On June 30, the Study Tour participants visited CSA Group– the largest not for profit organization in Canada that provides certificates to companies in a range of industries, including nano-technology, sustainable infrastructure, smart technologies, mining, construction, appliances, alternative energy and sustainability. CSA Group has 1800 employees, 20 laboratories and 37 offices in 14 countries. The most insightful part of this experience for the Macedonian participants was that relevant certificates enhance business because the global marketplace, individual countries and international trade frameworks require that products meet increasingly higher standards. The organization prides itself on the development of energy friendly-programs and introduction of higher standards to stimulate the innovation and production of new products. The CSA mark appears on more than a billion products worldwide and they have more than 1800 employees, half of which are outside Canada. The group had the distinct pleasure to also meet the Chairman of the organization Dr. Roland Hosein who has shared his vision about the organization and accentuated the fact the not for profit organizations have an extremely important role to act where businesses and state institutions cannot. The Macedonian delegation also had a tour around the premises where some of the most sophisticated equipment in the world is tested.
The group then visited Conundrum Capital, a private equity company in Toronto which invests primarily in solid-structure real estate, but has also made ventures into renewable energy and reducing energy consumption. Our hosts shared some of the principles that had brought them success. Conundrum is always looking to hire the best people that give their time to the company, and pays them well for it. “You can’t be successful by going home at 17:00,” they said. The reason why their offices are located Downtown is to give their employees an opportunity to have an easily accessible job that pays well, so they can put in the extra hour whenever necessary. As a farewell, our hosts named the three things you never talk to an investor, and those things are: politics, politics, and politics.
At Deloitte, one of the largest consultancy firms in the world. It employs more than 170,000 people 140 countries around the world and has revenues of 20 billion dollars per year. The study tour group had a chance to meet Mr. Tom Strezos who introduced them to the aspects of consultancy the company does, as well as some insights about how emerging economies need to do business and attract investors. Mr. Strezos also heard the investment opportunities in Macedonia and some of the new things that had been underway in the country in the past several years. The participants had a chance to present their companies and their plans for the future. Mr. Strezos offered the services of Deloitte to any Macedonian company that is looking to do business in or with Canada.