Title: Founder and CEO
Even at a young age, Paul Niger recognized the value of having the right tools for the job. With his entrepreneurial drive, he set out to manufacture the best equipment available for cannabis producers.
After a year of tremendous growth in 2019, CenturionPro was outgrowing its rented warehouse space. In 2020, the company purchased a 56,000-square-foot warehouse facility in British Columbia and moved its operations into the new building, primed to reach new heights alongside the rapidly growing cannabis industry.
“For me, this was the largest milestone because it signified exponential growth for the company, more than I could have imagined,” says Niger, the company’s CEO and founder.
The increased space and demand for trimming machines led CenturionPro to grow from 25 employees to 70 in less than a year.
With the company expanding quickly, Niger’s role has evolved from the do-everything founder to a corporate manager and visionary, helping the company develop and realize its long-term strategy. While he used to work in production, shipping and receiving, sales, marketing and technical support — “whatever needed to be done to help propel the business” — he’s now kept busy overseeing each individual division.
“A key component of my responsibilities evolving was finding people who I could trust to help me grow the business with the vision I had in mind,” he says. “Bringing in these key people helped me to focus on the overarching goals and future plans for the company versus the day-to-day firefighting.”
Niger remembers being a teenager, sitting in tight family circles, hand-trimming flower for 15-hour shifts. It’s a memory that inspired him to build the equipment he does today.
“Just like any other large harvest, the nostalgia of being around such a beautiful crop quickly wore off after the first three days of long hours working, eating fast food and trimming plants,” he recalls. “The main problem was having too much flower to harvest and not enough time or trustworthy people to get the job done.”
When he started researching solutions to solve this bottleneck, he came across an “eccentric old man” who was working on a trimming machine design in his garage.
“I knew this would be big and I was motivated to see just how big it would become,” he says. The first machine was named the CenturionPro Original and hit the market around 1998.
Today’s automated systems still have many of the same key components of older machines — a blade, a cutting reel, a cylinder tumbler and a motor — but the “add-ons” have been upgraded substantially in recent years. These include features for easier disassembly to help with cleaning, as well as making the equipment lighter and more portable and keeping up with the various needs of licensed producers, such as GMP certification.
“With legalization on the horizon and the mass demand for cannabis products in North America, I knew any solution that not only saved money but also time during harvest would be essential,” he says.