Mikail (Miki) Batchasingh just couldn’t wait to graduate last year from the University of Toronto.
Anxious to secure his economics degree, the 25-year-old was also eager to return to Trinidad & Tobago to help the family business grow. Along with older brothers Khalil and Rashard, who were also educated in Canada, Mikail manages the BATCH Company in Chaguanas that specializes in the sale of food processing equipment and related supplies.
Coming to the Greater Toronto Area in 1990 with their parents Claude and Sardia, the brothers attended Erindale Secondary School while their mom worked at Nella Cutlery that carries a full line of brand name food equipment and supplies for restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, institutional kitchens, bakeries, butcher shops and delicatessen.
Realizing there might be a market for some of the products in the twin-island republic, the family matriarch shipped a small quantity of food processing equipment.
The rest, as they say, is history.
“That’s how the business started,” said Mikhail, who has taken distance learning courses in England, Hong Kong and Italy. “From a small seed, it has mushroomed into a successful business entity. Our products are sold across the country and we have a head office, warehouse and showroom.”
Batchasingh said living and attending school in Canada prepared him for the transition.
“There was obviously an adjustment moving back to live in Trinidad & Tobago,” he said. “But, Canada is a First World country that allowed me enhance my creativity and professionalism and become technologically-savvy. I learned a lot while living and going to school in Canada that helped immensely when I re-migrated last year. We also should not forget that T & T is advancing in the world.”
Older brother Khalil, who returned to T & T 11 years ago to help manage the emerging family business, spent two years at the University of New Brunswick, completing a business degree before going back home in 2011.
“We do everything related to the food services industry,” he said. “We also work with supermarkets, restaurants, bakeries and catering companies to help them improve their businesses. It’s a lot of hard work, but we are doing well at our end.”
The Batch Company recently participated in its first trade show during the 14th annual Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) sustainable tourism development conference at the Hyatt Regency in Port-of-Spain.
“This is new for us and there was a lot of interest shown,” said Khalil Batchasingh.
After graduating with an accounting degree from Ryerson University, Claude Batchasingh returned to T & T in 1976 to start a family. He worked with several multinational companies, including Mennen, prior to bringing the family to Canada in the early 1990s.