Lancaster Brightened the Future for Engineer-Turned-Entrepreneur
Sean Arani sheds light on how his engineering background helps him lead a growing LED company
As the 30-year-old CEO of his own company, Sean Arani is proving that engineers can be great entrepreneurs. “We can look at things with a logical lens while pursuing something we are deeply passionate about,” says Sean, who gained a Masters of Electronic Systems Engineering degree at Lancaster. Striking this fine balance has only been one of the numerous lessons from Sean’s time at Lancaster that have served him in leading his own LED lighting company.
Sean was an entrepreneur well before becoming an engineer. Born and raised in Iran, he unofficially started “working from home” at 11 years old by writing emails to foreign suppliers in English for his father, who owned an electrical infrastructure company. Sean later enrolled in electrical engineering to apply practical knowledge to his aspiration of starting his own company.
Lancaster was where Sean built his convictions on environmental issues that shape his business. "Discussions at the Student Union at Lancaster made me a 'Green' fan", he explains. "I like knowing that the people who design, sell and distribute Arani LED products are creating change in the world, even if it's just one bulb at a time."
Today, Sean recognises the significant contribution that business fundamentals have brought to his ability to grow his firm. Studying a product’s profitability, lifecycle and segmentation helped him win a big bet on LED, which was considered an emerging technology at the time he started his company. “I evaluate situations that come up in my business in multiple ways, but I often refer back to what I learned in accounting and business during my undergrad to make decisions,” he says.
As an entrepreneur who started running a successful company in his twenties, Sean credits his time at Lancaster for helping him gain a diversified outlook. The exposure to different cultures and perspectives has had a lasting impact on the way he hires and manages employees today. “My employees have backgrounds in engineering, marketing, accounting, supply chain, etc., are from 5 different countries and speak a total of 8 different languages. Their views, especially their unique cultural perspectives, have an impact on our viewpoint as a company.”
Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec since 2009, Sean’s namesake company specialises in designing, manufacturing and distributing energy efficient LED lighting products for commercial and industrial projects across Canada and the United States. The company is represented by over 20 sales agents and hundreds of distributors. “We’ve been steadily growing in the last five years – in revenue, number of employees, geographical reach – which is more than a lot of small business owners can say,” says Sean. “The future looks bright.”