One to One: Emile Solanki, Account Executive; Canada Life

Keith Vaz Monday 28th March 2022 08:22 EDT

Emile was born and raised in South London.  His grandparents relocated to Leicester in the late 60s after Idi Amin ousted many Indian residents from Uganda.   Emile started his career in 2003 with Croydon Council, he was involved in a variety of Project Management Initiatives.   He moved to Canada in 2009 and in 2010 he entered the Financial Services Industry in Toronto, managing financial planning practice at Investors Group.  In 2016 Emile moved to TD Bank where he helped develop a new Insurance Advisory Team and trained advisors to better incorporate life insurance within their wealth offering.  He is currently an Account Executive at Canada Life.  Emile has extensive experience in Toronto real estate and owns a tourism company focused on archaeology.  He is married to Gabriel and is a proud father to their son Luca.  In his spare time, Emile is working on a project with his father called “Tilawa 1942 The Forgotten Tragedy”.  His great grandfather lost his life on this passage cargo ship, which was attacked by the Japanese during World War Two.

1)  Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in? 


Whilst my heart misses living in the U.K, Toronto has become my home base. It is considered one of the top 5 liveable cities in the world.  Over the past 14 years, though homesick at first, and facing the challenges of starting a new life in a new country, Toronto has been very good to me.  It is a multicultural city with lots of good opportunities.


2) What are your proudest achievements? 


Anyone in their mid 30’s would perhaps find it presumptuous to answer this question in full.  However, I am pleased to have navigated the Toronto real estate market reasonably well and found a good balance between having a day job while still developing my entrepreneurial abilities.  I am also proud to have made the most of any opportunity presented to me over the years despite not having a university degree.


3) What inspires you? 


My wife Gabrielle and my son Luca.  I tell my wife and son regularly that I wake up and go to bed with them in my heart and mind.  Without my wife and son I would be lost, but with them both I feel full of life and able to reach new heights.


4) What has been biggest obstacle in your career? 


It has traditionally been me not having a university degree.   Due to personal circumstances growing up, I was not able to pursue “a piece of paper” as a prerequisite to open doors.  One is more easily turned down or not even given the opportunity for an interview, without a degree.


5) Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? 


This is a tough question.   I have been blessed at pivotal moments in my life to have met the right individuals to give me a chance in life to develop, broaden my horizon, and have the platform to creatively use my skill-set to do good work.


6) What is the best aspect about your current role? 


I have the privilege to nurture and build relationships.   Being a good leader requires demonstrating emotional intelligence, bringing the best out of others, providing solutions, and being an exemplary ambassador for the company.  Since my job is a new role within the life insurance industry, I have a lot more freedom to be creative and implement a variety of strategies, which I love.


7) And the worst? 

It would be premature to comment.  However, it is fair to say building relationships in my role has been a challenge during Covid. With everything online, you're not able to have the full impact you would like compared to in-person.


8) What are your long term goals? 

I want to be the best human I can be.  I want to be known as a loyal loving person who gives 100% to everything I do.  Being a good husband and father is first and foremost to me.  Tilawa 1942- The ForgottenTragedy is a very important project for me and is really the first initiative I have ever worked on with my father. It is special to both of us, and we are very excited to see where this goes.


9) If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?  

I am not one for politics and definitely keep neutral in these matters.  However, hunger is a subject that deeply hurts and cuts me to the core.  A child dies from hunger every 10 seconds around the world.  Some die from no food, while others die because of too much food. And in the middle of this, there is so much food waste.


10) If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why. 

Most people gravitate towards kind humble individuals full of life’s experience and intellectual depth.  On April 6 1926 Gandhi in a letter wrote: “Jesus was one of the greatest teachers of mankind “ so that would be my choice!

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