By Manus Hopkins
Manali Dhaduk moved to Canada shortly before the pandemic , after growing up on the west coast of India , where she first took an interest in lighting . She was always creative and into the arts in her school days , participating in painting competitions and dance shows . She was even featured twice in local newspapers and always enjoyed receiving awards and accolades .
“ While working on building controls tender documents in my first job , lighting packages would always catch my attention and I would always wonder how lighting works and how they control lights , colours , etc .,” she tells Professional Lighting & Production . “ That ’ s where I started getting curious about lighting .”
After completing school for automation engineering in 2015 , Dhaduk was hired by Johnson Controls Inc . through campus .
“ It was a great start to my career as it not only shaped me from a fresher to the professional which I am today but working with the talent banks helped develop multiple skills along the path too ,” she says . “ After working as a senior sales engineer with them , I decided to learn and excel in one of the automation solutions .”
In 2018 , Dhaduk took an opportunity with Videonetics Technology . Two years later , with plans to move to Canada , she had to give up on all of the groundwork she had laid over five years to start from scratch in a new country .
“ When I moved here , many of the organizations started to shut down , Dhaduk recalls . “ I consider myself lucky and am grateful to have been presented an offer in the lighting industry by GVA Lighting , and without a blink , I took the opportunity .”
Dhaduk started as a quotation specialist . She says entering the industry had its challenges at first but getting promoted to Insides Sales , Lighting Sales Specialist , and finally , an Account Manager in less than three years gave her assurance that she was on the right track .
“ The company had a large footprint in the architectural world ,” she says . “ I was responsible for maintaining client relationships and driving sales on the east coast of the USA .”
Towards the year-end of 2022 , Dhaduk was brought on to work with A . C . Lighting , where she now works as an Inside Sales Representative . “ Although the production industry is completely different from the architectural industry , I never felt like an outsider even for a moment ,” she says . “ The compassion people share and passion they carry in the production world is incomparable .”
Currently , Dhaduk is focusing on making life easy for all of her clients in all possible ways and helping grow the business , as she puts it .
“ I put my efforts to ensure desirable alliances between external and internal clients ,” she says .
In a typical week at work , Dhaduk meets clients in person , attends whatever events and tradeshows are happening , takes care of the pre-sales process by consulting clients for product support , delivers demos and quotes , and helps clients manage orders to meet deadlines .
“ Despite new challenges and many hurdles along the way , consistently progressive career growth has been a highlight of my career ,” Dhaduk says . “ Being passionate about what I do and observing and learning from the people in my day-to-day life who are already thriving in this business has been the big reason I [ have ] come this far .”
Dhaduk is happy to still be working in the lighting world but says clients operate in a completely different way in the
entertainment industry than they do in the architectural world , and she is working to catch up to the speed of this industry .
“ I am honoured to be a part of the industry which is full of talented and equally passionate people ,” she says . “ The way they showcase their skills in developing and nurturing the relationships is something I love to witness .”
Dhaduk lives in Mississauga , ON , where A . C . Lighting is based , and enjoys reading , and cooking , but not cooking Indian food as it consumes so much time and energy , and exploring new towns and cities around her , taking in local scenery , and discovering new restaurants .
“ I am looking forward to connecting with as many people as I can in this industry to grow the relationships and witness the business soar ,” she says .
Manus Hopkins is the Assistant Editor of Professional Lighting & Production . He can be reached at mhopkins @ nwcworld . com .
Summer 2023 | 35