Cuckoo Kochar

Cuckoo Kochar is quite literally helping to build a better Ottawa. As President and CEO of Phoenix Homes, Kochar has built communities across the National Capital Region, and funded a significant scholarship at Carleton University to support a new generation of engineers and architects.

Kochar is equally committed to supporting many of the organizations which help to make Ottawa such a vibrant, strong community, from the Ottawa Hospital, to Algonquin College, to CHEO, to the Heart Institute to the YMCA. Through his professional work and his philanthropic actions, Cuckoo Kochar is working to ensure that Ottawa thrives as a healthy, whole community and for that, he is one of #150GreatPeople. Here, he answers the questionnaire:

What makes Ottawa special to you?

I have lived here for over 40 years, working with various Communities, building subdivisions that ultimately define this great City. It is where I raised my family, built my house, voted and campaigned for our political candidates, participated in debates and hopefully will retire here one day.

What do you love most about living and working in Ottawa?

Ottawa has everything a large metropolitan City has to offer but life here is akin to a small town. In spite of some peak time traffic discomforts, mostly we can traverse from point A to point B in less than 30 minutes. Yet we have some of the finest medical facilities in the world, great schools and universities and one of the lowest crime rates in Canada.

The work that you do helps to make Ottawa a better place-why is this important to you?

Simply because I live here. My family lives here. So I want to continue to see Ottawa evolve into a constantly better society.

You give back to the Ottawa community in various ways-is there one Ottawa-related achievement of which you are most proud of?

Education is extremely important to me and my family. I truly believe that it is the greatest wealth one will accumulate in their lifetime. It is a guaranteed way to raise yourself above the ordinary by seeking the highest possible education you can. I have set up a scholarship program at Carleton University that brings 5 students from India every year to do post graduate work in Engineering or Architecture. The only caveat being the students have to graduate in the top 10 percentile of their graduating class and come from a modest income family. The scholarship pays for everything including fees, boarding and lodging. All the students that came over since the inception 4 years ago have excelled at the University, making me very proud.

What do you hope for Ottawa in the future?

I hope that Ottawa continues to grow into a more educated, compassionate, multi-cultural