Satish Thakkar

National Convener, Canada India Foundation
President, Excelsior Financial Group

Satish Thakkar is a Canadian entrepreneur, a renowned professional, a committed community leader and a passionate philanthropist, with a number of accomplishments to his credit in a short span of time. In recognition of his contributions to enhancing Canada-India bilateral ties, the Ottawa-based Embassy magazine named Satish as one of the top foreign policy influencers in 2013.

Also in 2013, Canada’s Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development heard him on the future course of Canada-India bilateral ties.

In 2012, as President of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), Satish catapulted the then 37-year-old Toronto-based bilateral chamber to new heights.

A year later, looking for an Indo-Canadian to spearhead its outreach into Canada’s Indian community, the William Osler Health System Foundation nominated him as the Chair of the Indo-Canadian Friends of Osler, and Satish pledged to raise $1m for the foundation.

A CGA from Ontario, and a Chartered Accountant from India, he is the Founder CEO of the Excelsior Financial Group (EFG Canada) — a financial and business consulting boutique.

Satish’s story is quintessentially Canadian: He frequented a local Tim Horton’s to meet prospective clients when he started his practice. Today, his group has emerged as one of the leading multidimensional, multifaceted financial consulting boutique. Since he immigrated to Canada in the mid-1990s, Satish has been actively engaged in ‘social re-engineering’.

He assists people — irrespective of their ethnic origins — to understand their talents, and nurtures the spirit of entrepreneurship in them. His belief in the Canadian values of volunteerism and mentorship has inspired him to mentor and guide people in entrepreneurship.

In 2011, Satish was part of the core team that organized the biggest convention of the Indian Diaspora in North America, PBD Canada 2011. Building upon the convention’s foundations, he worked hard to help in institutionalizing the Indo-Canadian business community’s relationship with all the three tiers of government in Canada.

As part of this effort, he led a major trade mission of Canadian small businesses to India in collaboration with the City of Markham. A fervent advocate of diversity and multiculturalism, Satish believes that Canada is an economic and socio-cultural powerhouse because of its vast and varied diversity.

He has utilized the many platforms, such as the Toronto Board of Trade, the Conference Board of Canada, among others, to advocate the formation of multi-ethnic business networking forums for small businesses. Satish has been the recipient of many accolades.

In addition to the recognition from the Embassy magazine, Satish was honoured with the Ivy Thomas Award by CGA Ontario for his outstanding business, public service and charities in 2013. Hon. Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister for International Trade and the Asia Pacific Gateway, nominated Satish with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in April 2012.

As President of the ICCC, Satish accepted, in January 2012, the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (PBSA) – the highest accolade of Government of India to an overseas organization. Later that year, the Canadian Immigrant magazine awarded him the Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Award. The Mid-Week Newspaper Group awarded him the South Asian Professional of the Year award in 2011, and ICCC bestowed him with the Member of the Year award.