This Hamilton collision repair facility is the brainchild of a man with a passion for the industry. Simran Kalsi is a man with a vision.
As the President of ProColor Collision Hamilton Centre, the first ProColor Collision location in Canada outside of Quebec, he was drawn to the network partly because his partnership with ProColor Collision would allow him to pursue his passion and vision for what a collision repair facility should be.
Kalsi’s journey into the industry began when he was only 18 years old. While still in school, studying Business Management (he also has an MBA), he approached his father with a business idea.
“I pitched a shoddy business plan to my dad,” he admits.
“My family has a very large transportation-related business, and they were farming out a lot of their collision repair and body paintwork to local shops.
“That’s something I was always interested in doing on the side; on the weekends, so I put together a business plan, and I pitched my dad. He listened to me for about five minutes before he cut me off and said, ‘You’re crazy.’”
Not one to give up easily, Kalsi persisted, agreeing to continue his education while working on his passion—collision repair.
“It was one of the hardest things I have ever done,” he says. “But I did it. I ran the shop full-time, eventually found a crew, and went to school full-time.
He recalls going to class in the morning, coming back to the shop in the afternoon, and tackling whatever needed to be done to get the vehicles repaired and out the door. “I remember reading my notes and studying in between paint cycles,” he adds.
A second location
After graduating, Kalsi expanded his business, adding a location as well as mechanical services.
But he wasn’t content with the status quo of the industry at the time. His vision was to run a business that would be family-friendly, upscale, and a pleasure to work in.
“I wanted to build a neighbourhood repair facility that would be a comfortable space for everyone,” he explains.
“Here at the shop in downtown Hamilton, we work to create an atmosphere that anyone can be a part of. It’s not always easy, but we believe that transparency during the repair process creates a new level of trust for our relationships.
“If we could turn something as sketchy as a body shop or a garage into a place where everyone feels welcome, I knew it would be something special.”
Kalsi purchased a historic building in downtown Hamilton and created an inviting atmosphere that feels more like a trendy cafe than a collision repair shop.
“When you walk into our location your jaw drops,” he says. “It’s bright, clean, well lit, well equipped, and we have top talent working for us.”
Working with a banner group
Even though he had made it on his own, Kalsi wanted to take his business to the next level. That’s when he went shopping for a collision repair network to work with him on his vision.
After speaking with Daryll O’Keefe, Regional Vice President-Ontario at Fix Automotive Network, Kalsi was convinced ProColor Collision would be the right group to partner with.
“We spoke with multiple collision networks,” Kalsi ex- plains. “I have to give a lot of credit to Daryll. He was the only one who actually saw what we were trying to build.”
Even after 10 years in business, running multiple collision repair facilities, Kalsi was grateful for the insight and advice ProColor Collision was able to offer.
“We worked very closely with ProColor Collision making sure that we utilized every inch of our space,” he says.
“We have 18,000 sq. ft. and we wanted to make sure that every stall, every bay had a designated use, and that there would never be a backlog.
“We wanted to have the tightest production line possible so that we’d be able to handle as much work as possible. That was something we worked on with ProColor Collision very closely.”
Although he would like to own another ProColor Collision location in Hamilton, Kalsi is taking his time to make sure he gets it right.
“I want to make sure everything is operating to a tee at this facility before we grow,” he concludes.