Pakatheesan Yogarajah helped turn around a downsizing business close to shutting down, with just 5 employees in 2014, to having 40 employees 2 years later, along with being widely recognized as one of the industry’s best companies in Canada.
Tell us about your journey before buying and running Greenwind Electrical Services.
From the time I was a little boy; maybe just 8-years-old, I knew I wanted to be in the electronics or robotics field. I’ve always been fascinated by how things work. I used to take apart everything to see the insides and to figure out what made them tick. Didn’t matter if it was a TV set, a radio, or even a battery box – if it ran on electricity, I was fascinated. I’m surprised my parents didn’t take the TV with them when they left the house, to be honest. I was almost guaranteed to take it apart. But my Mom was so supportive. She never stopped me from what I was doing even though she knew I’d be taking the TV or radio or something else apart. She enjoyed watching me and encouraged me to be curious and to pursue my passion.
So, in 1992, when I immigrated to Canada, I naturally took a job at a television and VCR assembly company. In 1993, I moved on to a job as a paint technician at a cabinetry company. Two years later, I moved to the maintenance department as an electrician. I think that was around 1995. This was a job I grew to love very quickly. I got the opportunity to build robots to improve productivity by making people’s jobs faster and more efficient. This was a real niche for me. I found that I was very good at building robots and machines in general and I was elated to apply my passion into practice.
But I wanted to do more still. So, in 2001, I earned my license as an Industrial Electrician. Within a few years, I also became certified as a Robotic Technician and as a Programmable Logic Controller or a PLC, as it’s simply known in the trade. Finally, in 2005, I obtained my Construction Maintenance license. I just kept learning and learning.
What came next for you?
Well, I always knew that I was called to be self-employed, so in 2007 I started my own company, “PP Automation”, specializing in electrical and mechanical services. I ran this while still continuing to work at the cabinetry company. There were some long days indeed. By 2009, I had earned a Master Electrician’s degree from the Ontario Trade College. I was in search of a new challenge even though I was working one full-time job and three part-time. In 2009, one of my part-time jobs was with Greenwind Electrical. In the back of my mind, I knew I wanted more and that I had to find a way to turn my part-time job – which was my passion – into my career.
In 2014, Greenwind was in the midst of downsizing. I was appointed as the Managing Director and I had all of 5 employees. But I was totally confident that I could turn the business around, so I left my job at the cabinetry firm and turned my energies towards Greenwind on a full-time basis. By 2015, I had grown Greenwind to 15 employees and by 2016, 40! Not only had I seen the potential of the business, I had realized it. This is when I decided to offer to buy the company outright. They accepted and Greenwind Electrical Services became mine. Today, Greenwind is respected industry-wide and is widely recognized as one of the very best companies of our type, right across Canada.