By Manus Hopkins
Manali Dhaduk moved to Canada shortly before the pandemic, after growing up on the west coast of India, where she first took an interest in lighting. She was always creative and into the arts in her school days, participating in painting competitions and dance shows.She was even featured twice in local newspapers and always enjoyed receiving awards and accolades.
“While working on building controls tender documents in my first job, lighting packages would always catch my attention and I would always wonder how lighting works and how they control lights, colours, etc.,”
“That’s where I started getting curious about lighting.”
After completing school for automation engineering in 2015, Dhaduk was hired by
Johnson Controls Inc. through campus.
“It was a great start to my career as it not only shaped me from a fresher to the
professional which I am today but working with the talent banks helped develop
multiple skills along the path too,” she says.
“After working as a senior sales engineer with them, I decided to learn and excel in
one of the automation solutions.”
In 2018, Dhaduk took an opportunity with Videonetics Technology. Two years later, with plans to move to Canada, she had to give up on all of the groundwork she had laid over five years to start from scratch in a new country.
“When I moved here, many of the organizations started to shut down, Dhaduk
recalls. “I consider myself lucky and am grateful to have been presented an offer in
the lighting industry by GVA Lighting, and without a blink, I took the oppportunity.”
Dhaduk started as a quotation specialist. She says entering the industry had its
challenges at first but getting promoted to Insides Sales, Lighting Sales Specialist, and finally, an Account Manager in less than three years gave her assurance that she was on the right track.
“The company had a large footprint in the architectural world,” she says. “I was responsible for maintaining client relationships and driving sales on the east coast of the USA.”
Towards the year-end of 2022, Dhaduk was brought on to work with A.C. Lighting, where she now works as an Inside Sales Representative.
“Although the production industry is completely different from the architectural
industry, I never felt like an outsider even for a moment,” she says. “The
compassion people share and passion they carry in the production world is
Currently, Dhaduk is focusing on making life easy for all of her clients in all possible ways and helping grow the business, as she puts it.
“I put my efforts to ensure desirable alliances between external and internal
clients,” she says.
In a typical week at work, Dhaduk meets clients in person, attends whatever
events and tradeshows are happening, takes care of the pre-sales process by
consulting clients for product support, delivers demos and quotes, and helps clients manage orders to meet deadlines.
“Despite new challenges and many hurdles along the way, consistently progressive
career growth has been a highlight of my career,” Dhaduk says. “Being passionate
about what I do and observing and learning from the people in my day-to-day life who are already thriving in this business has been the big reason I [have] come this far.”
Dhaduk is happy to still be working in the lighting world but says clients operate
in a completely different way in the entertainment industry than they do in the
architectural world, and she is working to catch up to the speed of this industry.
“I am honoured to be a part of the industry which is full of talented and equally
passionate people,” she says. “The way they showcase their skills in developing and
nurturing the relationships is something I love to witness.”
Dhaduk lives in Mississauga, ON, where A.C. Lighting is based, and enjoys reading, and cooking, but not cooking Indian food as it consumes so much time and energy, and exploring new towns and cities around her, taking in local scenery, and discovering new restaurants.
“I am looking forward to connecting with as many people as I can in this industry
to grow the relationships and witness the business soar,” she says.
Manus Hopkins is a Toronto-based freelance writer