Kapil Lakhotia, MA

General Manager, London Economic Development Corporation

Before taking on the role as the General Manager of the London Economic Development Corporation, Kapil led LEDC’s investment attraction portfolio for over 10 years. His efforts have resulted in significant new investments and jobs in London, through developments such as Dr. Oetker, Arvin Sango, CS Automotive Tubing, and more. In addition to his portfolio, Kapil also provides leadership on economic impact assessments and tools for measuring local economic development. Kapil is active in a number of regional economic development initiatives and currently chairs the Ontario Automotive Communities Alliance. He has led several investment missions in major markets worldwide. He is also an active member of the South West Economic Alliance, Ontario Food Corridor and other collaborative organizations.

Kapil holds a BA in Economics from Western University and MA in Economics from the University of Waterloo. He has also taught economics at King’s University College, Western University.

What interests and goals led you to graduate studies in economics?

During high school and undergraduate studies, I took an interest in the history of economic thought, international trade and practical aspects of applied economics. My long term plan was to build further economics training, complemented with business education. I was always interested in the industry specific applications that would have a real tangible impact in business and society.

How has your graduate training in economics impacted your career path?

My graduate training helped immensely in providing a framework for business focused decision making. My career with the London Economic Development Corporation involves improving the economic vitality in the city of London. This is achieved through new business investments, job creation, infrastructure development and creating the right economic climate for growth. Having an economics background gives me a good understanding of the many elements that impact important decisions for both the municipality, as well as corporations looking to invest. I am particularly proud of the fact that my economics training has helped in creating several thousand jobs in the community and made a significant impact in people’s lives.

What aspect of Waterloo's economics graduate program did you find most useful in terms of your career?

The variety of courses offered allowed me to customize my graduate training in line with my career goals. I chose courses in international trade, health economics, labour markets, and migration which gave me a good foundation and tools for local economic development. Many of my colleagues took courses specific to financial markets and careers in government policy development. I also appreciated the small class size and the diversity of the student base that enabled good class room discussions and collaborative learning.

Any other comments about the Department? Would you recommend it as a destination for graduate education? If so, why?

I would highly recommend the University of Waterloo to anyone interested in a career in applied economics and business. It was a rewarding and enriching experience. Staff and faculty members of the economics department were friendly and created a good environment for higher learning.

Affiliation: 
University of Waterloo