INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Macrotek Inc. Relies on Innovation and Customer Relationships During Pandemic Uncertainties
Chris Ristevski of Macrotek speaks to us about pollution control and the impact of Covid-19.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Chris Ristevski: My family and I are doing well during these unprecedented times. There are many families that have faced hardships this past year so we are lucky to be healthy and motivated professionals.
Tell us about you, your career, how you joined Macrotek.
Chris Ristevski: I graduated from the University of Toronto with a Chemical Engineering degree and currently lead Macrotek Inc.’s Process Engineering team. I began working with Macrotek in 2009 and have a wide range of experience with system design and selection, process design, process modelling, and equipment and controls selection. Most recently, I have led the development of Macrotek’s SULFCAT® system, an innovative H2S removal technology, from its inception in 2014, and am now responsible for the implementation of SULFCAT® systems worldwide.
How does Macrotek innovate?
Chris Ristevski: Macrotek Inc. has been an innovator in the air pollution control industry right from the start over 90 years ago, however, the last decade has especially seen a heightened awareness of environmental impacts worldwide. This has pushed us to achieve even greater pollution control methods that provide efficiencies for our customers while at the same time bettering the environment. Macrotek’s process is to recognize the needs of its customers, then build on its trusted technology and test for innovations that often end up being groundbreaking for the industry. Macrotek thrives on being the leader in the industry, which means innovation is at the forefront of its business.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Chris Ristevski: Macrotek is fortunate enough to be an essential business and has been serving its clients since the beginning of the pandemic. We have been more conscientious with finances, and working hard to provide accurate proposals to our customers so there are no surprises throughout the process for either of us. Our customers have been weary of starting new projects, however, we are starting to see an upswing in inquiries again. We expect that the industry is on its way to recovering.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources and what are the lessons learned?
Chris Ristevski: Luckily, Macrotek has managed to keep all of its staff employed over the last year. Almost all employees have been working remotely for the entire pandemic and Macrotek has learned that it is capable of making this shift to virtual business without being adversely affected. Our employees have gone above and beyond this year to ensure the business runs smoothly while there is such uncertainty in the world.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Chris Ristevski: Macrotek has always been a global company with customers all over the world so it has been accustomed to providing client support remotely. Close relationships with our customers is what sets us apart from our competitors so it has always been an extremely important part of our business. That being said, we have been more inclined to use video conferencing during the pandemic, which has built our relationships even further.
Did you benefit from any government grants, and did that help keep your business afloat?
Chris Ristevski: Macrotek has been lucky enough to qualify for government grants since the start of the pandemic, which have absolutely helped keep our business running smoothly. We appreciate the government assistance we have received and it will certainly help with the fluctuation of the market during these uncertain times.
Your final thoughts?
Chris Ristevski: Although this has been an extremely difficult year for many businesses, Macrotek has been able to utilize its innovation, industry leadership, customer relationships, and devoted employees to come out even stronger.
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