Our Story

 

The story of Abonar Business Consultants starts in 2006. Nav, Scott and I met in the MBA program from the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan. I was just laid off from a pulp and paper mill and decided that I needed skills that would be recognized beyond an industry that was obviously in decline. Scott found that working for banks executing other people’s strategy wasn’t for him. Nav always knew that he would be a business owner and saw the MBA program a natural progression in his professional development. Although we came from different backgrounds, we quickly found that we had compatible viewpoints and work styles.

 

MBA Days

Going back to school later in life is a great thing. It was 16 years since I graduated from chemical engineering, the change in perspective was huge. When people asked me what the difference was I replied: “Not much. When I was in undergrad classes, my beer to coffee ratio was 8 to 1. This time it’s the same ratio, just reversed.” During the classes, Nav, Scott and I were pretty similar in our outlook. Besides the sheer fun of being in school, we didn’t take anything said in class for granted. If it made sense, we would embrace it. If it didn’t, we would raise hell by questioning and debating points. Our frustrated instructors would frequently end class by saying “Please review these 15 slides we didn’t get to before next class.” All in all, it was a great experience and we made a lot of great friendships over that time.

 

Job Hunting

When we started to look for jobs, we found out was the job market didn’t value us the way we thought we should be. In fact, in one job interview, I thought to myself “Why would I want to work for this bozo?” Scott was having the same trouble and at one of our late night poker games, Nav called us out. He said that Scott and I wouldn’t find a job that met all of our requirements, so why not work for ourselves? That night was the beginning of our company.

 

Abonar Business Consultants Ltd.

Shortly after graduation, we started to build our company. One of the first things we did was decide on a name. After many false starts we came up with the name Abonar.

 

Abonar Definition: Spanish 1. to fertilize. 2. to pay (for). 3. to subscribe.

 

We could make up a story about how poetic the name is, but the simple fact was it a name that we could register with Corporations Canada and register the domain name. It fit with what we were trying to do: take our clients investments and help them grow. Only later, my wife pointed out that fertilize had some unintended meanings. A number of my friends who haven’t given up their inner frat-boy have suggested others. See if you can guess these hidden meanings.

 

We decided that we could help new businesses and small businesses. We saw that most inventors and scientists weren’t great at starting and managing businesses. We felt that many financial professionals lacked the science and engineering background to understand these businesses. We found that there is value in being able to bridge this divide. Our diverse backgrounds would give great coverage to our clients needs. We also found that this business would allow us to continually learn, give us a variety of work and be able to be at the start of many big things. While like any business, we have our issues, helping our clients achieve great things is energizing and great fun. If you think you would like to use us to grow your business into something great, drop us a line!

 

Sean McAlpine

Sean McAlpine Sean McAlpine, P. Eng., MBA:

A chemical engineer by trade, Sean has 16 years experience in the pulp and paper industry. While there he worked in manufacturing, customer service and environmental protection. Sean is a natural innovator and loves to build business models that simulate financial performance. He uses his experience and Theory of Constraints knowledge to help clients achieve rapid improvements to their bottom lines.

Nav Khinda Nav Khinda, B. Comm., MBA:

Nav began his career in the financial industry and has experience dealing with investments and risk assessment. While pursuing his MBA, Nav realized his passion for working with all types of businesses and decided to pursue a consulting career. When the chance came up to start Abonar, Nav quickly jumped on board. Not only did this fulfill his desire to open up a business, but it allowed him to pursue a consulting career as well. Nav’s drive for business has led him to experience a variety of different industries and he uses his knowledge to help clients achieve their business goals. He is currently pursuing the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation.

Scott Kopelchuk Scott Kopelchuk, P.Ag., MBA:

Scott comes from a farming background, having grown up on his family’s grain and purebred cattle operation. He has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and is a Professional Agrologist. Scott has seven years of experience in the banking industry as a Commercial Account Manager, servicing farm, business and non-profit clients.