Talent, family keys to the growth of Zerem Electrical

By Sean Delaney

Zerem Electrical Services Ltd. has been a story of growth, success and eventually, even more expansion. And it’s all happening here in Emery.

Chief Financial Officer Daniel Zafrani said that, in fact, Zerem is bursting at the seams.

“We’re outgrowing our space right now,” he said. “But for now, we are here and we’re bursting at the seams.”

Zerem moved to their location in Emery Village in 2000. Celebrating more than two decades in the spot they are now seeking a new home within the village to accommodate the success they have seen. The electrical contractor has grown to be one of the top five contractors in the GTA for high-rise condominium work.

“We have about 100 workers, 85 of them are in construction sites and 15 of them are in the office,” Zafrani said. “We’ve got a whole deep team of project managers, project coordinators, purchasers, bookkeepers, payroll, estimators, so it’s become quite a big operation.”

Just five years ago, Zafrani said, the business had just 50 people in the field and 10 in the office, showing they’ve almost doubled their complement in just the past five years.

“We even see further opportunities for future growth,” he said.

David Zafrani, Daniel’s father, began the business after the company he was working for asked him to relocate to Ottawa. Not wanting to take on the move, he started small with just a couple of guys and focused on service work. After about five years, he began to explore high-rise work as an employee specialized in the field. Once Zerem started to take on more high-rise work, they blossomed in the field, Daniel said, and continued to find more opportunities.

One thing that made them stand out, Daniel said, is that not one of their employees was born in Canada. Every single person in their company is an immigrant and they take a lot of pride in that.

“We have people from China, Morocco, Jordan, India, Pakistan, Croatia, it’s a wide variety among our staff, and the people who work here really like the culture,” Zafrani said. “And we have some outstanding young talent on the job sites.”

And it wasn’t an immigrant-focused philosophy that led to the variety of cultures in their workplace. In years past, the company had a unique focus in their recruitment, looking to talent and ability over the old school practice of favouring experience, Zafrani explained. No matter the age, if an employee showed an ability to take on a project and do it well, they were given the keys to the ship, he said and allowed to run things themselves. It inspired trust from employee to manager and has seen them grow a staff that are not only talented but that believe in each other.

“A lot of people who work here in our office, or who have been our job sites for 20 years, they all say it feels like a family,” he said. “It’s something we take a real pride in.”

And the growth in their specialized area has helped.

Zafrani said the boom in the condo industry has seen them go from two to three condo projects a year, to two to three a week. And when your reputation is built by a family of talented employees who love their job, well, the work begins to speak for itself.

Zerem is located at 800 Arrow Rd. Unit #7

You can reach them by phone at: 416-749-5666

Or online at:[url=http:// www.zerem.com] www.zerem.com[/url]

The business is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Their company email is: estimating@zerem.com

And you will see them on Twitter: @zeremelectrical