The first week of July marked a milestone for the young Victoria high-tech firm Carmanah Technologies (CTI), when it booked onto the Canadian Venture Exchange (CDNX) under the symbol "CMH".
This is a major achievement for founder Dave Green, a pioneer in development of technology rich- companies. Green is and Engineer physicist who comes from a background of innovation VIA Axys, a Sydney based oceanographic conglomerate, and NXT Phase, a Vancouver Company using optic devices to measure power.
Carmanah has developed a range of warning light beacons to mark marine hazards. There standard product uses a Light Emitting Diode (LED) light source coupled with microprocessor programming. Solar power allows for internal energy storage, all encapsulated in weatherproof casing. The product line is firmly accepted by clients and a number of regulatory agencies for marine applications. Carmanah is now looking to expand into highway and railway warning light products. Along with their new stock market status, CTI is beginning a new major marketing initiative.
Carmanah had been actively seeking the right kind of partner to back this expansion. They appear to have found one through Varshney Capital Corporation.
The resulting reverse-takeover of Adina, a venture Capital Shell, has now been accomplished, leaving CTI's name on the merger and working capital in the bank.
CTI president Art Aylesworth says there were "lots of courtiers." According to Aylesworth, Carmanah, a technology firm with a developed product, was self financing with "no burn rate and already in the black."
Aylesworth comes from a 27-year background in the audiovisual industry and is experienced in film, digital and telecommunication technologies. The hook for Carmanah was his ability to direct a large sales and marketing operation.
Initially the firm needed engineering and development. Now the emphasis is on expanding its markets. That is where the focus lies with 80 distributors worldwide and 10 in-house sales staff. Strategic contract negotiations are done in-house.
"The reason we are on these big ones `contract negotiations` is that they are too important; you can't leave them to anyone else," says Aylesworth. "Niche markets don't attract much competition, but larger projects are a magnet. The prestige of landing those projects attracts more business."
Last Year's sales ran $2.3 million with CTI clients over 80 countries. With recent approval by Suez Canal Authority, the United Nations (for a myriad of possible projects) and the Nile River authority, prospects look good. Carmanah has just landed a contract, CIDA, from Vietnam for 400 lights (worth $120,000) for inland waterway markers. With their Vietnamese production manager, Johnny Mendez, they were able to satisfy the training component easily.
Partnering with a highway/traffic contractor in the United Kingdom facilitated the move into highway lighting, a leading firm in the U.K., they came looking for CTI for their reputation in LED technology. Now, Carmanah has an Entry into Europe. Al basic production will be done in Victoria, with sub-assembly, warehouse and distribution in the U.K.
Production is currently handled by a staff of five in an antiquated building below the Johnson Street Bridge. Staff will have to be augmented if the marketing thrust reaches this year's target of $4 million. "That's symptomatic of the reality of lag," say Aylesworth. "Carmanah has the only standard of encapsulated, insulated light to industry standards." The key for Aylesworth is to get to the Market first, and become the industry leader.
Mr. Art Aylesworth, CEO
Carmanah Technologies Inc.