Space is already in short supply at software firm iQmetrix’s new office in downtown Regina.
A leading provider of software for retail business in North America, the company recently moved to bigger and better digs after enjoying several years of success following its launch in Regina in 1999.
But now the company is growing so quickly it might have to find even more space.
“We’re already facing a bit of a crunch in our new offices because the hiring pace has been so high,” says Scott McGillivray, chief strategy officer at iQmetrix .
With tens of thousands of customers, and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, iQmetrix is one of the largest tech companies in Saskatchewan.
McGillivray attributes its success to the province’s talent pool and work ethic.
“So many companies say it’s all about their people, and I have to say that is why iQmetrix has been successful,” he says.
“We have a great staff and our core purpose at iQmetrix has been about creating great experiences, and we’ve been able to find a way to attract smart, humble people who have the capacity to work hard.”
That’s really the Saskatchewan hallmark, he adds.
While the province is renowned for agriculture, mining and energy production, it also has deep pool of high-tech workers.
And iQmetrix wouldn’t be the success it is today without those skilled people, McGillivray says.
“There are only a few software companies based in Regina, so for those people who have engineering or computer science degrees, we’re a highly desirable place to work if you want to build products,” he says.
Moreover, many post-secondary graduates receive excellent training and are ready to hit the ground running when hired, he says.
“Saskatchewan just has such a great education system,” McGillivray says. “We get high-quality grads, for example, coming out of the University of Regina that we are always very eager to hire.”
But iQmetrix also creates an atmosphere where talented employees can thrive.
“Specifically, the people we look for are those who think ‘we’ as opposed to just ‘me,’ ” McGillivray says.
“We put a lot of time and effort into ensuring we’re building an effective culture here. We want our people to have a great place to work, with interesting and challenging tasks.”
It’s been a very good formula for growth. The company is not just a Saskatchewan tech success story. It’s a Canadian one.
“Today we’re operating across Canada and the U.S. with a presence in Australia and Mexico,” McGillivray says. “Basically, you can go into any mall in North America and find a retailer using our software.”
With more than 400 employees — 180 of which are based in Regina — and offices in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Charlotte, North Carolina and Australia, the company has come a long way since it was founded in 1999 by Kelly Kazakoff and Greg and Christopher Krywulak.
And the growth has been organic.
“We’ve grown everything through cash flow,” McGillivray says, adding that’s relatively unique in the tech industry, “and the employees are shareholders.
“It’s quite unusual to be profitable, have no external investors and to have been able to avoid taking on debt.”
In part, the business atmosphere in the province has helped foster iQmetrix’s prudent growth.
“The environment here makes it easy to get a business started, and it is easy to grow your business,” he says. “The tax structure in the province is also one that is favourable to business.”
When you combine a business-friendly climate with a great idea and good workers, you have a recipe for success, he says.
“There are no impediments to growing your business here,” he says.
“In so many other areas, whether its finance, account management, developers, there’s a solid pool of people to draw from.”