Saeed Torbati was born and raised in Iran. When he was 18 years old, Torbati picked up and moved to Canada in search of an education and ultimately a career. He first attended Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Technology, enrolling in the Electromechanical Engineering-Robotics program, and graduated with honours in 2012. From there, he then immediately began working in the sales industry specifically the green energy sector as a sales representative, and from there, he got into the green technology industry and finance where he formed his own corporation. Torbati then chose to further his education and earned an associate’s degree in Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies from Harvard Business School.
Currently, Torbati spends his time between Ottawa and Toronto. His company, Ontario Green Savings, was listed as one of the fastest growing startups in 2019. In his free time, Torbati enjoys sports, particularly boxing, which he tries to do once a day.
1. What do you love most about the industry you are in?
The industry we’re in is certainly not new, but we’ve taken a new approach for an existing industry. It has enabled many consumers to be able to take advantage of high efficiency and green tech products at a much affordable rate without having to spend a large amount of money upfront. That’s what I really love about the industry. It’s enabling low to middle-income families to reap the same benefits that come with high-efficiency products that they wouldn’t typically be able to afford.
2. What does a typical day consist of for you?
I’m usually up by 5:30-6:00 a.m. I head over to the gym and work out, then head home, and I spend about ten minutes priming every morning — that’s like an advanced version of meditation. I get to the office, start the day by making my task list for the day and taking a look at my stock accounts and reports from different businesses that I manage. My first meeting starts at ten in the morning, and I finish up and head home around four or five. I wind down for an hour, and then I start working from home until the end of the night, around 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. Then I read a few chapters in my book or watch and read the news.
3. What keeps you motivated?
To be honest, it’s our corporate social responsibility. I feel responsible for making sure that employees who work with us, who have devoted their lives to our organizations, are taken care of. That’s the biggest motivator for me to make sure all these people are growing, personally, financially, professionally and in every aspect that we can help them in.
4. Who has been a role model to you, and why?
I’d have to say Tony Robbins. He has just mastered the power of mindset and has always been so motivating and energetic that I’ve made him a role model. He Has the ability to change your state in such a short time that has always been nothing but impressive.
5. How do you maintain a solid work-life balance?
So, it’s an interesting question. I don’t look at it as it’s a work-life balance because you could be unemployed and still have a terrible work-life balance. I would look at it as more of a harmony than a balance. The way that I maintain it is by taking advantage of the little time I have to myself. Also, my work is my passion, so I don’t feel like there has to be that much of a balance. I’m okay with working a lot and having a little bit of time to myself.
6. What traits do you possess that make you a successful leader?
I believe it’s the level of care I have for people that are working in my organization, their problems and the way that I’m very flexible with all my employees and all the people that are working for my company. Another thing would be that I’m very good at developing other leaders as well.
7. What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
When you shake someone’s hand, you have to honor the deal.
8. What is your biggest accomplishment?
I would say that my biggest accomplishment is the fact that I went from having nothing and barely scraping by to become one of the top entrepreneurs in my domain and reaching the point of retiring my parents and supporting my family.
9. What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
Everything in life can change for the good or the bad in the blink of an eye. Be faithful during down times and be grateful during the good times.
10. Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
I would say it’s a combination of my friendliness, that I’m humble, very talkative, and I like to joke around a lot.
11. Explain the proudest day of your professional life.
It was not too long ago. A few months ago, in 2019, our company was selected as one of the fastest growing startup companies across Canada. That was definitely one of my proudest professional moments.