Mrinali and Amit Chauhan settled in quickly, thanks to Scotiabank StartRight® Program for newcomers.
The Chauhan family enjoy their new life in Calgary – including their own home – by connecting with others, including helpful local Scotiabankers.
After receiving exceptionally good service at Scotiabank’s Saddletown Circle Branch since he came to Canada six months earlier, Amit Chauhan decided to surprise the branch team with a traditional sweet, burfi.
“They helped me get my first home, so I wanted to thank them,” recalls Amit who had just taken possession of a three-bedroom dream home in northeast Calgary.
It was a sweet finale for Amit and Mrinali Chauhan, who came from India in June 2011, only to be stranded by heavy rain in a hotel with their three-year old daughter.
“We stayed in and ordered pizza while Amit ran around arranging things,” recalls Mrinali, who was eight-months pregnant at the time. Fortunately, the Chauhan family’s arrival was made easier by the fact that they had set up their Canadian bank account in India, so they could send funds safely to Canada before they landed. They had heard about the Scotiabank StartRight® Program International Account Opening at an information session for permanent resident applicants and they visited a Scotiabank branch in Delhi. They were later connected with Syed Haider, a Scotiabank Personal Banking Officer in Calgary, who helped them apply for a bank account in Canada and obtain pre-approval for a credit card2.
“Everything went smoothly when I went to the Calgary branch, since I could access the funds I had transferred from day one and I had the credit card in my hand for all our expenses,” recounts Amit. “Even better, after travelling 7,000 miles I could talk to Syed in my own language and get advice about apartments, schools and Indian groceries.”
This gave Amit extra time to start job searching and, by applying connections from his hospitality education in India, he found a restaurant management position on day two. “It surprises people, but I used my networking skills to make local contacts, and I was ready to be flexible and take any hard work at the beginning,” explains Amit, who now welcomes visitors to Canada as a front-desk supervisor in a busy hotel.
And Amit didn’t delay thinking about his long-term goals either, since he soon realized that buying a home was a better investment for his family’s future than paying expensive rent each month.
“I didn’t think it would be possible to get our first home so quickly, but Syed reviewed my earnings and financial history and explained my options,” notes Amit, who qualified for the Scotiabank StartRight Mortgage Program, a hassle-free mortgage tailored for newcomers to Canada. “I was lucky to meet a lot of wonderful people who helped us find a home, including our brilliant banker and an exceptional realtor.”
Reflecting on his family’s rapid settlement in Canada, including the birth of a son, a job and a comfortable home, Amit adds that, “From my hospitality training, I learned to connect with others and recognize people who will give their time and help you, like Syed.” For Amit, it made sense to continue that hospitality, by sharing dessert with his new friends at Scotiabank.Posted: Sep 4, 2012