In just five years, Shan Gu has built Gatineau-based IT firm Foci Solutions into a tech consulting powerhouse.
Since founding the company in 2015, the Carleton University engineering graduate has inked lucrative multi-year contracts with a number of federal government agencies and cannabis producer Hexo as well as a deal with a major international internet security firm. Under Gu’s guidance, Foci Solutions has grown its revenues by an average of 40 per cent annually and tripled its net income in the last year.
With Gu at the helm, the 14-employee company has also become known for its innovative HR practices, such as its open vacation policy, that have helped keep its staff turnover rate well below industry standards.
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The CEO’s business acumen has been on full display during the COVID-19 crisis. Even before the virus hit North America, Gu proactively launched a social media campaign to generate new leads in anticipation of a slowdown – one of which he converted into a major contract. When the coronavirus lockdown began to upend the local economy, he worked with various government agencies and financial institutions to line up bridge funding for the bootstrapped enterprise.
The father of three is also a bit of a renaissance man – a jazz saxophonist who has performed at music festivals throughout Europe, Gu captained Carleton’s varsity fencing team and is an accomplished chef who once took over the kitchen at one of Ottawa’s top restaurants during an industry night pop-up.