Sergey Sanders decided not to look for work in Canada; he created his own. He started a company called Sesa Design Inc. in Bedford, where he has researched and developed unique controllers and sensors for farming operations, greenhouses and hydroponics.
His cutting-edge technology – that he started in Israel – allows growers with small and medium-sized operations to save energy and better manage their business. In a greenhouse, for example, the manager could set a process controller to automatically control pumps, lamps, humidifiers and dehumidifiers. Lights will turn on and off, the level of humidity will change as needed and heat will adjust as the weather changes. One device can control everything.
“It’s not the first time I set up something from scratch, but self-employment is hard after you’ve had a job,” says Sergey. “I realized I had to prepare well.” Sergey has made useful local links for his product including the National Research Council and Dalhousie University. He’s working with greenhouse farmers who will soon test his products, prior to commercialization. Sergey realizes the challenges of working in a new place. “In Nova Scotia it’s important to have connections.”
Born in the Ukraine, Sergey moved to Israel in 1990 looking for a better place to live. He spent 22 years there and then made the move to Canada in 2012. He and his wife, a chemical engineer, came here for a safe and happier future for their three children, aged 4, 9 and 13.
They were contacted by Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia, even before they left Israel, and completed a preliminary English assessment. His wife took various English language courses, while he took a pronunciation course, one he describes as “wonderful.” Being in business means needing specific language so he says it was important for someone to correct his speech and help him. He also takes advantage of Business Counselling at Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia. He stays in touch with the organization and because he works by himself sometimes calls for advice. “It’s important to know what Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia can help you with and what they can’t,” adding that they were very helpful with language and with providing tax support.
Sergey is enjoying Halifax but it took a while for him to adapt to the much slower pace, as compared to Israel. His family has a home in a secluded area outside the city and has made friends. He enjoys ham radio, woodworking and fishing and looks forward to a speedboat some day. His children are settling in well.
He’s created a niche for himself in the business world – one that should bode well for his future and that of plant-growing industries.