Northern Business Reality Requires Southern Allies

This week marks the “Northern Lights Trade Show”, one of the biggest shows for Northern based businesses in the world.  Nunavik, Labrador and Nunavut bring their businesses to the Ottawa Convention Centre.  It’s an incredible opportunity to show off what the North can offer and a once in a lifetime opportunity to secure contracts with some of the largest businesses in Canada.   Pinnguaq will be, and is there (booth 313) prepared to show off what we can provide to any business in need of technological solutions to their problems.

Or at least, we’re going to be partly there.

I write this blog entry from our home base in Pangnirtung, Nunavut.  72 hours ago I was suppose to arrive in Ottawa for the trade show, but multiple blizzards and strong winds have prevented me from going, so far.  It’s the reality of northern travel.  It’s unfortunate when you’re dealing with it for personal reasons, but extra difficult to accept when you’re traveling for business.  

A typical daily commute to our office in Pangnirtung, NU.

There are many challenges to running a business in the North, but being unable to attend important business events because of weather or mechanical failure is one that could potentially bite the hardest.  It’s nearly impossible to budget for and the repercussions of being unable to “compete” in person for key contracts put Northern businesses at a step down from our southern competitors.   

There is no one to blame and until we learn to control the weather perfectly (something Pinnguaq plans on tackling in 2023), one can only prepare for the worst and hope for the best..  Here is what we do;

Pinnguaq exists in three separate sub-organizations that make up our whole.  The Pinnguaq Association is a not for profit corporation based out of Pangnirtung.   It runs key non-profit initiatives such as the Nunavut Code Club.  Pinnguaq- Nunavut is a for profit arm of the company based out of Pangnirtung, Nunavut.  It runs Nunavut specific initiatives that have a potential to create profit and are more market competitive.  Finally; Pinnguaq Technology is an incorporated, British Columbia based company that allows us access to the BC tech market including their employees and connections as well as running some initiatives with a more national and global appeal.  It allows us instant access to one of the hotbeds of the Canadian tech industry and quick and inexpensive access to Silicon Valley.  

As the Nunavut side of Pinnguaq is stuck here in Pangnirtung, hoping for a break in the weather, the B.C side of Pinnguaq has sprung into action.  Our technical director, Evan Despault is in Ottawa with 75% of our booth and ready to represent the organization at this show.  It will ensure Pinnguaq has a presence in Ottawa, despite the bad weather in Nunavut.  It will ensure our Northern based business remains competitive at one of the most important shows of the year.  

Like any good business we are spreading our wings across as large a geographical area as possible.  It allows us to stay competitive and in touch with more markets and ensure our message is delivered, regardless of Mother Nature.