On July 9, 2014, Metro Label Company Ltd., located in Toronto, celebrated its 40th anniversary.
It’s an impressive feat on so many levels, but one that company president Sandeep Lal downplays with his usual soft-spoken humility.
Canadian Packaging was invited to the shindig, but in truth, we were invited as friends rather than as members of the media—and that’s just fine by me.
I have known Sandeep for almost the entire nine years of my career in the packaging industry, which while not a long time, is a long time for many Canadian companies.
Sandeep has always been more than just a guy one has to talk to to get a story on his company Metro Label, he’s the guy I can talk to as a friend, and he has reciprocated in kind.
It’s one of the reasons why I admire him and his company so much.
For those of you who for some reason are not aware, Metro Label is one of the premier North American manufacturers of high-quality label products. Globally recognized for the artisan-like quality Metro Label brings to the profession, the company’s labels adorn many of the products people use on a daily basis, including food and beverage, personal care and much, much more.
Nothing Metro Label does, which is a keen reflection of Sandeep himself, is done with the word ‘short-cut’ in mind. Nothing.
Whether its any of his 130+ employees putting in the time and effort at the state-of-the-art 132,000-square-foot LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-Certified (green building certification system) Toronto-facility, or the constant capital expenditures to improve the performance of its production line and sustainability or to create an even better product for its customers, Metro Label, despite Sandeep’s humility, is unabashedly unafraid to take the next step.
It’s why the company has achieved such phenomenal growth and respect in the label industry.
On a day when Metro Label was celebrating the company’s 40th anniversary, Sandeep, just as though he was printing off a roll of labels, made sure that for his guests, satisfaction was guaranteed.
The event planning was superb, as was the serving staff—true professionals with a smile on the face that seemed genuine and welcoming. The event was fully catered with:
- a selection of champagne, cocktails, beer, and wine, generously gifted from Metro Label’s clients;
- Hor d’oeuvres by: World famous BBQ king Ted Reader; Fidel Gastro, tasty Indian cuisine from The Host, Augie’s Ice Pops and ChocolaChocola. The gang over at Fidel Gastro’s, by the way, operated out of a food truck, but offered a selection of sliders made up meats decidedly un-hamburger-like that could have been served in the best restaurants in Canada. You also need to try their Pad Thai fries. Okay, unabashed plug over;
- Sublime live music by Julie Michaels Quartet, with surprise guests Dhol Circle;
Metro Label also offered tours through its facility every 20 minutes or so and brought in speakers to dazzle us with seminars that had everyone listening buzzing afterwards.
Ferrari Innovation Solutions, LLC. founder and president Mike Ferrari discussed The New Shopper Journey: how packaging can produce profit. The affable Ferrari discussed how brands can look at information technology and learn how to connect the real world with the virtual world and how it can be utilized to transform packaging, and of course, labels.
Sun Chemical global commercial director electronic materials Roy Bjorlin and T-Ink chief technology officer Terrance Kaiserman gave a spirited discussion on their new project: TouchCode Smart Label – that engrossed the audience to take it well beyond its scheduled 60-minute mark. They discussed their patented Touch Code technology in reference to labels and the ability for those labels to interact with simply a touch – that allows a touchscreen device to couple to a label or printed package. To myself, it seemed like I was able to peer into the future of packaging.
Mark Andy vice-president marketing & sales Steve Schulte. Trends in the Label Industry: Flexo and Digital Printing – admittedly, I did not attend this seminar, for which I apologize. I simply lost track of the time and was bedazzled by the people and scenery at the outdoor Metro Label festivities. I am sure Steve spoke well, and if he cares to drop us a line, I’ll gladly listen to him speak.
Metro Label president Sandeep Lal (right) being congratulated by a guest at the Metro Label 40th anniversary gala.
While I had to cut out early, owing to some youth coaching engagements I take part in, I left with a smile on my face.
I suppose that is something Sandeep and Metro Label wish for all its customers and friends. All I can say is that’s probably a good reason why the company was able to celebrate its 40th anniversary in style yesterday, and why it will continue to upgrade itself and its product in the future.
I look forward to seeing it.
For company information, visit www.metrolabel.com.