As LuminUltra marks its fifteenth year in business, we asked our President & CEO Pat Whalen to share his thoughts on the evolution of the company. Here are some highlights of the second part of our conversation with him.
Are you seeing new direct competitors to LuminUltra’s products?
Similar to there being a greater general awareness about microorganisms in water, I’ve seen more new microbiological tools come into the market in past two years than in the prior 20. With that growing awareness, there is growing competition. Because we have 15 years of experience, we have been able to get a head start in terms of delivering both our technology and the knowledge that’s required to solve microbiological water quality issues.
Competition isn’t a bad thing, and we will continue to innovate to maintain and expand on our position. One of our core values is to challenge the status quo. We do that every single day in everything that we do. Our Research, Development & Commercialization team includes software development, data science, molecular biology and engineering expertise, all of which is focused on developing new ways to attack the problems our markets are seeing.
What do you think differentiates LuminUltra’s team from the competition?
The biggest differentiator is the passion we have for solving the challenge we’ve set out to solve, which is giving people the tools and the knowledge to address microbiological water challenges. This passion as well as our collective knowledge is embodied in our people, which I think it would be very difficult to replicate. We’ve also created technology that is better than other equivalent products on the market. Having the synergy between product development and software development under one roof is another competitive advantage of ours. That means we can take the knowledge we’ve accumulated and insert it into a comprehensive solution that we offer to our customers.
Pat presenting at Microbiome Water Summit – Chicago, 2017.
How does having your head office located in a small Canadian city affect the company?
I see our location as an advantage. The skillsets that we need to be successful are not plentiful even in large cities like Toronto, Chicago, or London. We’ve had to seek out the best talent we could find in the marketplace from many different places, whether it’s from the greater Toronto area, Halifax, Nova Scotia, the United Kingdom or Australia. In a very small part of the world, we have managed to assemble a pool of highly-educated, professional people who have a desire to make our community and industry better. The market we operate in is very unique in the world we are in today. I think we have leveraged the talent our company has brought together to create something quite special and unique.
Do you see more growth ahead?
Absolutely. Our current business plan sees us continuing at a double-digit rate of growth. We continue to explore new geographic markets and vertical markets and we are also considering exploring emerging markets such as in Africa and South America. Of course, the most exciting part of our growth plan is some of the technology development we are working on, and I look forward to continuing to disrupt the industry in that regard!