With a project as big and complex as the Finch West LRT, it’s reassuring that vendors like CanStar Design & Printing have the business philosophy that “no job is too small.” Mosaic Transit Group (Mosaic), our constructors of the Finch West LRT have worked with CanStar to produce site signage and are happy with the service and quality.
Owner Raman Vinayak has been in the printing business for about a decade, producing indoor and outdoor media campaigns for clients small and large. Even with a large and ever-growing number of clients, Raman assures prospective customers that CanStar is never too busy to undertake a job of any size.
“Anyone can walk-in and do business with CanStar,” Mr. Vinayak said with enthusiasm. He takes pride in taking care of his clients and has a high retention rate: 60% of his walk-in customers become loyal, long-term clients.
Raman Vinayak arrived in Canada in 2001 at 26 years old, with his wife and the first of his three children, after working back home in New Delhi, India as a financial planner. Finding it difficult to use his work experience and his business acumen in the Canadian financial sector, he did what he needed to provide for his growing family. He drove cabs and worked in factories. Eventually, he and his wife Pragti decided to go to work in CanStar Design & Printing with extended family members. He has a background in design and Pragti in print production, so the printing sector was a good fit. Later, when the business came up for sale, he and Pragti bought it, continuing to provide printing services out of a unit located close to his current, full-service business at Weston Road and Finch Ave W.
The business has grown under the Ramans’ leadership by 33%. CanStar now has more than 4,500 clients and serves about 500 to 600 businesses and individuals each month. This family-run business is a poster child for the businesses that keep Ontario’s economy strong. According to the Government of Canada statistics, nearly 98% of Canadian businesses are small businesses like CanStar.
Metrolinx and Mosaic recognize the efforts that go into a small business and the character they bring to the community. Which is why, as part of its everyday business, Mosaic chose CanStar, a local business to print its signs. ‘Seeing the project signs along Finch Ave. gives me a sense of community, belonging and pride,” says Raman.
Metrolinx and Mosaic recognize that major infrastructure investments like the Finch West LRT should provide benefits for the community. That includes employment, apprenticeship, and local supplier opportunities, such as CanStar, wherever it’s possible. We know it makes sense to support business in the local community because it stimulates local job growth. In fact, from 2013 to 2017, approximately 640,000 jobs were added to the economy, and small businesses are responsible for nearly 68% of the new additions. The benefits of this support grow with everyone involved, and when the Finch West Light Rail Transit (LRT) project is completed in 2023, Raman Vinayak knows it will bring more business opportunities straight to his door.