Manu Varma, Traction on Demand, Vancouver, talks to GEM & SFU students about business model during Innovation Business Week

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Second day of Business Week 2015, on Wednesday, 11th of February, started by a company visit of Traction On Demand, located in Vancouver. The company was created 9 years ago and they try to change the way to do business. We arrived in the morning and we were nicely welcomed by several employees of the company. The place looks very friendly and the company offered us some bagels and coffee as a breakfast.

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Manu Varma elaborating on Traction’s unique corporate culture spirit.

Then Manu Varma, the people person, told us all about the company. The first thing that he put forward was the friendly atmosphere inside the company. Here employees are like a family. This is not only words, this is crucial aspect of Traction On Demand strategy and I think that Manu tried to make us feel as comfortable as possible to show us that this is the culture of the company. For instance, at the beginning, he told us that we could sit anywhere we want, on the floor, on the tables… Obviously we all sat on chairs! But that shows us how much relaxed the culture of this company is. Moreover, we saw some pictures of the company members doing sports together. Twice per week, employees can go to do wakeboarding early in the morning before the work!

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The most favorite way of working for Traction’s employees is to grab one of these cushions put it wherever they want and just work…

People are the core value of the Traction On Demand’s business model. The company obtains the BCorp certification and they are one of the first 100 BCorp in Canada. Finally, the company was named the 3rd  best employer among mid-sized companies in Canada.

As far as business is concerned, Traction On Demand helps its customers to improve business processes in using the Salesforce.com platform. It is a consulting and cloud software development firm. Every quarter, they work on 150 projects. Most customers are located in Montreal, British Columbia, and at the West of the USA. All are different because companies that they help are from all sectors and it doesn’t matter if they are  small or big. What is very interesting is that, for each customer, Traction creates something new, a tailor-made solution. To do so, employees are encouraged to think out of the box!

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This is the most favorite place for Traction people to huddle.

Obviously, Traction On Demand cares about business but it is not its only purpose. Indeed, they also pay attention to social issues thanks to its Traction for Good program. They supports their community with donations, volunteerism, and Salesforce services grants. Thus, the company can back ideas of the employees by financing them. Also, to show their engagement towards the community, Traction takes part in events such as the Vancouver Food Bank with some employees who are volunteers.

To conclude, it was very pleasant to visit such a company and to understand how the fact of taking care of people and environment could be a significant part of a business model.

Written by Mathias NACCACHE

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Manu Varma

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The fact that employees regularly do activities together is visible everywhere.

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Filed under Canada, Entrepreneurship, Exchange study programs, Information Technology, Innovation, International studies, Technology

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