From Humble Beginnings
Sulakhan “Sam” Johal grew up in a small village in Punjab, India and learned early on in his life the value of a days work. When not at work in the field, his time was devoted to his studies.
In early 1993 at the age of 26, he emigrated to Canada with his wife, arriving in North America with little more than the clothes on their backs and with no family or financial support behind them. To survive, Sam started distributing newspaper flyers in local neighborhoods. This was his first ever real job!
A year or so later in 1994, he was able to gain employment at plastics factory that produced plastic chairs, earning just about $7/hour as a machine operator. Not satisfied with his position at that firm, he moved to another manufacturer making plastic bottles for $10/hour in 1995.
Around the same time, he also started working part-time as a taxi driver and for the next three years struggled to weave together a livelihood.
While working these two jobs, in what little spare time he had, Sam studied to learn how to operate and service blow molding machines at the factory. This was on his own time, without pay, and the extra effort soon paid off, when after 6 months, he was promoted to the level of mechanic at the factory earning $13/hour. His enthusiasm and “get ahead” attitude was noticed and Sam was eventually promoted to the lead “setup” mechanic position earning $16/hour.
Somehow through all of this, Sam managed to fit in night school and earned a Diploma in Management from Sheridan College. With his practical experience and book knowledge in hand, he was now on his way!
In 1999, Sam was promoted to Team Leader and tasked with managing the facility with over 100 people reporting to him daily. In his new position, he was able to travel to the United States, meet customers and suppliers, and learn the inner workings of the manufacturing business.
That same year, 1999, he made plans with his brothers Mark and Jasvir ( “Jas”) for their emigration to Canada from Scotland, to start their own blow molding operation. Unfortunately, in 2000, the brothers decided that they lacked sufficient capital to start a manufacturing facility. Not to be deterred, they looked at other potential business opportunities and soon enough one presented itself to them…a hotel.
In the Spring of 2001 the brothers purchased a rundown Best Western hotel, renovated it, and sold it for a tidy profit in October of 2002. They then went on to purchase a gas station, ran it for 2 years, built up the book of business, and sold it, again at a profit . A business model of buying, fixing and selling commercial properties and businesses was born.
The rest is history. From humble beginnings, Sam and his brother Jas have built several hotels from the ground up, including a Sheraton Five Points, and a Hampton Inn, renovated a few others, sold them all at a profit, and own and manage yet another. They are planning a new 130 room Hyatt flagged hotel for Amherst, New York and expect to break ground in the fall of 2015 on that project. They currently own and operate the Maplewood Inn & Suites, a 138 room property in Liverpool, New York which they are currently renovating at a cost of just over $3 million ( USD).
Not satisfied with being just successful developers of hotels, Sam and Jas started Pride Truck Sales, Ltd in 2010. During the next three years while selling heavy-duty trucks, Pride Truck Sales also acted as a broker in arranging financing for its customers through various leasing companies. Throughout this time, the company mastered the complete leasing process from beginning to end. In 2013, TPine Leasing Capital Corporation was started and the company now began to do leases in house and on its own papers. Together, these two entities alone continue to experience explosive growth.
Over the last four years by selling and financing trucks for thousands of clients, and through the relationships established, many connections were made with customers in the transport business and considerable knowledge was obtained. In 2014 a loyal customer of the company was looking to exit the freight business. Sam and Jas believed this was the perfect opportunity to get into the logistics business and the assets of Multiline Transport were acquired.
In the Fall of 2014, the company purchased its Mississauga Terminal Facility. With an 8,000 square foot cross deck, 25 foot ceilings, 100,000 gallon fuel island and a secured 13 acre lot located at the cross roads of Routes 403/410 and 401 in the Greater Toronto Area, the facility is ideally situated to handle cargo warehousing and distribution through Canada’s largest International gateway.
In short, Sam and Jas exemplify that; with hard work and the right spirit; you can go anywhere from nowhere!
Pride Group Enterprises Timeline
Feb 2015 - Pride Group Enterprises, LLC Established as Parent Company
Feb. 2015 - M.Garry Transport Acquired
Dec 2014 - Mississauga, Ontario Headquarters Aquired
Oct 2014 - Multiline Transport Acquired
March 2013 - Tpine Leasing Capital Corp. Established
January 2010 - Pride Truck Sales, Ltd. Opens for Business
May 2001 - The Brothers Acquire a rundown Best Western
Early 1993 - Sam Emigrates to Canada from Punjab, India