Canadian Electrical Industry News Week

January 5, 2017 

Line Goyette

Aesthetics, design, flair, anchored in his community, these are words easily associated with Jean-Claude Calabro, President of LumiGroup, a manufacturer's agent for lighting and control products. His business model is that of a contractor — one who has evidently done well since LumiGroup is on an exclusive list of Canadian companies experiencing the most growth over the past five years.

Located in the heart of Montreal’s Mile-End, LumiGroup has a 10,000+ square foot showroom on two floors. To mark the company’s 20th anniversary, LumiGroup opened “Le Studio” in spring 2016, a contemporary gallery-like space where you’ll find an international collection of luminaires.

LumiGroup has thousands of projects to its credit: office, commercial and industrial projects. The Montreal and Quebec cityscapes showcase the agency’s expertise. I often see members of the LumiGroup team at conferences and trade shows, always on the lookout for innovations and trends in lighting and control.

I recently met with Jean-Claude Calabro to learn a little more about the man behind LumiGroup’s success and the company that contributes so actively to charitable organizations in local communities.

From electrical worker to boss

Jean-Claude Calabro is from a family of electricians and is himself an electrician. “My father and my grandfather were electricians; my brother-in-law and my cousins are also. I worked in my father’s company for five or six years, especially in commercial projects, and this is where I developed a taste and passion for lighting.”

To become a better entrepreneur, he returned to school, enrolling in the HEC Montreal business school. “Once out of university, I had two choices: either work at Hydro-Quebec, or start up my own company. I did an analysis of who I was and where I came from, and I chose to become an entrepreneur electrician specializing in lighting.”

This brings us to 1992 and there are energy saving programs in place for converting luminaires from four to two tubes. “For five years all I did was convert fixtures in businesses and shops in the greater Montreal area. We studied energy efficiency with Hydro-Québec and went in search of subsidies. I had 20 electricians who worked for the company and 5 reps.”

The program ended and the company went from five contracts a day to one a week. “It was radical. My business model was based on the energy subsidy model.”

Now it’s 1995 and Jean-Claude Calabro starts LumiGroup with only his cell phone, his car, and one manufacturer. “I didn't want to work with electricity, but with lighting. “For four years I represented a single manufacturer, then I became more interested in design and the needs of lighting professionals and architects. I added other manufacturers to my portfolio.”

The company grows rapidly, works on major projects, establishes itself in Mile-End, and opens an office in Quebec City.

“When I started attending trade shows and large trade fairs in lighting, I developed a taste for design.”

Lighting controls — a new business model

“Lighting has become much more technical. We now have engineers on site to advise clients on control systems, and have a selection of systems. My business today is helping designers, architects, and engineers. We help them achieve lighting projects in the most energy-efficient way possible.

“We are now more focused on lighting effects, so that lighting serves a function beyond the sole purpose of illuminating. Systems are designed based on the needs of the customer. Relationships are becoming more and more important.

“Design is not only a question of calculations, it's a question of feeling. We must communicate with the customer to understand and translate how they want to experience space into lighting solutions. What motivates me is finding new ways of doing things. We live in a world of change. Everything changes, everywhere, in all areas.

“There is a new generation who likes to do things differently, and lighting design is also completely different. Today customers understand better what they want, and our role is to advise on the products. We’ve moving towards more and greater integration of lighting controls. The product of the future is a smart product.”

Jean-Claude Calabro seems to be always moving forward, succeeding at transitions and following market trends with good spirits. He smiled at my comment. “In a company, it’s important to celebrate success. What hasn’t worked, we're trying to forget. I tried things, partnerships that didn’t work. These are stages, not failures, and fortunately with age we make better choices. Choosing to be an agent is choosing to be an entrepreneur, and I think I am entrepreneur at heart. When we start a new year, we start at zero. Nothing is guaranteed, but it’s the same for an employee or any other company.”

Life outside lighting?

The spouse of Jean-Claude Calabro has been a shoulder to learn on since the beginning of LumiGroup, and joined the company full time a decade ago. His eldest daughter has also been working there during her studies. She has completed a Bachelor's degree in marketing and international business, and is now studying law. The youngest is 14 years old. She still has time. In the meantime, she accompanies her parents who stop everything once a year to go on vacation.

“We always take three weeks of vacation at the end of the year and three weeks in the summer. When travelling, we visit many museums, it fascinates me. It allows us to better understand where we come from.”

Calabro and his wife are passionate about jogging and cycling. Many charitable activities supported by Calabro and his company involve physical challenges, including, for four years running, the 48-hour ride for Make-a-Wish/Fais-Un-Voeu Québec, which takes place every September on behalf of sick children.

