Loss of an Innovator—James Gandy!
On July 14, 2021, the world lost a remarkable innovator, James Gandy. As he left the world with his daughters by his side, he finally was at peace. A few years ago, he was diagnosed with an incurable disease called PSP that slowly ate his life away. At first, he and his family were taken by surprise how this untouchable pillar of strength could be given a life sentence, less than five years left in his life. But here too he was determined to fight for a cure regardless of his suffering. It was with deep sadness his family accepted the loss of one of the most remarkable men in their lives.
James was born in Myanmar (formerly Burma) of Indian descent. His parents, Kartar and Prem, took James and his sister Mona and brother Hary across the world, finally landing them in Canada. James had a thirst for adventure. He was never happy with the status quo. He had the need to go for greatness right from the start of his first business venture. He also had failures but that was small hurdles that he quickly overcame and was off to the next venture. He had enormous energy and emotional intelligence. In 1977, at just 22, he started Signtech in Toronto. The company built up over $50 million in annual sales with offices worldwide. At Signtech, James innovated many designs and processes that are still used in the sign industry. He had begun investing in digital printing from 1991.
In 2001, James decided to move forward with the next adventure and started manufacturing digital printers. Gandinnovations was one of the first in the world. Within four years’ time, the company had tremendous success with a global presence, hitting over $100 million in annual sales. His constant ability to innovate and achieve customer satisfaction was remarkable. He with his brother Hary worked tirelessly creating one of the most important series of printers still sold in the market. Unfortunately, the market crashed in 2008 and took the profits with it.
Un-wavered, immediately Gandy Digital was created and in 2010 setting the digital printing market by storm. He had built another landmark in technology for his industry much ahead of its time, but his disease was already starting to slow him down. Regardless, his last invention, the state-of-the-art new printer, is still being sold by his loyal brother Hary, carrying on his legacy. When we look back at James’ life, we see a man who aspired for greatness, not only in business but also in everything he set his mind to. He became a private pilot, participated in triathlons, a great wine connoisseur and above all made sure that Italy was his destination every year, it was a sacred trip for him and his family to disconnect and do what he loved most—eat well and cycle.
James was born to do great things and he definitely did so but not without passing this drive to his three beautiful, smart and ambitious daughters, Natalie, Jenna and Hillary. They will strive to carry on where their father left off. Hats off to the loss of a great man, a one of a kind!