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The high-tech consultant

Paul Ortchanian, BSc 99, GrCert 03
November 6, 2023
By Richard Burnett, BA 88

Portrait of a smiling, clean-shaven man with short black hair. He is wearing a collared shirt under a black puffer jacket.

When it comes to entrepreneurship and product leadership, Paul Ortchanian is a much sought-after consultant, coach and keynote speaker. 

After successful stints as technical experience director with Blast Radius digital agency in San Francisco, then as vice-president of technology and operations for global communications firm Edelman, in 2018, Ortchanian struck out on his own, founding Bain Public.

The Montreal-based consulting firm helps first-time entrepreneurs and first-time product managers untangle complex technology, and whose SOAP™ program creates a road map for product planning.

Ortchanian is also deeply engaged with the early-stage startup ecosystem in Montreal and volunteers with accelerators like Concordia’s District 3, Centech, Next AI and HoltXchange.

Proudest moment

“Bootstrapping Bain Public. Most companies start with a personal loan from friends, family or investors. I never took a loan and had a cash flow and positive business from day one. Looking back today, I am proud of what I accomplished.”

Career challenge

“Being a good leader means you need to listen a lot. You’ve got two ears and one mouth, so you need to listen twice as much as you talk. I’m an extroverted person, I love to talk and I learned the hard way that people want to be heard. So it’s important for me to make sure that I practice active listening.”

Influential professor

“Greg Garvey, the former chair of the Department of Design and Computation Arts, taught me everything about the web, virtual reality, technology and the use of technology for the expression of creativity.”

Industry projections

“Artificial intelligence is here to stay. It’s quite misunderstood and generates a lot of fear and anxiety. But even though it’s in a very immature state, we have got to give AI a chance.”

Passion project

“My passion is giving back to the startup community, the startup ecosystem. There are a lot of things I learned in Silicon Valley that I wanted to bring back to Quebec. That was one of the main reasons I came back.”

Favourite pastime

“Playing tennis. It’s a sport where you constantly have to plan the next point. Tennis makes you realize every point counts, and you must go in with a game plan.”

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