanthropist. “God has given me the opportunity to help others. That’s why whenever someone is in need, I want to be there,” says he.
Chohan’s journey towards success was a challenging one. He did a lot of odd jobs and small businesses before getting into the insurance sector. “I came to Canada in 1990. My first job was working in a graveyard shift as machine operator in a plastic factory,” shares Chohan.
He then moved to the plumbing industry. After learning the trade, he opened his own plumbing company, later on switching to cell phones stores. In 1997, he got into network marketing. “In 1998, I changed to financial field. That’s how my journey started in the financial field,” adds Chohan.
In 2003, he opened his own brokerage, eventually moving to Desjardins as managing director in 2009. The Desjardins Group is the largest cooperative financial group in Canada. Chohan points out that Desjardins has a 30 to 40 percent growth each year. “We have never seen a slow down in our work. We are very focussed on quality of work and we take care of our clients.”
Chohan’s role at the company is that of bringing in new people, teaching and training them, helping them become successful, and making a positive change in their life. “My strength is recruiting and helping other people become successful in business by mentoring and motivating them.”
The successful MD believes in the values of honesty and hard work. “I never had any difficulties to develop my business at Desjardins because when you are honest and transparent, people can see if you’re truthful or not. I always try to be truthful and honest from day one,” states Chohan, who has been a top recruiter in the country for Desjardins for last five years.
It is this thinking that has made Chohan a successful and well- respected individual among the community. He has also received many rewards for his work. Last year, Chohan received the Excellence in Business Leadership Award by The Times of Canada. He has received numerous awards from GAMA International Canada, namely the Agency Achievement Award, Agency Builder Award, and National Management Award.
He has also appeared on The Brian Tracy Show and has been interviewed as a top entrepreneur. “Recognition is everything for me. I don’t think about money, I always work towards recognition. Recognition changed my life,” expresses Chohan.
Talking about recognition, Chohan is well-known in the community for his charity work. “Whatever my business is today, it is because of the people in our community and other communities. So it becomes my responsibility to give back to the community,” says Chohan, who supports most of the organizations that approach him.
Last year, Chohan sponsored over 30 different charities. “We work with B.C. Children’s Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital, Canadian Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation, Ronald McDonald house in Surrey Memorial Hospital, Kids Play,” says Chohan, who is part of Rotary Club of Surrey Newton.
Through the Rotary Club, Chohan helps the homeless people. They did a blanket drive and collected blankets and jackets for homeless people and refugees from Syria. The club is also building a school in Philippines for kids whose school was washed away during the typhoon.
“Money is not a motivator to me. My motivation is when I create a positive change in a person’s life. Life is not only about us, it’s about other people. What you do for other people and how you help them to grow into the point where they want to reach,” says Chohan, adding, “that is irreplaceable, money cannot buy those things. That is what I am looking for always.”
Beyond insurance, Chohan is also an established author of Uncommon, co-written with Brian Tracy. “Common people with uncommon qualities – that’s what the book is all about,” explains Chohan, “My chapter is called ‘Dreams with Deadlines’. You have to put deadlines on your dreams; otherwise they will never come true. I talk about steps to reach there.” Chohan has received Celebrity Press Editor’s Choice Award for the book.
His second book, Performance 360, is co-authored by Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group. “I am talking about the 10 principles of peak performance. My chapter is all about the things I learned in my life through my practical experience,” reveals Chohan about the limited edition book which will be out next month.
In conclusion, Chohan advices youngsters to pursue what they want to do in life with courage. “Don’t have the fear of failing. Everything is possible in life if you are ready to take action. Don’t give up on your dreams and keep trying. Failing once does not mean you are going to fail again.”