From a cramped basement working in the IT industry to the expansive world of air cargo, this executive now circles the planet and chills out playing golf with his buddies

Published: Monday, January 15, 2024

Sameer Subedar, Cargojet’s Director of Sales and Product, orchestrates the global movement of essential goods. Yet, his journey started in an IT basement, where a spark for planes lit a path away from boardrooms to the air cargo world. Sameer’s story is a living example of the transformative force of pursuing one’s passion, no matter how unconventional the route is.

“I’m the type of person that’d rather buy an experience than buy a commodity,” Sameer asserts, encapsulating his audacious approach to life. His journey into the air cargo industry, marked by twists and turns, echoes the sentiment that calculated risks often pave the way for remarkable success. From his roots in IT to the dynamic realm of air cargo, Sameer’s professional evolution is a narrative of bold decisions and an unyielding spirit.

Away from the hustle and bustle of the air cargo world, Sameer finds solace in the greens of the golf course. “It’s just you and your friends that you’re golfing with,” he reflects, highlighting the therapeutic nature of the sport. As winter blankets Canada and golf takes a hiatus, Sameer’s newfound love, pickleball, takes center stage. The smaller tennis-court version of the game becomes a family affair, echoing laughter in the local gym.

“My favorite type of food is Thai food,” Sameer reveals, his passion for diverse flavors evident. A self-proclaimed foodie, he shuns franchise restaurants in favor of local, authentic experiences. During travels, Sameer seeks out the charm of mom-and-pop restaurants, immersing himself in the culinary tapestry of different cultures.

For Sameer, travel is more than a leisurely pursuit; it’s a journey of self-discovery. From the cobblestone alleys of Lisbon to the architectural wonders of Istanbul, he thrives on the richness of old-world charm and cultural immersion. “I love walking back in time,” Sameer shares, emphasizing his penchant for destinations like Portugal and Turkey over modern metropolises.

Juggling the demands of a dynamic sales career that keeps him constantly on the move, Sameer shares insights into his approach to work-life balance. Early marriage and fatherhood heightened his sense of responsibility, emphasizing the need to create time for family amidst career pursuits. Adopting the mantra “be here now” from Lisa Lisson, former president of FedEx Canada, Sameer underscores the importance of undivided attention in each moment—be it at work, with family, or pursuing personal hobbies. Integrating family into daily activities, like shared gym sessions and meals, Sameer strives to shut out distractions and focus on the present. Weekends bring a cherished ritual—an obligatory family breakfast—a simple yet powerful tradition in the Subedar household, reinforcing the significance of family amidst the hustle.

Reflecting on his career, Sameer acknowledges the pivotal role of mentorship. “The role model is someone that hears your ideas, lets you run with them, and then helps you figure out what you did right and wrong,” he articulates. This ethos of learning through trial and error extends beyond the professional realm, shaping Sameer’s growth philosophy.

Addressing the younger generation, Sameer advocates for exploration and diversification. “Try different things, try different industries,” he advises, recognizing the complexity of choosing a career path at a young age. His call is for patience and perseverance, urging the upcoming workforce to embrace the journey rather than succumbing to the allure of instant gratification.

For Sameer, that path led him from a cramped basement to the expansive world of air cargo, from IT spreadsheets to negotiating multi-million dollar deals. His story is a reminder that success often lies in the unexpected, in embracing detours and daring to chase your passions, even when they seem miles off course.