The journey of Balraj Mann, the owner of BM Group of Companies, began with a dream of providing a one stop shop for engineering and construction services. Three decades later, he manages an impressive and diverse portfolio consisting of structural restoration, waterproofing, construction management, material supply, and real estate related businesses.
BM Group has expanded operations to other parts of Canada and the US including the Hawaiian Islands. The group has also set up operations in Delhi, India under the company Polycrete Restorations India Pvt. Ltd. to work on India’s infrastructure and heritage structure repair projects.
Balraj supports many charitable organizations and currently sits on the board of directors for Langley Memorial Hospital, the Surrey Board of Trade, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, working with the later with the aim to bring a red seal program for the restoration industry.
Birthplace: Bhin, Nawanshahr, Punjab
Immigrated to Canada: 1980
Education: New Westminster Secondary School, Construction Management diploma at Douglas College, Civil and Structural Engineering diploma at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
Favourite Past-time: Watching Hindi films, my favourite is still Sholay – it’s a classic.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My dad wanted to me to become a doctor but what I really wanted to do was join the Air Force as a fighter pilot. But then after moving to Vancouver, I realized my love for math, and everything changed – Engineering came so naturally to me.
Toughest professional decision:
Sometimes we attach emotionally with projects, but you learn and move on.
How do you deal with loss or negativity?
The bad times don’t last, you just keep working and try to find solutions to get over it. This is when relationships get tested and find out who your well-wishers really are. If everything is going well, it’s difficult to manage crisis so getting through rough times really is the best teacher.
What advice would you give your younger self?
When I came here, I faced hardships and racism just like any other new immigrant. But just because you’re not the right colour, don’t be scared to progress and dream big. Be positive, take risks, and don’t let fear rule you. Get educated and do your part to become part of your community.
What does the future look like?
I no longer work in the company; I work on the company which has helped us grow immensely. Our long-time staff are given opportunities to move within management which has been key to our growth. My son is getting more involved in the company, he handles real estate, land development and construction. One of my daughters is an optometrist and the other is an aspiring dentist, so we are exploring expansion into the healthcare industry under the BMG banner. The world is our oyster, there is only opportunity everywhere we look!