Abel Mauricio Orozco does not look like someone outside their comfort zone when he arrives at the Grundfos office in the Toronto suburb of Oakville on a fine Tuesday morning. He seems relaxed and familiar with his surroundings, even though it has only been a week since he came to Canada from Colombia.
"I spent a few years in the USA as a child, and I have worked in New York, so the language is going reasonably well. I have also been in regular contact with Grundfos in Canada, and have visited before. It's great to have a good foundation, because everything else is new and very different to what I'm used to,"
In a few days he will start his new job in internal sales for Grundfos Canada. Before then, there are a lot of practical details that need to be worked out.
"I am staying with a relative in Toronto, but have just found a temporary apartment closer to Grundfos. There are a lot of other things I also need to look at.
I need to fill out a lot of paperwork in order to settle here," says Abel Mauricio Orozco.
Long time coming
As the rays of sunlight from the crisp blue sky are reflected from the clear waters of Lake Ontario, giving a golden sheen to the city skyscrapers that begin to tower above us, Abel Mauricio Orozco comments that he was actually on his way to Canada back in 2011. Until he received a surprising phone call.
"I was in the final stages of preparing to leave for Canada. I had been granted permanent residency and I was ready to go. But then I received a call from a recruitment consultant. She told me that a company by the name of Grundfos was planning to start up in Colombia, and that my profile was of interest. The thought of playing a role in creating something new sounded exciting, so I delayed my plans," he recalls.
The mechanical engineer became one of the first three Grundfos employees in Colombia, and in addition to working on the new team, he married his girlfriend.
"It was suddenly a long way from Bogota to Canada. At the time, I focused on getting all the new elements in my life to function, and balance my career and private life. But I still had Canada in the back of my mind, because I still wanted to go there. Fortunately my wife also liked the idea," he says.
Reached the right ears
As his Canadian dream lived on, the Colombian subsidiary grew. One day Abel Mauricio Orozco was talking to his supervisor, Thiago Oliveira, when the conversation turned to his dream of living and working in Canada, and that got the ball rolling. With help from some key Grundfos people, including Santiago Arriola, the South American HR Manager, communication was established with the Canadian subsidiary. They quickly indicated their interest in having the Colombian join their team.
"Things began to unfold rapidly. I was put in touch with the Canadians, and it seemed no time at all before they were asking me when I wanted to start. I could hardly believe my ears. I knew I had to talk it over with my family first, but I also knew it was a unique chance I had been given. A chance I ought to take. Fortunately my family were happy with the idea of moving here, so I could accept the offer," recalls Abel Mauricio Orozco.
He therefore finally reached Canada in October 2014. A little later than originally planned. His wife will join him in January, and then they will both be ready to start their new life in Toronto.
Born in May 1984
Comes from Bogota in Colombia
Studied mechanical engineering at Universidade de los Andes in Bogota