Our August member spotlight is Sid Param, the founder and CEO of Triton Distribution Group, which operates a portfolio of consumer brands and distributes products to over 39 countries worldwide. From dropping out of medical school to building a Jimmy John’s franchise to opening Triton’s flagship brand, Microderm GLO, this is Sid’s entrepreneurial journey from start to present. Discover how he balances work and life with his wife and kids while simultaneously moving toward his business goals.
EO Member: Sid Param
Company: Triton Distribution Group / Microderm GLO
Years in Business: 5
How long have you been a member of EO Chicago, and why did you join the organization?
In 2019, the day after a serial entrepreneur gave me an LOI to acquire our company, he left for Morocco. I asked him what was in Morocco and he said it was a global retreat for EO. I joined two months after that conversation.
What was your first job?
When I was 12 years old, my uncle let me work at his burger joint for 50 cents an hour. I saved up for a skateboard that I never used.
Can you describe your entrepreneurial journey? Where did you start, and where do you hope to go in the future?
In 1999, I launched several (failed) websites built as Amazon affiliates. Someone should have told me to just buy the stock. After college, I built a Jimmy John’s franchise on the North Park University campus and ran it while writing code for HSBC and finishing my MBA at DePaul University. Six years later, I decided to quit my job, sell the sandwich shop and start a photo booth manufacturing company.
In 2016, I shut down that company and started Triton Distribution Group. We operate a portfolio of consumer brands that use the internet to scale. Our flagship brand, Microderm GLO, is a patented, FDA Class I medical device that brings expensive dermatologist treatments into anyone’s home at a fraction of the cost. #HealthySkinLooksBest
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Our mission at Triton is to help people look and feel their best. That’s what I enjoy doing most — developing innovative products and creating amazing customer experiences.
I personally struggled with confidence and self-esteem as a kid, so I find it rewarding to contribute through meaningful work that helps people discover their unique beauty inside and out.
What daily challenges do you face at work?
The more we grow, the more money we need. We have doubled revenue every year since we’ve started but still max out our credit facilities.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
“Our only limitations are those we set up in our own minds.” The biggest chokehold on our business is usually me holding myself (and us) back.
Another one is “Get around people you want to be like.” And I’ve done this — thanks, EO!
What are your goals for the future of your business?
We’re closing in on our goal of having one million customers worldwide. Our next goal is to have five independent business units replicating the blueprint of how we served the first one million customers.
What’s the coolest thing you’re working on right now?
We are working with an award-winning Hollywood studio to create digital video content to spotlight Miss America and Miss Korea as Global Brand Ambassadors for Microderm GLO.
Who or what inspires you?
My wife and my boys, Alex, 5, and Maxim, 4, inspire me to be mindful about what really matters to me in life. When I’m overloaded with projects and feeling the pressure, I stop everything, grab all of them and watch “Henry Danger” on Netflix.
If you could go back in time five years and share advice with your past self, what advice would you share?
Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your business.
A couple of years ago, I created a profit-sharing plan for our COO. Since then, he has helped lead us to over 3.5x our revenue and expand into 39 countries. The way I see it, my job is to make my employees millionaires.
What is the greatest challenge you have overcome?
In one painful year, I had to shut down a company right after it hit a big mark in revenue. That same year, I started another company that would be sued by Allergan (now AbbVie) and then go on to be ranked #5 on the Inc. 500: Midwest List of fastest-growing companies in America. It would have been impossible to reach this point without the grace of God and the dedication of many important people.
What brought you to Chicago?
My parents came to Chicago from Thailand when I was three years old. They had to leave my younger brother John with his grandparents for a couple of years since they could not afford the extra plane ticket. John is now head of cybersecurity for U.S. Bank and a cryptologist for the Navy. He also holds three graduate degrees. Super proud!
How do you find work-life balance?
Our family intentionally makes daily habits and weekly routines that create quality family time. Dan Sullivan has a great book called Who Not How that has helped me with this ongoing journey.
When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
When I was a kid, my mom wanted me to be a doctor, so I started the accelerated program with Rush University Medical Center at 17. I dropped out after the first year. Needles make me cringe, and I can’t stand blood — gross! Obviously, not the right field for me.
What are your favorite things to do outside of work?
I’m an NRA competitive shooter but prefer Nerf blasters on the weekends with my boys.
What’s one thing still left on your bucket list?
What are you currently reading?
- “Lifespan: Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To” by David Sinclair
- “The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives” by Peter Diamandis
- “The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life” by Erwin McManus
- “Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants” by Dav Pilkey
If you could recommend one podcast, what would it be?
I’m an Audible junkie, but I’ve heard How I Built This with Guy Raz is good.
What’s your favorite restaurant in Chicago?
RPM Italian in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.
What is your top Chicago activity?
Dropping anchor at the Playpen.
Where’s your favorite place in the world to visit?
My boys’ tent in their bedroom. But if I had to share a destination, it would be Phuket or Koh Samui Islands in Thailand.
Thank you to Sid Param for sharing his story for our August member spotlight. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization is a global business network of more than 14,000 entrepreneurs in 198 chapters and 61 countries. EO is the catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.
If you’re interested in becoming an EO Chicago member, check our membership requirements and submit an application to join today.