Samtack: 2009 IS Award Co-Winner: RBC Immigrant Advantage Award

At Samtack, thinking globally isn’t just a program, policy or initiative – it’s the way they do business every day. The company sources, packages and distributes hard drives and other technologies, working with international suppliers to serve the Canadian market. With more than 90 per cent of its workforce internationally trained, the company’s diversity is a distinct competitive advantage.

“We hire for quality and attitude first, and if a candidate can bring international experience and know-how to the table, even better,” says Royson Ng, President at Samtack, whose leadership team includes executives from China, South Asia, the Middle East and beyond. “We’re always looking for creative problem-solvers, so new ways of thinking learned in different parts of the world is an asset that sets us apart.”

Parts come from all over the world before being packaged and distributed to Canadian customers, so having team members who speak different languages and understand diverse cultures is critical.

For example, in the major supply markets of Taiwan and China, Samtack staff with experience in those countries can inspect factories and negotiate deals. In Africa, a Samtack employee is researching new opportunities through their own networks and understanding of local business practices.

For a relatively small company – little more than 100 employees – Samtack’s success is remarkable. With $130 million revenue last year and 27 per cent of Canadian market share, the company counts heavy hitters such as Wal-Mart, Future Shop and Best Buy among their mass merchant clients.

“We can change production lines in as little as four hours to meet our clients’ needs for customized product at the right price,” notes Operations Manager Fouad Jazouli. “And because of this flexibility, we can serve smaller clients as easily as the big boxes. Many independent shops are run by new Canadians, and Samtack has the advantage of understanding their unique perspectives.”

Samtack works with TRIEC, the Association of Chinese Canadian Entrepreneurs and others to identify candidates for all aspects of operations, from sales and sourcing to engineering, accounting, and graphic design. Recently, Samtack also initiated talks with Seneca College for an internship program.

It’s no wonder that employee retention at Samtack is close to 97 per cent – and there’s plenty of opportunity for new immigrants as the company continues to grow.