Top 10 fastest growing companies in Canada
10 - Bronte Construction (five-year growth: 5,752%)
There is a great deal of activity in the Canadian civil construction market and Bronte has been right at the forefront. Specialising in public infrastructure, residential construction, transportation infrastructure and municipal building, Bronte currently employs over 100 people in and around its headquarters of Ontario. The company has consistently grown its year over year revenue by approximately $3mn (around 1,100%) for the past five years, and with Canadian home building on the rise, the company expects to do even more business moving forward.
9 – FixMeStick (five-year growth: 6,471%)
This Quebec tech company has dedicated itself to helping non-technical people solve their security problems, and it has profited quite handsomely from its successes. The company has enjoyed an average of 1,294% growth in revenues over the past five years and currently stands in a revenue range of $7mn to 15mn and employs just 25 people. FixMeStick has also expanded internationally, with 81% of its sales coming from outside Canada.
8 - Canada Drives (five-year growth: 6,850%)
Canada Drives is an innovative automobile financing company that gives people without great credit a chance to own a car. More than that, the company allows people to perform the logistics from the comfort of their homes. With 300 employees and a Vancouver homebase, Canada Drive has enjoyed revenues of $39mn and an approximate year-on-year increase in revenue of 1,370%. The company also enjoys a reputation as one of the best emerging companies to work for in Canada, with forward thinking, merit-based policies that allow employees to bring ideas from the outside.
7 - Eden Park (five-year growth: 6,982%)
This financial services company proves there is room in the Canadian market for more than one winner. Eden Park performs the same basic financial services as Canada Drives, but it does so from a headquarters in Toronto. It also differentiates its client base by focusing specifically on the high-end automobile market. The company has enjoyed an approximate year-on-year revenue increase of 1,396% over the past five years. With the median income in Canada rising and the middle class expanding in urban areas, Eden Park is definitely a company to watch for in the future.
6 - Milo Enterprises (five-year growth: 7,227%)
Hailing from Vancouver, British Columbia, comes Milo Enterprises, a family business that has made good and expanded into an international leader in consumer products. The company now serves as the parent of many recognisable brands, including Spade Kitchenware, Acel Products and Jolt Pests, among many others. They have enjoyed a year-on-year revenue growth percentage of 1,445% and employs 26 people as of 2015. True to its international reputation, most of its sales come from outside Canada as well, with 90% of the company's total business in the export column.
5 – SendtoNews (five-year growth: 7,260%)
The first media and marketing entry on the fastest growing Canadian companies list is SendtoNews. The company helps to monetise exclusive sports content across the entire continent of North America. Much of the content it monetises is distributed by the company as well. SendtoNews now hosts over 100mn clips of sports every month, doing business on four continents with 75 sports organisations. Aside from being the number one sports provider in Canada, it is also number two in the United States. SendtoNews is headquartered in Victoria, British Columbia, and has enjoyed year-on-year revenue increases of approximately 1,452%. The company employs 33 people.
4 - IOU Financial (five-year growth: 8,600%)
From Montreal comes the aptly named IOU Financial, a company that specialises in lending to small businesses. The entrepreneurial spirit has spiked along with home building in Canada over the past few years, and CEO Philippe Marleau was in the perfect position to take advantage. The company now employs 77 people, does 100% of its business in foreign markets, and has enjoyed approximate year-on-year revenue increases of 1,720% in recent years. The company is one to watch, as its proprietary technology has the ability to automate the processing of literally hundreds of a company's data points in seconds.
3 – Maropost (five-year growth: 12,983%)
With approximate year-on-year revenue growth percentages of 2,596%, Maropost has been an incredibly good investment for those lucky enough to participate since its inception. The marketing company now works with some of the most well-known brands in the world, including News Corp., Mercedes Benz and Success. Its main goals is the modernisation of sales and marketing through scaled outreach to targeted digital audiences. It is now competing with market leaders Oracle and Salesforce for even more business. With plenty of revenue to play with, the company has the ability to be a major player in international marketing in the coming years.
2 - Buytatab Online (five-year growth: 18,662%)
The Canadian software industry will never be the same after Buyatab Online. The company provides the most advanced infrastructure for business gift cards. Although the niche is rather esoteric, the business is definitely there. Buyatab Online has enjoyed an average year-on-year revenue growth of 3,732%. The company brings in total revenues of around $40mn every year and employs at least 27 people. Buyatab is constantly adding to their merchant base, and with Canadian small business at an all-time high, the opportunity for this company is massive in the next few years.
1 - Gillam Group (five-year growth: 29,256%)
The single most dynamic business in Canada is a construction company known as the Gillam Group. The Gillam Group tops the list of year-on-year revenue increase percentage average with a staggering 5,851%. The company hails from Toronto and bills itself as a ‘progressive’ construction company. The operations focus on streamlining delivery and planning on projects. Gillam focuses on small and medium sized projects with a cap of around $80mn. John Gillam, the company’s founder and head man, is on record as one of the most innovative minds in the Canadian business industry. His fearlessness has led his company to number one, and there is still plenty of room to grow.
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.