On November 16th, 2009, CYBF held its annual Chairman’s Awards Celebration – a night where we recognized the accomplishments and successes of our amazing entrepreneurs, mentors and community partners.
At the celebration, we honoured 20 incredible Canadians for their contributions to entrepreneurship across our country. In addition, we also awarded one lucky entrepreneur $20,000 towards business expansion – our 2009 National Best Business Award. Out of the six winners from the provincial regions – British Columbia, Alberta, Central Prairies, Ontario, Québec and Atlantic Canada, Yan and Sébastien Gagnon of Québec’s GG Telecom were named the National Best Business Award winner for 2009.
We’ll be profiling all of our amazing winners – entrepreneurs, mentors, community partners and our iconic Nation Builders, but we’re starting with GG Telecom. Check it out….
Five million in sales in just five years of business.
The incredible success of GG Telecom in such a short amount of time has caught even Sébastien and Yan Gagnon, the brother duo behind the company, by surprise.
“It’s really amazing, knowing that we started with nothing, and now we are hitting millions in sales with overseas clients,” says Yan, a note of awe still in his voice. “We’ve watched the business grow… our sales have doubled each year, and we never expected that.”
Sébastien adds that while the success has been remarkable, the two have definitely paid their dues, putting in long hours and sleepless nights.
“Make sure you have enough time to work – don’t be afraid to work very hard,” he laughs. “Put off having a social life for a while. You have to work hard, but this hard work now will be a big gift within a few years. It’s all worth it in the end. The sacrifices pay off.”
Pay off indeed. GG Telecom now has clients in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Africa, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Key accomplishments for any company, but virtually unheard of in new business, something that Sébastien is very aware of.
“Our first million in sales was a really, really good moment. Another would be when we shipped our first big order to Europe – our first overseas market. It’s a big ‘wow.’ We first created the company for a university project. We never thought we would achieve all that we have.”
His brother adds that while GG Telecom has seen tremendous success in a short time, the process of developing the company has been done gradually, something he strongly recommends.
“Sometimes entrepreneurs try to get too big too fast,” Yan cautions. “It’s a lot of money for a big distribution of a product. Start small, with one great product, sell and distribute that one great product, and focus on having good customer service. Then you can grow and try manufacturing three great products, etc. Go slowly with your products, and with money. You have to live with a lot of sacrifice at the start if you want later success.”