Growing up, Praveen Choudhary felt his career options were to either survive in the Indian army, or survive with the people. Praveen’s passion in life is to help other people so he chose to work in the hospitality industry, a decision which has given him years of experience and led him across the world.

“I took a hotel management course directly after school because it was my dream,” Praveen says. “I love to help people, so I joined this industry.”

Praveen worked for the Radisson Blu Hotel in New Delhi in a number of different positions: as a café barista, a cook, a waiter, and a bartender.

 “In India I had to work a lot,” Praveen says. “It was too much pressure on me – I had to work 18 to 19 hours in a day. Life is very tough there.”

Reservations at the hotel were often for parties of 200 or more – never less than 20 people, Praveen says. When a new bar and grill opened at the hotel, Praveen was transferred there in the role of a supervisor, which only helped fuel his passion for cooking and bartending. On one night, Praveen alone made approximately 1,500 cocktails for his guests.

With seven years of experience at one of New Delhi’s most highly rated hotels, Praveen was ready for a change of pace.

“I had been planning on moving somewhere else from India for a long time, but I never had the chance,” Praveen says. “When I had the opportunity I moved here.”

Praveen applied to move to Saint John through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot – an employer-driven immigration initiative.

Praveen arrived in Saint John on Sept. 14, and began working on Sept. 17. So far, the change of pace has been refreshing – Praveen no longer works 18-hour days. Praveen’s talents in the kitchen are often put to use in his new work environment; he does a bit of everything – cooking, serving, and preparing drinks.

In India, Praveen drove a motorcycle to work. When he first arrived in Saint John, he took the bicycle from his home on the west side all the way to Loch Lomond Road. Praveen says “the people are very good here,” and he is very thankful for the kindness of a stranger who showed him the way to work when he was lost. Thanks to her, he made it to work on time for his first day on the job.

Praveen recently passed his Canadian drivers’ licence test and is now exploring greater Saint John.

His passion for the hospitality industry is still strong. He wants to share his knowledge and talent in cooking and bartending with the people he serves – he hopes one day to open an Indian bar and grill here in the city and build his own success.

“I like it here, it’s perfect for me,” Praveen says. “I can settle down here.”