There are a lot of bad words in the world. For Ravi Beech, the worst of them all is “stale.”
Beech, who is COO at Valley Acrylic Bath, helped launched the company in 2007 after working on the retail side of real estate sales. At the time, Beech said, she found a shocking figure about her industry – that 60% of landfill waste came from the construction sector.
“So the industry that I’m in – that I love – was doing that to my home, to where I live, and I didn’t know that,” said Beech, who was born and raised in the Lower Mainland. “So that led to us looking at innovative ways to manufacture things responsibly. Why not think differently? That’s why I hate hearing, ‘That’s how we always did it.’ Because that proves to me that you are stale – and we can do better.”
The environmental concern coincided with an opportunity, Beech said. She noted there is a lot of innovative manufacturing talent emerging in the Lower Mainland, and a big part of construction waste came from mass-produced plumbing parts and components from elsewhere. Beech said a local solution, one capable of making customized, one-off components near the homes themselves, can do wonders for reducing waste while boosting the local economy by showcasing the technical innovations here.
“For me, Valley was a really big turning point,” Beech said. “I realized a lot of things were not being made in Canada. And they were very simple things. On things like drain locations and piping, we would ask workers to help get a little more clearance because maybe the plumber messed up, and the response we’d get would be no, because while things may be refinished here, it’s not made here…. So we saw an opportunity.”
Today, Valley Acrylic Bath and its team of 25 people produces bath and plumbing products that sell across North America, and Beech said she is eyeing an entry into the European market by 2020, given the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and Europe.
She urged local government to do more to highlight the talent of B.C. manufacturing, since a lot of people simply aren’t well informed about the possibilities in Metro Vancouver.
Where you live now: Burnaby
Highest level of education: MBA in international marketing/global strategy, Duke University
Currently reading: The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox
Currently listening to: Scorpion by Drake
When you were a kid, what you wanted to be when you grew up: Psychologist
Profession you would most like to try: Engineer or health scientist
Toughest business or professional decision: Making sure my business upholds integrity and does not deal with clients who are discriminatory. Just because someone’s going to give you a sale doesn’t mean you have to take it
Advice you would give the younger you: Improve financial literacy. I wish I learned more about investment, mortgages and banking when I was young, starting in Grade 8 and 9
What’s left to do: Experiencing the joys of being a mom – and managing a company as a parent
Join us to celebrate the 2018 Forty under 40 Awards January 24, 2019, at the Vancouver Convention Centre. For tickets and event info visit https://www.biv.com/forty-under-40