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Entering the NewAge

Metro School Spirit

Dario Ruberto/Ryerson University photo

Sathish Bala is the founder of NewAge Consulting, a company specializing in data intelligence. He graduated from Ryerson University's computer science program in 1998.

Sathish Bala couldn't wait to start his own business. He was still a student at Ryerson University's computer science program in 1997, when he decided to embark on an entrepreneurial feat. And so, NewAge Consulting, a Markham-based company specializing in data intelligence, was born.

"The market was shifting in technology, Y2K was fast approaching, and the Internet was still fairly new to the business market," says Bala, NewAge's CEO, on one of the reasons behind venturing out on his own. "I felt that the timing was perfect to start a new business in a changing market … I looked at it as a great opportunity to challenge myself, and build confidence and character."

He also attributes this decision to the education he gained while at Ryerson. "(It) focused on hands-on learning as much as it did on theory, (and) also encouraged students to enrol in 'non-core' subjects, so I was able to study philosophy, business and communications," says Bala, who was elected student body president for computer science.

After graduating in 1998 and while NewAge was in the research and development stage, he worked as a technology manager for one of Toronto's largest construction firms. His company was officially launched in 2000.

"NewAge is built on the vision that every company needs to have a proper strategy to gather various information from its day-to-day operations," explains Bala. "And to mine this information for intelligence that should be used to achieve business objectives."

The types of services NewAge focuses on include consulting, database development, process improvements, and Web/mobile applications, to name a few. Their core management team comprises of three people, with 10 to 15 members servicing clients.

Hard work soon paid off for Bala in 2004. His company was listed as one of the Profit Hot 50 companies in Canada. He also won the Young Entrepreneur Award sponsored by Scotia Bank and the Canadian Tamil Chamber of Commerce.

"It was very rewarding to be recognized by peers within the industry," he says. "I started NewAge with very little experience in business … so to have come this far and to be in a position to employ staff and contribute to the economy is very gratifying."

In spite of his busy schedule, Bala still finds time to DJ. "(It's) how I manage my stress and express creativity," he says. His other projects-in-the-works include co-launching a record label aimed at uncovering South Asian artists, and to initiate a non-profit organization to help under-privileged teens and students reach their potential.

"Don't let others define who you are or what you can do," Bala suggests. "If you really want it, you can achieve it."

Although majoring in computer science, he strongly believes in attaining a well-rounded education.

"Read as much as you can about things outside of your comfort zone …  the bigger purpose of post-secondary education is to help you build character, confidence (and) interpersonal skills."

More school spirit: .

• Winners will be announced in the paper on Friday, September 22nd.

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