By Junita Thakorlal
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The swanky Pacific division awards for Canada took place last Friday at the Vancouver Convention Centre, seeing over 1,400 business elite in attendance cheering on 27 finalists in nine different categories.
Canada’s entrepreneurs create companies that grow, and in turn, create jobs that boost the economy. The businesses of this year’s Pacific finalists employ 2,753 people and see year-over-year growth with a sum of almost $728 million in annual revenues. The Pacific Region Overall Winner is Rob McCurdy, CEP of Pinnacle Renewable Energy.
“Our finalists are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be an entrepreneur by taking risks and finding growth amid uncertainty,” says Lui Petrollini, Entrepreneur Of The Year Pacific program Director. “They should be very proud of their contributions towards the social and economic growth for their region and beyond.”
Although past finalists included eligible South Asian entrepreneurs such as Tony Singh of Fruiticana, this year the coveted title was clinched in the Manufacturing division by Gary Shokar of AvenEx Coating Technolgies. AvenEx is one of Canada’s leading manufacturers of multi-layered polyethylene construction materials, which are commonly used to waterproof or retain water. With a team of 10 in Canada, including staff at the company’s headquarters and R&D lab in Vancouver, Shokar oversees production facilities in South Carolina and Asia and sells to customers ranging from farmers in India to Fortune 500 companies.
It should be noted that Runner-up in the Manufacturing division is Surrey’s Ankit Sharma of Kitply Industries, who will be opening a 10,000-square-foot facility soon.