A source of inspiration in his life? Great entrepreneurs such as Pierre Karl Péladeau, Paul Desmarais and, of course, those in his own community.


Line Goyette is Managing Editor of LDS; linegoyette@kerrwil.com.

 

primi sui motori con e-max

Changing Scene

  • Prev
Global wave energy inventories have shown that Vancouver Island’s west coast is one of the ...
“The EV Discovery Centre will serve as an EV hub for consumers throughout Ontario and for ...
In early May 20 participants from Indigenous communities across Canada recently met in Richibucto, ...
The Electricity Distributors Association and its member companies have launched the Ontario ...
An installation of more than 2,200 Philips Color Kinetics iColor Accent MX Powercore programmable ...
Manitoba’s minister of growth, enterprise and trade is keen to promote east-west power ...
Lumenpulse luminaires are lighting the Jacques Cartier Bridge and a series of iconic Montreal ...
This month the first of two high-voltage power transmission cables that will enable the ...
Alectra Utilities recently presented a Hamilton, Ontario retirement and long-term care residence ...
Silicon Energy flat plate photovoltaic modules that bear an Intertek Certification Mark for Canada ...

Emera

This month the first of two high-voltage power transmission cables that will enable the transmission of clean, renewable and reliable electricity from Newfoundland and Labrador to Nova Scotia was successfully anchored at Point Anconi, NS.

The cables are the longest in North America, and will link Newfoundland to the North American transmission system for the first time

Read More

 



Tools for the Trade

  • Prev
  Brady introduces three labelling solutions for equipment, rating plates, circuit boards, ...
  Acklands Grainger’s Portable Wire Spool Cart has 4 wire spool bars for numerous ...
  The 1630-2 FC clamp measures earth ground loop resistances for multi-grounded systems ...
  The Brady BMP 21-Plus Label maker is a versatile and ready to go label Printer that is ...
  The Brady BMP 61 Label Printer is designed for quick and efficient identification of ...
  Ilsco has introduced and upgrade to its Taskmaster 3-in-1 battery powered tool system. ...
    Southwire’s 5-N-1 Multi Tool Pliers are ideal for all electricians ...

Latest Articles

  • Prev
 On Friday April 28, 2017 Electrical Industry Canada joined Danfoss Drives Canada, along with ...
Manufacturing continues to employ half of all electrical maintenance and mechanical electricians. ...
Total spending on new housing construction increased 8.7% year over year to $4.0 billion in ...
UL and The HDBaseT Alliance, a cross-industry group tasked with promoting and advancing the HDBaseT ...
Providing back up power is essential to providing maximum value for commercial and industrial ...
Owning a business can be uniquely rewarding, but rewards do not come without risk. Perhaps the most ...
Lumen is proud to announce that its new headquarters and distribution centre in Laval has been ...

Practical Benefits

The Practical Benefits of Modular Industrial Enclosures, Part 1

Modular freestanding enclosures offer a number of key advantages when compared to traditional unibody enclosures. Many times these attributes are overlooked either out of a false perception of increased enclosure costs, reluctance to change, or a simple lack of awareness of the possible benefits of modular solutions.

Read More

 

 

Product News

  • Prev
  The Samsung Smart Sensor Module (SSM) incorporates radar technology and provides high ...
  SLD’s LaserLight SMD utilizes proprietary and patented semi-polar GaN laser diodes, ...
  Multiple luminaires combined with artistically styled poles add visual interest to ...
  Lutron myRoom is a family of guestroom systems for light, temperature and shade control. ...
  Zumbotel’s Craft High-Bay Lights are ideal for industrial applications and ...
  Dynamic LED enabled tunable white system for luminous surfaces that provides constant ...
  The Mode Split Outdoor LED flood/accent path light from Tech Lighting features a ...
  NOD was designed by the young Japanese designer Daisuke Kitagawa; its refined ...
  The Philips Bodine is delivered in one compact case and driver compatibility in your ...
  Dynamic natural sunlight spectrum throughout the day, syncs to local sunrise and sunset ...

Cooledge

Cooledge Lighitng Tile Premium Tunable White Dynamic LED enabled tunable white system for luminous surfaces that provides constant lumens at all CCTs and dim levels. Create luminous ceilings, feature walls, and large graphic displays with Cooledge TILE Interior lighting systems. Features: - Three choices of constant lumen output ensure consistent highly calibrated illumination - Color consistency of typically 2 SDCM between TILEs meets stringent requirements for large area installations

Read more: Cooledge Lighitng. . .

 

 

 



Copper $US Dollar price per pound

Kerrwil Publications

538 Elizabeth Street, Midland,Ontario, Canada L4R2A3 +1 705 527 7666
2016 All rights reserved

Use of this Site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy Policy (effective 1.1.2016)
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Kerrwil