Canadian Association of Insolvency and Restructuring Professionals

Meet some of our Insolvency Counsellors > Amit Upadhyay

Amit Upadhyay

January 19, 2024
Insolvency Counsellor,
Kunjar Sharma & Associates Inc.
Toronto, Ontario

Amit Upadhyay was always interested in helping people, and had learned from his father early on not to spend more money than he earned. He had also heard about the consequences of too much credit from his uncle, who founded Kunjar Sharma & Associates Inc. in 2003 after working since 1978 to help businesses and individuals solve their debt problems.

So it’s no surprise that Amit said yes when his uncle invited him to join the firm in 2010. Amit’s background is not in finance, and his first duties were to assist clients and maintain a smooth workflow at the office. Being fluent in Nepali, Hindi, Arabic and Bengali was an advantage in serving the firm’s diverse clients. His people skills were also a good fit to help debtors with their financial issues, and Amit was encouraged to complete CAIRP’s Insolvency Counsellor program.

“Not long after, I started conducting my own debtor interviews,” Amit says. “I noticed that many debtors have little understanding of credit and its importance in building a new life in Canada. As part of the debtor counselling, I strive to educate clients about credit, and help them understand that no matter how much they make, they can save as long as they know the difference between ‘wants’ and ‘needs.’”

Amit likes the challenge of finding solutions to financial situations that address the debtor’s needs. He encourages them to file income taxes, understand the different sources of credit, and create a financial budget or plan to achieve family goals such as buying a car, providing for children’s education or buying a home.

It’s important for Amit to help clients understand the insolvency processes and that it exists to support them. A native of Nepal, he has found that people from different cultures appreciate receiving advice from someone who understands their norms and concerns.

“Many cultures have a broad dislike of filing for bankruptcy,” he says. “These debtors are much more willing to accept filing a consumer proposal, and family and friends often help them complete it.”

Amit believes in giving back. He has helped other Insolvency Counsellor candidates gain their necessary counselling hours and learn techniques for addressing typical debtor issues. He’s active in both the Nepali and South Asian communities. He is also involved in Nepali diplomatic activities and fundraising events in Toronto, helping out his uncle, who is the Honorary Consul General to Canada for Nepal.

Amit recommends a career in the industry, saying it’s satisfying to educate people about finance and insolvency and know that you are helping them find solutions to their financial problems.

“Seeing their relief and thankfulness for my advice makes me realize that I can help people and my job is important to others,” he adds.