MONCTON – Masitek Instruments and InteliSys Aviation Systems were named Exporters of the Year by Opportunities NB and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency at a gala event Thursday night in Moncton.
Masitek won in the under $5 million sales category and InteliSys won in the over $5 million sales category.
The awards are for companies that show a significant increase in export sales over previous years, market diversification, new product development, and innovation.
“We’ve spent a lot of time really building our brands and building our markets,” said Masitek President and CEO Tracy Clinch prior to the announcement.
Masitek Instruments makes sensors that identify problems on the production lines of food and beverage companies. The company exports to 35 countries, mainly in Europe and Asia.
Pablo Asiron, Executive VP of Global Sales, said Atlantic Canada is a “great place” to grow and own a company. But businesses need to look at international markets to sell.
“If you just look at New Brunswick, we have around 700,000 people and not too many industrial companies,” he said. “In our case, all the industrial companies we have to deal with because of the size of their operations, they have to be outside of Atlantic Canada.”
Founded in 2010, Masitek has previously been nominated for Export Awards, but this is its first win. The company’s sales increased 350 per cent between 2014 and 2016, and its revenue doubled in 2016. That’s thanks to the help of partners including ONB, ACOA, Tech Venture Corporation and others, Clinch said.
Masitek currently has 12 employees at its headquarters in Moncton.
“When you make software or hardware, it’s very often that you don’t need to grow the team to grow sales. It takes a lot of time to develop and come up with products, but to produce it is not so labour intensive,” he said. “So you can actually double your revenue without hiring more than 10-to-20-per cent the number of people to make it a profitable business.”
“That’s the beauty of it, we can continue doing everything from here in Moncton,” he added.
Masitek is getting ready to launch its newest product at the end of the summer. Clinch didn’t share details but said it could be the largest product in the company’s portfolio in terms of revenue generation.
Meanwhile, InteliSys Aviation Systems President Wayne Chamberlain, said the award is a validation for his team’s hard work.
“They work really hard every day to deliver great service to our clients. We have lots of work to do but this is a recognition that we’re heading down the right path,” he said.
Founded in 1996, InteliSys offers an airline reservation system to low-cost and regional carriers globally. It has between 50 and 75 employees and over 50 per cent of its sales are exports. It has offices in Moncton and Saint John, as well as employees in Fredericton, across Canada, Vietnam, India and the U.A.E.
Its biggest export market is Asia, with low-cost Vietnamese carrier VietJet Air being its biggest client.
“We started investing two years ago into Latin America, as well as into Europe and Africa. And all of those regions are growing for us but Asia’s growing very quickly,” he said.
The company began focusing on exports in 2013 when new management came in, Chamberlain said.
“The Canadian market is very small, it’s not a growing market. So if you want to grow, you need to go outside of Canada, for us anyway,” he said. “If you don’t grow and don’t get outside, there are competitors coming to Canada.”
InteliSys and Masitek were among seven that received awards. They were chosen out of 30 finalists by a panel of business experts from academia and the private sector.
This is the 52nd year in which New Brunswick has celebrated its leading export-oriented companies through the Export Awards Gala.
ONB CEO Stephen Lund said the award is about celebrating business outside of Canada that brings wealth back to the province.
“These are the people that are risk takers, these are people that are hungry to do business, these are people that are bringing prosperity back here,” he said.
But the work doesn’t stop here for these companies. This weekend, Asiron’s “jumping on a plane” to market Masitek products in several countries in Europe.
“I have to continue promoting, selling and continue meeting with companies that are interested in our technology or partnering with us.”
Other 2018 Export Award recipients are:
- Bulletproof for Best Foreign-Owned Exporter
- Bouctouche Bay Industries for Emerging Exporter of the Year
- Remsoft Inc. for Global Diversification Award
- Thermtest Inc. for Innovative Exporter of the Year
- ExxonMobil Business Support Centre Canada ULC for Opportunities NB Impact Award