Zulu Alpha Kilo is the only Canadian company – and an ad agency, to boot– to be named to Forbes’ Small Giants List for 2018. The third annual Small Giants list celebrates 25 standout businesses that favour greatness over growth for growth’s sake.
It is not often that a globally respected business publication like Forbes puts its spotlight on a Canadian company, let alone a Canadian advertising agency. Yet Forbes not only selected Zulu as one of its 25 honourees for its May 31st issue, but is also publishing a 1,000-word feature article
in the June 30th issue of the publication.
The feature article details how Zulu founder Zak Mroueh set out to do things differently in an industry that has long followed traditional ways of doing things. It is penned by Bo Burlingham, author of the 2005 bestseller Small Giants: Companies that Choose to be Great Instead of Big. In April, Bo flew to Toronto for Forbes and met Zulu founder Zak Mroueh and the entire Zulu management team.
“My entrepreneurial journey came full circle the moment I met Bo Burlingham,” recalls Mroueh. “Ten years ago, I was browsing in a bookstore when I came across Bo’s book. It really gave me the inspiration to create Zulu in a different way and in the face of all the naysayers. At the time, it would have been crazy to think that one day the author of the book that inspired me would be sitting in our agency in 2018.”
Every 2018 Small Giant is privately owned, profitable, at least 10 years old and was selected based on factors including company culture and industry excellence. To see the complete 2018 list of Forbes’ Small Giants in the May 31 issue click here
Lorne Feldman, Forbes Senior Editor, Entrepreneurship, notes that Zulu has been successful for 10 straight years and has an enviable roster of clients despite purposefully turning away opportunities. “Early on, Zulu's refusal to do spec probably cost it tens of millions of dollars. Over time, however, the stance earned respect, and prospective clients began to sign on without a formal pitch,” wrote Feldman
Locally, Zulu Alpha Kilo has also been winning notices from business press for its disruptive founding vision. In April, Maclean’s and Canadian Business magazines profiled Zulu as the only agency on Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies List
, a prestigious list compiled by Deloitte.
Group Photo above: (Left to right) David So (CFO & COO), Amanda Mroueh (Operations Director), Bo Burlingham (Author), Zak Mroueh (Founder & Chief Creative Officer/CEO), Mike Sutton (President)