IGA Management and Philosophy

Meet Hiren Shah, the Manager at IGA
Posted on 05/27/2021
Hiren is the new manager (and franchisee hopeful) at our IGA. He has taken on the monumental task of moving to a new town, managing a new staff and making the business his own - all in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What are your goals as the Manager of IGA?
For me, to be able to make good business decisions means taking care of the community first. No matter what particular hurdle has been put in front of me I am responsible to the community.

My dream is to see IGA as an inclusive place for all shoppers, so that everyone has access to the products they need and a space where they feel comfortable doing their shopping.

As you know, Golden is experiencing chronic labour shortages, how do you manage that at IGA?
First and foremost, I want to take care of my employees. I take every decision seriously as I am responsible for feeding 30+ families.It’s also important to me that my employees feel a sense of purpose and pride in their work. I know what it’s like to work a minimum wage job, I was there 6 years ago when I first moved to Canada. So, I’ve made sure everyone has responsibility for something, ordering certain products, managing a section of the store, whatever best suits their talents.

Most importantly though, I have an open door policy. Anyone can come and talk to me with their concerns and I will work to address them in a timely manner.

Especially since we can’t do our traditional forms of team building and appreciation. I’ve been taking the time to speak with each employee separately, making sure they have what they need to keep moving forward on their path.

How has your first year in Golden been?
Well it’s definitely felt a little crazy, but I could not have imagined a town being so open and accepting.I only wish that I could we weren’t in the middle of the pandemic so I could show off my cooking skills.

With the store it’s been pretty crazy too, we’re running lots of simultaneous projects at the store. You might have heard we’ve stopped using plastic bags as of May 5th. We’ve also tinted all our windows to help with heat regulation in summer and winter.
We’ve also brought in new gluten free products and dairy free products.

What’s been the biggest challenge this year?
Keeping the staff safe and comfortable as they serve our community throughout the pandemic. It’s been a stressful year for all of us and luckily we had some resources provided from corporate that allowed us to offer our staff additional support through the stressful times.

Why Golden?
Living in the Mountains has always been a dream of mine. Whenever I used to drive through Golden I would turn to whoever was with me and say how wonderful it must be to live here, so close to all this nature.

Well it seems you’ve taken on a lot in one year - what keeps you going?
I’ve only been in Canada for 10 years and I keep working diligently toward my dreams. With hard work and a positive attitude, it will take you where you need to be. Plus, there’s no reason to be stressed all the time, I like to choose happiness instead.
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