By Julianna Cummins
This Canada Day will be a particularly special one for Gaurav Vasishth.
It's the first time he’ll celebrate Canada Day with his parents and grandparents, who he recently sponsored to bring to Canada from India.
It's his second Canada Day as a Canadian citizen. And in the days leading up to Canada Day 2023, he joined in the grand opening celebrations of our first high-tech fulfillment centre in Western Canada – where he’s the Assistant General Manager.
“The opportunity in Canada is huge. No matter what you want do here, people are very inclusive,” Gaurav says.
“For me, someone who came from engineering to supply chain – there’s no real connection. But I was accepted, I was given a path, I was guided, and the resources are helpful. It’s like people want you to succeed if you’re doing the right thing in the right way.”
Gaurav’s Canadian story began with a car wash and a call centre in Montreal.
Gaurav and his wife decided to pursue further education in Canada after completing their undergraduate degrees in their native India.
Through research and gathering first-hand experience from others, they felt Canada would offer an inclusive environment for two new immigrants looking to build their careers.
The couple arrived in Montreal in 2014, with his wife attending Concordia University and Gaurav working to cover living expenses. Because Gaurav didn’t speak French, job opportunities were limited. He found some work at a call centre and a car wash, but it wasn’t enough.
After completing two semesters at Concordia, his wife transferred to the University of Calgary. The couple hoped it would be easier for them to find work in an English-speaking city. But initially, the move didn’t go as planned.
“The first two months I had no work, and the money was evaporating very quickly,” Gaurav says.
His wife was working at McDonald’s while attending school, and a colleague mentioned Gaurav should explore opportunities at Walmart.
Gaurav applied for and landed a job in asset protection at Walmart. He quickly worked his way up to more senior roles in logistics including Operations Supervisor, Operations Manager, and now, as the Assistant General Manager at our recently opened Rocky View County fulfillment centre.
He’s also used the opportunities at Walmart to help him achieve goals outside of work. While working at Walmart, Gaurav completed his Master of Engineering degree with the support of Walmart’s AdvancED program.
His experience at Walmart also helped him successfully apply for his permanent residency in Canada, and eventually, earn his Canadian citizenship in May 2022.
And in October 2022, Gaurav sponsored his parents and grandparents and brought them to Canada from India. They now live with his wife and two kids in Calgary.
Gaurav said his mind always felt divided before his family joined him in Canada. He’d call them on his way to work to check in – but now, everyone is here, which he says is a great comfort for him.
“When I was growing up, I spent more time with my grandparents than I did with my parents. I think it might be the same with my kids now! All of them help,” Gaurav says.
Gaurav has been with Walmart Canada for about eight years. He says the chance to face and solve challenges every day with the support of his fellow associates is what keeps him at Walmart.
“I was fortunate to be around good people. The work isn’t always easy, but I love the place and the people,” Gaurav says.
In his downtime, Gaurav and his family get out to the Rocky Mountains as much as possible. Every time he sees the mountains, he says, it “still feels like this is brand new.”
After he got his Canadian citizenship, Gaurav says he felt a newfound sense of pride and belonging when exploring the Rockies and meeting people from abroad.
“The sense of belonging is to the next level. These are my mountains, these are my lakes – this is what my country represents,” Gaurav says.