Published Nov. 15, 2009 – TRIEC Magazine

Each has tapped skilled immigrant talent to grow their business.

Mississauga-based Nytric Limited employs a lean staff of fewer than 30, yet generates approximately $4 million per year in revenue. Ninety per cent of its products are exported.

Overall, the company has a two to one ratio of immigrants to Canadian-born employees. Nytric leverages this diversity and the expertise of its 27 employees to compete more effectively in international markets.

In addition to valuable experience, Nytric’s diverse team represents a deep repository of international business competencies. With input from their Indian-born staff, for example, Nytric changed a North America focussed product to reflect the colloquialisms of South Asian cultures, making it more relevant. This savvy marketing strategy enhanced the product’s appeal overseas. Employees fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese have also helped the company negotiate with Chinese suppliers and oversee international manufacturing.

While international markets are important for many businesses, they don’t apply to all organizations. However, our rapidly-diversifying local market demands that businesses that cater to local economies also become global in its approach.

Steam Whistle Brewing’s internationally trained director of marketing brought a fresh approach to the company’s marketing efforts. He steered the company through130% growth rate over five years by retaining their retro-style branding strategy and through unique marketing opportunities. Today the company boasts a strong, local brand in an extremely competitive category.

More than half of the company’s management team is comprised of skilled immigrants, including staff from the Czech Republic, Sri Lanka, Portugal, Russia, Japan, and Cuba. Steam Whistle welcomes referrals for potential candidates from existing employees in an effort to connect with immigrant talent and local markets.

Such diverse teams have proven to yield more innovative results. The entire research and development department at I3 International, which designs, manufactures and supplies digital video technologies for the security industry, is comprised of skilled immigrants. Almost half of the company’s employees are skilled immigrants. Over the past few years I 3 International has relied on skilled immigrants to grow their company and stay innovative.

All three of these companies have leveraged skilled immigrant talent and achieved success. All three have high retention rates. Coincidence? Not likely.

Has your company leveraged skilled immigrant talent and profited similarly? If so, TRIEC wants to recognize that success.

TRIEC’s Immigrant Success Awards recognize leadership and innovation in recruiting and retaining skilled immigrants. Now in their fourth year, the IS Awards have recognized Nytric Limited, Steam Whistle Brewing, I3 International, as well as
CH2M HILL Canada Limited, George Brown College, St. Michael’s Hospital and Xerox Research Centre of Canada. This year we’re looking for practices that have affected businesses positively, leveraging the immigrant advantage and translating this into business impact.

The deadline for entries is Friday, December 11, 2009. All nominations can be completed online in 300 words or less.

For award information, categories and entries visit: For further questions contact Claire DeVeale-Blane at 416.944.1946 x 271 or at