1980s: Laying the Foundation for a Global Enterprise
Long before he founded Targray, Thomas A. Richardson showed a passion for technology and a mind for entrepreneurship. Born in 1938 in a small Quebec mill town, Tom became fascinated at an early age with machinery and manufacturing. After earning a degree in engineering from Dalhousie University, he accepted an engineering job with Montreal-based mining company and metals manufacturer Alcan (now Rio Tinto Alcan) before moving to a similar position at Noranda Mining. In the 1970s, Tom was offered a management position at Montreal-based engineering firm SNC (now SNC-Lavalin). He would go on to work for 11 years at the company, lending his engineering and management expertise to large-scale infrastructure projects around the world.
In the mid 1980s, the compact disc was gaining serious momentum with mainstream audiences, and manufacturers were struggling to meet demand for their product. Richardson – then a self-employed technology consultant operating under the name Technology Services International – was approached by a local CD manufacturer for mastering services. Before long, business had grown beyond the confines of Richardson’s home office, prompting him to lease out office space and incorporate his company under the name Targray Technology International Inc. The name “Targray” is a portmanteau of Tom’s initials and the first part of his father’s name, Graydon.
1987 | Thomas Richardson begins supplying CD mastering materials out of his home office in Montreal.
1989 | Richardson incorporates his business as Targray Technology International Inc
Targray founder Tom Richardson speaks with a client from his home office in Montreal, Canada. (1987)
1990s: The Golden Age of the Compact Disc
The early 90s saw Targray transition from a small business focused on a handful of optical media manufacturing products, to a mid-sized business with one of the most complete product lines in the CD manufacturing sector. Offering everything from mastering and replication materials to printing and packaging solutions, the company quickly became a household name within one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. The decade was marked by a series of successful partnerships with compact disc industry leaders including Philips, Dow Plastics, and Entegris.
In 1998, Targray relocated its headquarters to a significantly larger facility and began a series of international branch expansions with the opening of a sales offices in Netherlands, Hong Kong and Laguna Niguel, California. By the end of the 90s, The company had established itself as one of the optical media industry’s leading international distributors; approximately 50% of optical discs manufactured worldwide were being sputtered using Targray materials.
1993 | Targray partners with dutch giant Philips to supply glass substrates for mastering.
1995 | Annual company revenue exceeds 5 million CAD for the first time.
1997 | Targray and Dow Plastics enter distribution partnership for Dow Polycarbonate.
1998 | Targray begins international expansion with opening of offices in U.S., Europe, and China.
2000-2005: Accelerated Growth and Diversification
The early 2000s were marked by a series of international expansions intended to support Targray’s rapid growth. Between 2003 and 2005, the company opened sales offices in Taiwan, India, the UK, Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, and Mexico.
Faced with the prospect of a declining optical media industry, Targray began to diversify its business activities. In 2006, it launched the Solar Division to supply raw materials and consumables to the burgeoning solar photovoltaics sector. Building on the customer-focused business principles that helped it become a compact disc industry leader, Targray’s solar business was quick to find success, generating over 25 million CAD in sales in its first year alone. The Division has since gone on to generate over 1.2 billion CAD in sales, establishing itself as one of the largest PV material distributors outside of mainland China.
In 2006, Canadian business news magazine Profit announced that Targray had been named to the Profit 100 List, an annual publication featuring the 100 fastest growing companies in Canada over the course of the five previous years. Shortly after the announcement, Targray was identified by Canadian French-language news magazine L’Actualité as the 9th fastest growing company in Quebec between 2000 and 2005.
2000 | Annual company revenue exceeds 10 million CAD for the first time.
2003 | Targray opens 7 additional international sales locations over a two-year period.
2005 | Establishment of the Targray Solar Division.
2006 | Targray identified as one of the fastest-growing companies in Canada from 2001-2005.
Profit Magazine identified Targray as one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies. (2006)
2006-2009: Ushering in a New Era
Bolstered by the exceptional growth of its solar business, Targray continued its international expansion in the latter half of the decade with the addition of sales offices in China (2), Japan, Italy, and Korea. In 2007, the Solar Division eclipsed the Optical Media Division in sales, helping the company surpass the 100 million CAD plateau in total annual revenue.
The late 2000s was a period market by several important organizational changes. In 2007, the Targray Board of Directors selected long-time VP Andrew Richardson to succeed his father Thomas Richardson in the role of President & CEO. Shortly thereafter, the company’s global headquarters moved to its current location in the city of Kirkland. Custom-built to meet the company’s specifications, the new location provides a state-of-the-art office environment for up to 100 full-time employees and a 50,000 square foot warehouse facility.
2006 | Targray opens sales locations in Italy, China, Korea, and Japan.
2007 | Annual company revenue exceeds 100 million CAD for the first time.
2007 | Board of Directors elects new President & CEO, Andrew Richardson.
2009 | Targray moves in to its new Global Headquarters in Kirkland, Quebec, Canada.
2010-2015: Fostering the Growth of Clean Technologies
With the establishment of the Solar division in 2005, Targray layed the foundation for its new business model: Filling the missing supply chain links in rapidly-growing clean technology sectors. The company’s new framework would serve as the basis for the establishment of the company’s Battery and Biofuels divisions, in 2010 and 2012, respectively.
In 2015, elevated by the strong performance of its new Business Divisions, Targray achieved over 400 million CAD in annual sales, establishing itself as one of the largest international suppliers in the renewable energy industry. Today, the company carries the rare distinction of being actively involved in 3 different segments of the global renewables market: Solar, Energy Storage, and Biofuels.
2010 | Targray identified as one of the fastest-growing companies in Canada from 2006-2009.
2010 | Establishment of the Targray Battery Division.
2011 | Battery Division unveils battery packaging product line.
2012 | Establishment the Targray Biofuels Division.
2014 | Targray earns BQ-9000 Biodiesel Marketer certification.
2016-2019: Becoming a Global Leader in Renewables
In 2016, Targray President & CEO Andrew Richardson was honored with the EY ‘Entrepreneur of the Year‘ award, which highlighted the company’s successful decade-long transformation into a
In 2018, Targray was named to Scale AI, an industry-led consortium that will shape a new global supply chain platform, bolster Canada’s leadership in artificial intelligence (AI), and accelerate industry adoption of enabling technologies through collaborative and incremental projects. Scale AI is eligible for up to 250M CAD in government funding for special R&D projects between 2018 and 2023.