In the ever-evolving landscape of the Canadian immigration industry, Shafoli Kapur stands out as a remarkable entrepreneur with over eight years of experience. This interview serves as a follow-up to a previous conversation, offering an opportunity to check in on her journey since our last discussion. She is the proud owner of TDOT Immigration Services Inc., based in Toronto, ON, and a passionate advocate for her profession.
As an immigrant herself, originally from India, Shafoli brings a unique perspective and empathy to her work. Balancing her role as a dedicated mother to two young boys, aged 12 and 9, alongside her thriving business, she embarked on this journey when her first child was just nine months old. It’s been a challenging yet deeply rewarding path that has shaped her into the dynamic entrepreneur she is today.
In an industry still dominated by men, Shafoli Kapur has carved out her own identity and success story. She sees her journey as an empowering experience, akin to giving birth, and firmly believes that the sky is the limit for her ambitions. With unwavering perseverance and persistence, she continues to inspire and pave the way for others in her field.
It’s been a while since we spoke to you, it’s a pleasure to check up on everything! Tell us first of all, what have you been up to lately?
I have been busy growing my business and team. Trying new things, and having fun along the way.
What personal changes, changed your business and why?
First off, I became accepting of myself including my flaws. I started to accept that I don’t need to be perfect at everything I do. I just need to show up and do the job. Perfection is not important. Action is important, I stopped being too hard on myself for not being able to get the desired results of whatever I was working on. Because we all are a work in progress. That changed the way I did business.
I made those changes because change is the only constant in life. Growth happens outside of your comfort zone. We get so comfortable with a certain style of living and working that usually stagnates our growth. Also, self-doubt often is your worst enemy. And I removed the enemy from my life – Quite literally.
How is TDOT Immigration Service faring? What transformations have occurred, and what are the underlying reasons for these changes?
TDOT Immigration is doing great. It can do better, but I am happy with the pace at which the business is growing. From a one-woman show to having a team of 7 stellar women is quite progress in my opinion. The changes were essential to give a new dimension to the business, and to be able to take on more clients, and also growth only happens with teamwork. Success can never come alone. It is always a result of multiple brains working together.
During the last year, what have you learned about your own business that you amplified later on?
The only things that I learned are 1. Change is necessary. We must evolve with the changing business needs. If we don’t evolve the business will die a slow death.
2. Gaining knowledge, and keeping up to date with the industry trends is extremely crucial to succeed in business. The clients like to see their service provider being confident in what they know and what they offer. Confidence comes with knowledge and experience. No shortcuts to that.
Tell us about the new things you’re working on; how did you develop these?
Ah, I am working on a lot of things right now. Both on a personal level and professional level. As the business grew, I worked on ensuring my team was equipped with the right processes it needed. I am working on digitizing the business to remove redundancy of processes and also make the user experience better. I am collaborating with industry experts to ensure I get the most out of the investment and also get the best solution.
It’s a lot you do altogether; how and when do you know you’re ready to start on something new while doing your current work?
OH, It’s a lot. Sometimes it feels overwhelming as well. And often it also affects my consulting work but if I won’t do it, who else will? I know when it’s time to do something new when it starts to get boring, or I feel there is no growth – either in business, revenue, kind of cases that come to me or when I feel stagnated personally.
It’s actually not difficult to know when it’s time to bring about the change.
Can you give us advice on how to not lose focus when working on more projects at the same time?
It’s actually very easy to lose focus especially when there is a lot on the plate. I usually set priorities. What is more important at that very moment is how I prioritize. And these priorities change frequently. Giving you an example – My work involves a lot of deadlines. So I prioritize clients’ needs, deadlines, and then business growth and change the priority order as the time demands.
Also, it is very important to be too hard on oneself when we are slacking. Don’t think that is slacking. It is what you can do all by yourself. And that is another reason why it is important to outsource some aspects of growing the business to industry experts.
What tool/service or new product are you excited about right now?
Digitizing my business and using AI in my business processes.
Do you notice anything in the business changing due to the recession?
Well, the Canadian Immigration industry is actually out of control currently. The process has become harder to get permanent residence however, the industry has become so dynamic that there is an update literally every other day. To keep up with the changes has been quite a task. In addition, Canada still has its doors open to workers to meet the labor market shortages.
With the current government policies – it doesn’t seem like the recession has affected immigration yet but it is a ripple effect and we might potentially see the effects sooner than later.
Can you share any tips that you have learned to self-motivate?
Self-motivation I think is something that comes from within. The fire to succeed and grow has to be inside of us. It cannot be ignited from external sources. It could possibly be ignited by a life-changing event, or incident in someone’s life.
I have never used self-help books or any other such source to keep myself motivated. The fire was always there since I was a little girl. Sometimes lack of direction might blow out the fire but a little effort and external maneuvering in the right direction can reignite the fire.
Are you doing anything to encourage women to get more in diverse sectors? How so?
As a woman, this journey of becoming an entrepreneur and also standing up for myself has not been easy. And through this journey, I realize that many women struggle to find their two feet. I have always been very forthcoming and open about my journey, my challenges, my struggles and my personal aspirations. I have been a guest speaker on podcasts meant for women and Hosted by women, I speak at my industry meets, I use my social media as a channel to motivate and inspire women, and also I sponsor events whenever and wherever possible that are organized by women and meant for women. In fact, my team at work – that I call my second family and my strength are all a bunch of fierce women. I love my all-women team.
Tell us something else you would like to share with the readers.
Never Give up! No matter the challenges life throws at you. Those are not meant to weaken you. Those are meant to make you stronger. Don’t think a setback in life is the end of life. It could even be the start of a whole new chapter – and that too the most crucial chapter that sets the stage for the rest of your life. So don’t ever give up
What would you like to advise the people who want to immigrate in 2023? – The opportunities are endless.
– Be patient
– Be Strategic
– Work on improving your skills – education, hard/soft skills,
– Learn French
– Don’t look for shortcuts or easier options – there are none in real life.
– Do your research. Don’t blindly follow the advice of anyone
– Hire a licensed immigration consultant only.
– Anything that looks too good to be true, or sounds exorbitantly costly – RUN!
– Keep the faith.
In the first interview we asked you ‘’As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?’’, has your answer changed from ‘’The joy and smile on my client’s faces upon getting success in their application is what motivates me and drives me. I get up each morning looking forward to bringing a smile on my client’s faces and giving them that joy and ray of a better future.‘’?
My answer still Is the same. That smile on my client’s face is still what keeps me going and motivated. My ultimate goal in life is to truly help people live their Canadian dream. Help families reunite. And make sure no one is misguided in the name of Canada.