Our numbers man, responsible for administration and finance
We all came to Canada from Gujarat, India in the early 1990s. Shail had just completed his Master’s degree in mathematics from Maharaja Shyajirao University and was looking for his next challenge. At the age of 25, he found himself traveling across Eastern Canada as an inventory manager for Future Shop when the large retailer was expanding throughout Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes.
After five years, Shail moved on to an electronics store where he worked part-time as the store manager. While the job paid the bills, Shail couldn’t help but continue to dream of starting a business. At the same time, his brother Divyesh and sister’s husband Mukesh just happened to get laid off from their jobs. That’s when we boldly decided to establish Vision Metalizers and later, Vision Polymers and Vision AcryGlas.
How and why did we start this business?
The first reason is that we each possessed a strong entrepreneurial spirit. This may be due to the fact that we grew up in a culture where everyone was likely to have some sort of business. For example, Shail’s family owned a jewelry store where he and his siblings would help out after school.
Secondly, the timing was right for everyone. None of us wanted to return to the routine of unsatisfying employment. Shail did some research and prepared a business plan. We were young, full of energy and full of hope. We knocked on a few bank doors before someone took us seriously. Finally, a business loan officer at TD Canada Trust was intrigued by our idea. He even helped us adjust our forecasts and budgets to create a sound and attractive presentation. They gave us all the capital we needed to start up! This was the beginning of our company and our hard work.
While Vision Metalizers was founded in 1995, it wasn’t until 1996 that we landed our first order. Revenue that initial year was only $35,000. But the following year we sold ten times that! Then growth doubled and doubled again. We’ve enjoyed about 15% annual growth ever since
In the early years, the company focused on manufacturing security mirrors. Operations were housed in a 3,000 square foot facility which we quickly outgrew. Now, the Vision Metalizers plant is a 30,000 square foot building and revenue has reached $5 million.