Meet Nav Bhatia, a superfan of the Toronto Raptors professional basketball team, and a super dealer for Hyundai Canada.
The 66-year-old native of India walked the red carpet in September at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival because he was part of the documentary about Raptors’ great Vince Carter. A few weeks later he was chosen to be photographed with former U.S. President Barack Obama at an event in Toronto. Obama, who is a basketball fan, told Bhatia he recognized him from being courtside at televised Raptors’ games.
“I told President Obama that I sort of bring the world together through the game of basketball,” Bhatia said. “He was very happy about that, of course. I’m not a player. I’m just a common guy, and here I am with the 44th President of America and I’m a big fan of him. I am so blessed. When I went into my car, I sat for a few minutes and had to take that all in.”
Sports and celebrity aside, Bhatia is first and foremost an auto dealer, owning and operating Mississauga Hyundai and Rexdale Hyundai in the Greater Toronto Area. The Rexdale dealership is where he began his career selling cars in Canada 34 years ago. He became the company’s top salesman in Canada. He sold nearly 150 cars in four months and was promoted to general manager. He took over the dealership about six years ago.