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Celebrating Womanhood: Bisman Arora, CEO at Excel Career College

Monica Sethi Darpan, 16 Mar, 2024
  • Celebrating Womanhood: Bisman Arora, CEO at Excel Career College

"Maintain your identity, embrace your goals, and remember that nothing is too big to accomplish. Everything is attainable if you set your mind to it. Surround yourself with the right people. You have to have determination, passion, courage, and confidence."-Bisman Arora, CEO, Excel Career College

In the dynamic realm of post-secondary education, Bisman Arora stands out as a trailblazer, challenging age and gender norms to redefine success. Having moved to Canada at age six, her journey epitomizes the spirit of determination and entrepreneurial zeal deeply embedded in her roots. Arora's family, entrenched in the educational consulting business for over 27 years, provided the backdrop for her early exposure to the world of education. This foundation instilled in her the confidence to envision owning and operating a private post-secondary education institute.

The journey began four years ago when Arora acquired Excel Career College. Initially a small private career training college located in Courtenay on Vancouver Island, Arora transformed it into a comprehensive institute offering diverse business, finance, hospitality, legal, and medical courses. The institution expanded from a single campus to five campuses in British Columbia strategically located in Kelowna, Victoria, Courtney, Surrey, and Powell River. This outreach exemplifies Arora's vision to integrate education into remote communities.

However, Arora acknowledges the hurdles she faced due to her age and gender. Cultural biases and skepticism about her capabilities surfaced when hiring or seeking a seat at industry tables. Nevertheless, these challenges only fueled her determination to follow her dreams and prove her mettle.

Reflecting on her journey, Arora shares powerful advice for aspiring women leaders: "Maintain your own identity, embrace your goals, surround yourself with the right people, have determination, passion, courage, and confidence to pursue your dreams." Arora believes that by staying true to yourself, saying focused on your aspirations and cultivating inner strengths and believe, one camn overcome obstacles and acheive yur greatest ambitions."

Arora's role model is her father, who instilled in her the values of determination and overcoming age and gender barriers. She emphasizes the importance of mentorship, staying available, and keeping doors open for others.

For Arora, women's empowerment is about promoting equality and providing women with the power and space to have a say. She envisions creating environments that welcome women and men, allowing them to define their goals and contribute to the world. Her achievements include finding her voice, knowing herself, and being grateful for her parents' guidance.

Looking ahead, Arora aims to build international partnerships, globalize Excel, and establish educational facilities in underserved communities of British Columbia. Her future resonates with openness, embracing differences, and empowering others by sharing her knowledge and experiences, embodying the untapped capabilities of women in education and beyond.

What are some of the challenges you have encountered on your journey?

People perceive me as young and mistakenly equate my business acumen with age. Sometimes, while hiring someone for a role, I confront biases related to age and culture. At the same time, the industry is predominantly led by men, making it difficult to secure a place at the table. Despite the challenges, these obstacles fuel my determination to pursue my dreams even more fervently.

What is your advice to future women leaders?

Maintain your identity, embrace your goals, and remember that nothing is too big to accomplish. Everything is attainable if you set your mind to it. Surround yourself with the right people. You have to have determination, passion, courage, and confidence.

How do you interpret Women's empowerment?

Women's empowerment is about promoting equality, giving women the power and appropriate space so they feel they have a say and that having a seat at the table and access to resources is natural. It is also important to remember that women have shared experiences that have brought them here, which can be very powerful. 

What does being a woman mean to you?

This involves establishing an atmosphere inviting to other women, allowing for the freedom of mindset to set and achieve goals. Cultural barriers often lead us to impose limitations on ourselves, hence having the freedom to define one's identity, pursue aspirations and objectives, and make contributions to the world is crucial. As women, we possess numerous untapped capabilities..

How do you define success?

I believe that success is not defined by accolades or achievements but by our impact and the lives we touch along the way. . 

Photo: Fahad Photo

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