Exploring New High-Tech Territory
Yasmin Jivraj is a multi-tasker — in the best of ways. She co-owns a restaurant and an office furnishings store in Edmonton, in addition to delving into assorted other entrepreneurial endeavours. She’s active in the community, contributing her energy and leadership to such organizations as the Agha Khan Foundation and Economic Development Edmonton. She served on the board of CBC/Radio Canada, and she has been tireless in promoting women’s involvement in science and technology.
And then there’s her day job.
Jivraj co-founded and is president of one of Canada’s Top 10 IT firms. Edmonton-based Acrodex boasts annual revenues of more than $200 million, offices in five provinces and more than 600 employees. Under her leadership, Acrodex has gained a reputation for innovation and excellence. The company initially gained traction in the energy sector and was one of the first in its sector to get into managing services. In 2010, it signed a $70-million contract with the Alberta government to provide standardized desktop computer management services to workers in 24 of the province’s ministries.
In 2011, Jivraj was named one of the top women in the IT industry by Computer Dealer News, Canada’s premier publication about solution providers and the IT.
“Yasmin is a classy executive with a calm demeanour,” says CDN editor Paolo Del Nibletto. “She approaches business with an analytical mind. She is one of the best at establishing partnerships that are country-wide.”
“Today, Yasmin is considered a thought leader in the cloud and was asked by Microsoft to participate in its cloud development program.”
That Jivraj is a calculated risk-taker paid off in Acrodex’s move to become an early adopter of the managed services business model, he says. “Yasmin also took a venture into cloud computing when most high-tech leaders where starting to learn about the possibilities of the cloud. Today, Yasmin is considered a thought leader in the cloud and was asked by Microsoft to participate in its cloud development program.”
Dedicated to promoting science and technology careers to young women, Jivraj has been involved over her career in the Canadian Information Processing Society Women in Technology – Leap Toward the Future program and the University of Alberta’s WISEST initiative.
She is active in Canada’s Ismaili community and spent nine years overseeing the Agha Khan Foundation’s work to improve living conditions and opportunities for the poor.
Reflecting her own commitment to community, Jivraj has fostered a strong sense of corporate responsibility at Acrodex. In addition to supporting international humanitarian causes, the company has been a generous friend to local community initiatives and a benefactor to U of A business programs and graduates.
“High-tech is a male-dominated industry and it’s a true testament to her skill and savvy that she has succeeded in an old-boys-club world,” says Del Nibletto.