FASTEST-GROWING COMPANIES: Optelian

Krystle
Krystle Chow
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If there’s one factor to which David Weymouth can attribute his company Optelian’s healthy growth over the past few years, it’s the optical networking technology firm’s tight bond with its customers.

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“We’re very careful with our spending and rely on our very close customer relationships to help with directing our products so we’re not wasting our energy on products going nowhere,” says Mr. Weymouth, who’s Optelian’s president and CEO.

“We believe very strongly in three core tenets: get the product delivered on time, it’s got to work right away and for many decades, and follow up with customers for the personal touch.”

The focus on that customized client experience is underscored by the company’s “building block” approach to delivering products: basically, it works with its telecommunications customers to design and put together plug-and-play fibre-optic network systems with specific functional blocks of features and capabilities to fit client needs.

Over time, Optelian also provides tools to help customers place its products into their growing networks, adding more blocks to deal with new requirements for signal amplification, different kind of wavelengths and transport distances, and so on.

It’s an idea that’s come of age as telcos rush to build the biggest and fastest optical networks to feed the hunger for data.

As a result, Optelian is comfortably profitable and self-sufficient, with no immediate need for heavy funding or an IPO. It’s grown organically since its founding almost a decade ago, and in fact the company is readying itself for a move to a new facility in Kanata, as it prepares to hire “a dozen to several dozen” new R&D and manufacturing staff.

Adds Mr. Weymouth: “The number-one thing is we had the right products at the right time, and we’ve really established credibility with our core customer base after years of building up.”

Year founded: 2002

Local head count: 93

Product/service: Fibre-optic network and transport systems

Revenue growth: 55.8%

Geographic location: Kanata

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