From being a philanthropist to a businessman and a film producer to a great family man, Jay Minas dons many hats. Like almost every South Asian, starting with a humble beginning, in 1983, he immigrated to Canada for a better future.
With an awful economic situation and high interest rates during that time, he had to start working on a Farm in Richmond on a meagre wage of $3.65 per hour. But with a determined mind and a never look back attitude, he slowly moved to success.
During his formative years, Sr. Avtar Singh Nijjar, his friend, helped him to find his passion. Then, in 1984, he started driving Taxi in the downtown area and engaged deeply in succession, as he owned a Yellow Cab Service. In 1991, he stepped into the real estate business and started Elegant Development and Holidays Ltd. along with two partners Mr. Surinder Bhatti and Mr. Tesh Chhachhi. It is here he understood the intricacies of this construction business. In 1997 he became the sole owner of this construction and development business in the name and style of Elegant Development Inc. With a mindset to move ahead and work hard to achieve his dreams, he has played a key role in development and general contracting, including single and multi-family dwellings, commercial development and construction projects, land acquisition, subdivision and development in the cities of Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, Coquitlam and Surrey, British Columbia. He is also a part owner of the Reflections Banquet Hall and Convention Hall in Surrey.
Along with his extensive commercial endeavours, Jay is also a committed community leader with active personal involvement and fund-raising. His philanthropic involvement in Canada and India speaks volumes of his giving nature. He believes in giving back to the community he belongs to.
He has served as President of PICS Surrey for 3 years (2007- 2010). Being President, he played a lead role for the construction of PICS Assisted Living.
In India, he has helped in raising various projects like:
- Eye Hospital in Adampur, where over 10,000 surgeries have been successfully performed
- Sant Baba Bhag Singh University (SBBSU), where he is serving as International Advisor
- Guru Nanak Mission Hospital in Mithapur Jalandhar, this hospital has 200 beds. For all this, he owes this inspiration to his father, who stated, Garib da muh, Guru Di Golak (to feed a poor is Guru’s blessings).
- He has played an instrumental role in installing a sewerage system in his ancestral village Damunda, in Punjab. He also financed the new school building of the Damunda School.
- He is actively working on his dream project to build a stadium and memorial for martyrs of Saragarhi.
An active Rotarian, he has served as a President of Rotary Club Vancouver Fraserview and has been honored with the Paul Harris Fellowship Award given to Rotarians who have made significant contributions to Rotary projects. He also likes to contribute to society by creating meaningful cinema. He is known for his movies like Sarabha: Cry for Freedom, Saak (2019) and Barefoot Warriors.
He is actively engaged in sponsoring poets via NA Writers Association of Canada. He is a Charter member of Canadian India foundation. He is an active member of the BC Cancer Foundation and aspires to play a pivotal role in New Cancer Centre in Surrey. He is also the founding member of Guru Nanak food bank and wants to start a dedicated building for the same.
When asked where he sees himself in business in the next 10 years, he opined, “I will continue to take risks. If an entrepreneur is not a risk taker, then he should get the hell out of it.”