In Conversation With : Moninder Khudal

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In Conversation With : Moninder Khudal

The founder of Shyamora Luxury Homes and Diam Developments started his life in Canada delivering pizza.

Moninder Khudal and his wife, Raman, arrived in Canada in 2001 from their home in India armed with their university degrees — his an MBA in finance and marketing, hers in dentistry — they knew it would be important to gain Canadian work experience before they could work in their selected fields.

Urged by his father to move to Canada, and not knowing anyone in the Toronto area, Moninder worked as a pizza deliveryman while his wife worked at a McDonald’s restaurant. They both put in long days to not only gain that much-needed experience, but also to support their growing family.

Only three months after arriving in Toronto, Moninder’s father passed away. “It was a devastating loss,” Khudal recalls. “We had to return to India to take care of the arrangements.

“But there are reasons for things. If we hadn’t moved to Canada before my father passed away, we probably would have never come here; and it was my father who encouraged us to emigrate in the first place.”

After returning to Toronto, Khudal returned to his job at the pizza shop, working long shifts. It was his hope that he could save enough money to bring his mother to Canada.

“For one year I worked 18 hours a day, opening the store at 9 a.m. and closing it at 1 a.m. on weekdays and at 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday,” Khudal says.

Khudal then went on to work at Brampton Toyota, and in 2002 was its top volume producer.

Khudal — who easily puts people at ease with his affable personality — is a natural salesman.

“I enjoy people and building relationships,” he says. “Business and personal relationships are important to me and I like getting to know people and hearing about their experiences.

“This gives me more understanding about people and has made me a better person and a better entrepreneur.”

When Khudal, who is now 42, started looking to buy a house, his real estate agent suggested that, with his MBA, he should consider working in the mortgage business.

And he did just that. Now he owns a real estate brokerage firm — Homexperts Real Estate Inc. — and a mortgage brokerage company called Financial Ties.

“It was only natural, then, to start a development company,” Khudal says with a chuckle.

Q: How did you go from selling homes to building them?

A: It was, for me, the next step. I started building luxury custom homes and continue to do so as Shyamora Luxury Homes. We build all over the GTA, mostly infill projects, with prices between $3 million and $4 million. When the opportunity came along to go into production building, I created Diam Developments as a sister company to Shyamora.

Q:Tell me about the names of the two companies.

A: Shyamora is a combination of the first two letters of my name, my wife’s name and my children’s names. It was my wife’s idea and it is brilliant. So, SH is for Sharanbir, YA for Yashbir, MO for Moninder and RA for Raman. Diam is Latin for invest and I thought it fit my business philosophy quite well.

Q: What is on the drawing board at Diam?

A: We’ve recently started construction on our first condo, On The Danforth, which sold out very quickly. It’s a 10-storey building with 135 units and prices started in the mid $200,000s, which made it extremely affordable. It’s also located on a great strip of Danforth Avenue near Woodbine.

We’re really excited now about our new project, Radiance in Innisfil and we’ve received approval from the town to build 100 townhouses. Building in Innisfil makes sense when you look at home prices, which are 30 to 40 per cent lower there than they are for similar products in Markham and Richmond Hill. With the South Barrie GO Transit station only 13 minutes away, getting into the GTA is easy. The beaches along Lake Simcoe are an easy walk, too.

Radiance is ideal for first-time buyers and young families looking for affordable townhomes, as well as empty nesters.

They are designed by OneSpace Architecture in a modern style and will feature large decks and optional rooftop terraces. They range in size from 1,500 to 2,000 square feet and you can configure them with up to five bedrooms. Prices start at in the upper $400,000s, which is a very good price for the quality of the home. At Diam, I am proud to say, we’re sticklers for details and make sure every home is built to the purchaser’s satisfaction.

We’ve also acquired five acres of land in King City near Canada’s Wonderland. It will be a huge project that I hope to have finished within the next four to five years.

Q: What has made you the proudest?

A: That’s easy: my family! They matter the most. When my father — who was my mentor and my inspiration — passed away I felt there was no one to have my back. It really makes you realize just how important family is. I love what I do but I love my family more. Money is just a by-product.


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