Canada's Fastest Growing Companies
Throughout Canada and on a global scale, businesses have been facing a large economical crisis, one of the biggest in decades. But some companies have been savvy enough to not only avoid the crisis, but withstand it and even grow in spite of it.
On a yearly basis, Profit 200 compiles a list of the nation’s fastest growing companies. An authoritative ranking of Canada’s top 200 private and public companies, it has compiled a list that is comprised of results from its annual survey, of which this is its 23rd. Each firm is ranked by their percentage sales growth over the past five years, therefore for 2011, companies had to reveal gross revenues from 2005-2010. The following are those that made the top of the list.
A leading in-store media solutions company, Mood Media uses a mix of music, visual and scent media to help clients communicate with consumers and increase sales at the point of purchase. The Toronto based company, which had only seven employees in 2005, grew to 880 employees in 2010. Increasing its revenue from less than $200 thousand USD in 2005 to $144.9 million USD in 2010, Mood Media is clearly one of Canada’s fastest growing companies. A big chunk of its extreme growth can be attributed to strategic acquisitions. Moving at “100 miles an hour” this is the first year Mood Media has been on the Profit 200 and graces the list as the number one fastest growing company.
Pacific Mortgage Group
Founded by a group of top mortgage industry professionals, Pacific Mortgage group is a successful mortgage broker network that is portrayed under the brand myNext Mortgage Company. Its network of 1,085 mortgage brokers in 2010 helped secure homebuyers almost $6 billion in financing. Growing from $229,000 in 2005 to a $55.4 million revenue company in 2010 shows the extreme growth that Pacific Mortgage is engaged in. An approved lender with the largest Canadian mortgage insurer, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, its lender status offers products that meet a broad range of mortgage needs. This is Pacific Mortgage Group’s first year on the Profit 200 and is ranked as the second fastest growing company in Canada.
Avigilon, a manufacturer of award-winning high definition surveillance systems, is also one of the top growth companies on the Profit 200. A performance and value leader, Avigilon deploys its systems in locations including retail checkouts, prisons, border crossings, casinos and condo towers. Growing from less than $200,000 annual revenue in 2005 to $32.3 million in 2010, it is clear Avigilon is here for the long run. Protecting and monitoring thousands of customers’ sites in more than 60 companies around the world, Avigilon is becoming well known as a security leader and has won awards for new product innovation. Avigilon is ranked by Profit 200 as the third fastest growing company in Canada.
An innovative software provider that delivers measurable improvements for its customers, Varicent Software offers industry-leading incentive compensation and sales performance management solutions. With customers from a wide variety of key industries, Varicent has a strong worldwide presence and robust network for customer support. Its software innovations have taken Varicent from $237,000 annual revenue in 2005 to $30 million annual revenue in 2010. Helping customers align incentive plans of sales people with strategic goals of their companies, Varicent provides the world’s most comprehensive compensation software solutions. Gracing the Profit 200 list for a second time, Varicent is ranked as the fourth fastest growing company in Canada.
These Canadian companies clearly have learned what it takes to survive in the business world. All coming from separate industries, these companies have clearly fought hard to stay ahead of the game during these hard times and employ countless measures to add to their competitive advantage. One thing is clear, if these companies can do it, why can’t yours? It just takes the right incentive and business practices to put your company on the map.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.