In the 35 years since graduating from KPU, Mann has “successfully assembled a construction management empire as he acquired companies and expanded to other countries,” according to a news release.
Mann arrived here from India in 1980 as 15-year-old who “didn’t know much.” He studied at Douglas College, taking a two-year construction-management diploma, and found permanent work difficult to come by during a recession.
By 1982, Mann and his family had moved to Surrey, where he learned of a civil and structural engineering program collaboration KPU had with the then-Ryerson Polytechnic in Toronto. Mann started his diploma at KPU in civil and structural engineering in 1984.
“I remember my first co-op term was in the City of Surrey engineering department,” Mann recalled, “and that gave me exposure to how city hall works and working with professionals. Later on, when I started my own development and construction business, having that knowledge base was so helpful.”
Today, Mann is chief executive officer and chairman of Coquitlam-based BM Group, described as “a diverse portfolio of development, construction and real-estate related businesses,” with offices in Canada, the United States and India.
“I am humbled to receive this award,” Mann said. “Getting the award means a lot to me and it also gives me validation about what I have done – even though I don’t think I have done much.”
Mann serves as vice-chair of KPU Foundation Board, and is a director of Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation and also Surrey Board of Trade.