Sam Mod, Co-Founder of FreshWorks Studio, receives Entrepreneur Award in RBC's Top 25 Canadian Immigrant Awards
Newcomers face multiple challenges settling into their new lives in Canada, including language and cultural barriers. Those who choose to start a business can experience even greater challenges, breaking through roadblocks to gain credibility and to establish themselves in their industry.
In six short years, Sam Mod has gone from newcomer student to Canadian tech success story.
While studying for an MBA at the University of Victoria, the ambitious young entrepreneur co-founded app company FreshWorks Studio with a business partner, Rohit Boolchandani.
Mod admits it was hard to juggle both his studies and a new business.
“I moved to Canada in 2013 and was very new to the culture. In fact, this was the first time I had travelled internationally in my life. My intention was to get a job here so I can pay my tuition fees. However, the plan changed when I started the entrepreneurial journey and then I struggled to get going on many fronts. I had no network or connections, no money, no peers or support group and essentially had a lot of failures in the beginning.”
Today, he serves as CEO of the growing design and development company, which has offices in Victoria, Vancouver, Edmonton and Seattle, and 56 employees. FreshWorks has built more than 85 applications for an impressive list of clients, including complex projects in Blockchain and AI.
“I live by the motto: ‘Persistence trumps everything,’” Mod says. “The early failures humbled us and we believe in humility. When the going is tough, you got to do what you have to do. I was resilient, persistent and patient. These attributes coupled with my technical skills and education helped me overcome struggles and achieve success.”
Mod has come a long way and was named a Top 30 Under 30 last year by BC Business magazine.
“As a Canadian, I feel like there is a tremendous opportunity in business here and the sky is the limit. Companies like Slack and Shopify are living examples of the kind of impact Canadian companies can make on the world.”