Entrepreneur of the Year 2015: Christopher Krywulak
Date: Sept. 25, 2015
Published on: BCBusiness.ca
Christopher Krywulak (WINNER)
President and CEO, iQmetrix
Christopher Krywulak became an entrepreneur because, as he puts it, he needed a place to work where he could “fit in.” After struggling through the structured classroom environment as a kid, the Saskatchewan-born businessman knew an office job wasn’t his style; nor was the Regina-based steel plant where he worked with his father for a couple of years after high school. “All that was left for me was a start-up business,” he says.
Krywulak used the money he earned from the steelworker job to bootstrap his first business in 1990, a car-phone installation company. That eventually transformed into a wireless retail chain in his home province of Saskatchewan, known today as Jump.ca. It was while building that cellular products business that Krywulak came up with the idea for his next venture, iQmetrix, which creates point-of-sale and other retail management software for retailers, mostly in the wireless sector. Long before data became a critical tool in the retail business, Krywulak was using spreadsheets to track sales activity at Jump.ca. He developed a deep interest in analyzing data and how the results could drive sales. “The transformational power of metrics in an operational system is what inspired me,” says Krywulak. He moved iQmetrix to Vancouver in 2010, to attract more talent, and has been expanding the business ever since.
Today, iQmetrix has more than 300 employees and has been lining up clients both in and outside the wireless business, including brands such as Under Armour, Samsung, Verizon and Glentel. Gross revenues increased by 25 per cent to $108 million in 2014, up from $62.6 million in 2011, and the company has no debt and no outside investors. Krywulak says part of his business success stems from the discipline he developed as a world-class martial artist and captain of the Canadian National Taekwondo Team in 2004 and 2006. That includes tactics to conserve energy, as well as problem-solving under pressure. “When you’re in the ring, you push yourself physically and mentally to an edge. It’s a developmental skill that I can then take into business.”