Article | Winner of the 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Award – British Columbia
“Effectiveness in our business requires constant innovation and improvement and that can only be scaled through talent.”
The idea behind Article came together on an adventure North of the Arctic Circle in 2014 by
Aamir Baig, Fraser Hall, Sam Prochazka, and Andy Prochazka, four software engineers, inspired by the beauty and challenged by the unfamiliarity of the environment resolved to radically change the way that people shop for furniture.
The founders and furniture industry outsiders laid the foundations of a new kind of furniture company – a company founded on a shared appreciation of simplicity and efficiency, by connecting manufacturers directly with their customers.
Article started with only a minimal amount of funding outside from its founders own capital. However, the company’s revenue neared 50 million dollars in 2016, and then doubled to 100 million dollars in 2017. Now, the company expects to double its revenue to 200 million dollars again this year.
Article’s uniquely simple design initially targeted urban Millennials. But with incremental work on their sales data, they are now allowed to test their products with small production volumes, and offer a wide variety of products to a larger customer base.
Aamir Baig has lived around the world in countries as diverse as Pakistan, China, England and Canada. He’s a global wanderer, an adventurer in business and a fully engaged father of two adorably cute children. If Aamir wasn’t working today, he’d be playing cricket. Aamir is the CEO and Managing Director of Article.
Aamir Baig, Fraser Hall, and brothers Sam and Andy Prochazka each share a passion for adventure, a history of entrepreneurship and innovation, and a desire to make the world a better place. Together they regularly embark on adventures and build incredible things, like Article.
Startup News had the opportunity to sit down with Aamir Baig to learn more.
SN: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
AB: Immigrating to Canada when I was 17 and exposure to an ecosystem where people with ideas, and commitments to realize them, was very inspiring. The notion of being able to create a manifestation of your thoughts and ideals freely, and make a difference in the world, is a strong motivator. With an ecosystem to support you – you just have to be willing to pull the trigger.
SN: What is the biggest lesson you have learned to date?
AB: The biggest lesson I’ve learned is the importance of having patient investors behind you who are aligned with your purpose and vision for the long-term. I’m in a fortunate position this happened with my co-founders, who invested most of the initial capital themselves, and their support continues today.
SN: What advice do you have to those starting up today?
AB: Hire a lot of talented people that drive smart decisions and smart actions across the board, whether its product development, creative development, technology, operations, or marketing. Effectiveness in our business requires constant innovation and improvement and that can only be scaled through talent.
SN: What is the one thing you think we need to do as a nation, today, to position Canada as a global innovation and entrepreneurial leader?
AB: The one thing I think we need to do to position Canada as an entrepreneurial leader hub is to believe.
SN: What is your message to the world?
AB: Work for the world – not just for yourselves. If we all focus merely on our own well-being, there won’t be a world left for us to have that opportunity. Use your talent, energies, and existence to make a positive difference in the world.