The Best Storytellers? Calgary's people.
Japman Bajaj, Entrepreneur and Founder of Soshal Group, was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario before he made his move to Calgary in early 2013. Japman was solely drawn in by the people energy in Calgary where everyone seemed to have a story to tell, business or personal. Also, as an entrepreneur, he found his passions were constantly being stimulated through the city’s strong economic performance. The emphasis of developing vibrant arts communities and urbanization plans, and poverty and homelessness reduction initiatives supports Japman’s excitement to see what the future has in store for Calgary.
Living in Mission, an Inner-City community of Calgary, has its’ advantages. For Japman, he enjoys the fact that he is able to get anywhere within 20-25 minutes, with an easy 10-15 minute walk from the business centre in Downtown Calgary. Most importantly, he highlights the importance of the people energy showcased in his community. In terms of building on this sense of community, Japman advises never to say no and to never break a promise, as presence and credibility are core values embedded in most Calgarians. Whenever possible, Japman makes an effort to spend his free time volunteering, visiting the mountains or hanging out with the people he loves.
What’s your favourite thing about Calgary?
Anything can happen. Anyone can win. You can always find a peer with whom to grow an initiative or business here.
What do you tell people in other cities about Calgary?
I’m always talking about the economic opportunity, the opportunity to build and influence, and the opportunity to slow down. I’m quick to talk about the calming and meditative influence that I believe the mountains have on Calgarians, and quick to talk about its importance in the global economy. But the thing I talk about the most is the opportunity to work, play, and fall in love with incredibly smart and driven people.
What is your favourite place to go in the city?
Glenmore Park, Crescent Hill, anywhere on the Bow River Pathways and Central Memorial Park are where I’ll go for silence, reflection, and solitude. The three Gurdwaras (Sikh Temples) in the Northeast are always a favourite place to meditate and interact with other members of my cultural and religious community. And Una, Deville, Jurees, National and any number of bars and restaurants in this city to satisfy hunger and thirst.
What’s your favourite place to eat in Calgary?
- Brunch: OEB,
- Pizza: Una,
- Thai: Jurees,
- Vietnamese Subs: Kim Anh,
- Coffee: Deville,
- Sushi: Globefish,
- Sandwiches: Peppinos, and
- Italian: Cibo and Il Sogno.
Anything can happen. Anyone can win.