We’ve reached the end of 2019, which is the perfect time to look back at everything that happened throughout the year at GA International. From new products to a brand-new website, GA has seen significant growth since 2018, including the establishment of new facilities, newly hired personnel, and winning several awards along the way.
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year®
For each of the past 26 years, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award has been given out to companies who display a high level of excellence for developing products and services that advance local and global economies. They’re a global initiative, helping entrepreneurs across the world, particularly in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, India, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Japan.
On November 20 of this year, Dr. George Ambartsoumian won the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award for the Health/Life Science category in the Quebec region. His win represented all the work he and his dedicated team of professionals put into building GA International and LabTAG over the last 20 years. Dr. Ambartsoumian also shared some thoughts with me about winning the award: “The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year nomination means a lot to me and my company because I believe my story can inspire many others and help them succeed. This shows that a single person can grow a successful company, even with few resources to start with.”
GA celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. The company started with a small labeling machine, which Dr. Ambartsoumian used to create labels for laboratories that would stick to tubes without failing, even when they were frozen. He wanted to become an entrepreneur after his final post-doctoral fellowship, so he applied to SAJE, an organization in Laval, Quebec that aids young entrepreneurs, and received a 9-month stipend that helped the enterprise grow. He began going lab to lab, selling labels throughout the United States and Canada, and gradually building the company over the next two decades to become the international enterprise it is today.
GA International also won the MercadOr Laval award this year in 2 categories: “Diversification de marchés,” or market diversification, for companies that sell more than $5 million, as well for “Implantation à l’étranger,” or foreign expansion.
The MercadOr awards promote exporters around Quebec, Canada, providing recognition for their contributions to Quebec’s economy. The awards, in only their second year, are spearheaded by Commerce International Québec (CIQ), which brings together “organismes régionaux de promotion des exportations,” or ORPEX, to endorse regional exporters.
GA was recognized because it serves numerous locations worldwide, complete with an office in the UK, and a distribution center in the Netherlands that distributes products throughout Europe.
New Intellectual Property
In 2019, LabTAG received a new patent for its innovative ResiTAG™, with more than a dozen pending patent applications for other labels. ResiTAG is LabTAG’s brand of tags specially designed for resin capsules and molds used in sample preparation for transmission electron microscopy. When printed with a thermal-transfer printer, they resist histological resins and incubation in temperatures up to 150°C (302°F). They can also withstand exposure to harsh chemicals, such as ethanol, formalin, xylene, and toluene.
New Facilities and Resources
This year, we established a new office in Laval, with construction on an extension planned for some time next year. We’re aiming to eventually double our production capabilities, with a much larger manufacturing facility and storage warehouse, as well as more printing presses and other equipment.
Vertical integration is another big innovation that was implemented this year, with new in-house polymer chemistry and coating capabilities that will allow us to produce primary materials and further increase our manufacturing capacity.
With regards to foreign exports, we just recently established a warehouse in India, near Hyderabad. Customers in India will soon be able to buy our products, and distribution to other countries throughout Asia, including China, will be easier, cost-efficient, and much faster.
Finally, we’ve implemented a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) infrastructure at the company that will render us paperless and increase efficiency across the board.
GA is also branching out further with the creation of its new label brand IndustriTAG™, which will focus on the development and manufacturing of durable labels for various industrial environments. We launched a new website for IndustriTAG, www.industritag.com, with already over 1000+ products currently available. At present, IndustriTAG manufactures and supplies labels for the automotive, aerospace, oil and gas, construction, and electrical sectors, among others.