10 Questions with Harpreet (Harp) Padda (May 2021)
Meet Harp Padda who leads business development with Marquee. In a previous life he was an NCAA baseball player, and before the pandemic kept us at home he was a dancer and extensive world traveller. All this in addition to knowing his way around an Excel sheet. Check out our interview with him.
What do you do at Marquee Group and when did you start?
I lead business development. I just joined November 4th, but I trained with Marquee 3 times over the past 12 years in my previous roles.
And what roles were those?
I trained with Marquee when I was at Rotman doing my MBA and then when I joined investment banking at CIBC, and then again at BMO capital markets.
What were you working on before you came here?
My full-time job prior to this was at a private equity company called Founders Advantage Capital, where I was head of business development, essentially sourcing all investment opportunities, screening and conducting due diligence on potential acquisitions for the company.
Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in North York, moved to Mississauga when I was 10, and last fall, I moved to the big city of Bradford, Ontario.
What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of work?
I love spending time with friends and family. I’m a pretty social guy, so even though I probably don’t belong, I find myself at the nightclub scene thinking I can still dance and all that.
I actually used to play sports competitively. Baseball used to be a big part of my life, and I used to have a motorcycle, which kept me busy. I sold it, but I might get another one at some point. And I used to do a lot of traveling.
What’s the coolest place you’ve traveled to that you would love to go back to after the pandemic is over?
So I’ve traveled to maybe 25-30 countries. My favourite place is Melbourne, Australia. I did my last semester of my MBA there and had the absolute best time of my life. There’s lots of similarities to Toronto, just a beautiful city with very nice people and incredible weather. I guess it helped that I already had a job lined up and I was just on a pass-fail basis for school (and I knew I was going to pass).
What do you like the most about working at Marquee?
A couple of things come to mind. One is absolutely without a doubt, the people. The team is incredible. Everyone is a fair, nice, kind-hearted person. That’s one of the main reasons I joined actually. I have a lot of respect for Ian and have known him over the years.
I got to see firsthand how impactful and how well-respected Marquee is and how good we are at what we do, and the growth trajectory as a result of that is pretty exciting. One thing I really like here is the commitment to continue growing as an organization with value added services.
What’s your favourite course that Marquee offers?
I’d say building a financial model. I mean, it’s our most popular course, but it’s just so fundamental and so beneficial for someone who is entering any role that’s going to require financial modeling skills.
That’s my favorite because of how powerful it is as a tool and as a skill set. All of our instructors who teach that course just do a phenomenal job of delivering it.
Can you tell us about your past life as a Bhangra dancer and what this is for people who aren’t familiar?
Bhangra is a dance that originated in Punjab, India. As you’ll hopefully see at Indian events, it’s high energy and a lot of fun! For 6 years I was part of a Bhangra dance group with friends, and we performed at weddings, birthday parties, and cultural events.
Tell us about your time playing NCAA baseball?
Thanks to a baseball scholarship, I played for two years at Montreat College in North Carolina, and two years at Canisius College, a Division I NCAA program in Buffalo. It was a blast to compete with so many talented players, some of whom went on to play in the major leagues. While my dreams of playing for the Toronto Blue Jays didn’t work out, I did get an opportunity to play semi-professional baseball for 5 years with the Kitchener Panthers of the Intercounty Baseball League.