Elnaz Kanani K., senior manager of data and artificial intelligence, Deloitte

 Elnaz Kanani K.
Editor's Note

Each year, OBJ and the Ottawa Board of Trade honour 40 of the region’s top young entrepreneurs, business executives and civic leaders and recognize them for their professional achievements, expertise and community service.
Click here to see the full list of the 2021 recipients and click here to watch the special broadcast honouring the year’s recipients.

Business: Business consulting firm

Born: Tehran, Iran

Biggest business achievement: The network of people around me.

Biggest obstacle overcome: Re-starting my life as an immigrant – adjusting to the new culture, language, values and rules has been a fun, yet tough, curve.

Biggest influences: My PhD supervisor, Prof. Georges Zaccour, at HEC Montreal. He showed me how to be a better person and was the reason I kept going in difficult times.

Biggest lesson learned during COVID-19: Seeing how the world changed overnight reminded me of all the things that are sometimes taken for granted.

Charitable involvement: Cornerstone Housing for Women

First job: A data entry clerk at a small company. It forced me to practice patience on a daily basis!

Advice I’d give the younger me: Don’t take life too seriously. And that it’s OK to be different and go off the typical and proven path for success and happiness.

Favourite pastime: Reading books, especially novels by Jane Austen, plays by Eric Emmanuel Schmitt and poems by Rumi. I also enjoy keeping a diary of my random thoughts and life events.