23 year-old CEO Pursues Growth During Recession

AppnovationIt’s been the end to justify all our means; we stalk it relentlessly, tragically through this inglorous recession. Growth. At a time when small businesses struggle against a steady current of corporate decay, it can seem an almost futile pursuit. But 23 year old Vancouver CEO Arnold Leung contends that growth should not be discouraged. He and his start-up Appnovation Technologies have pursued a strategy of aggressive growth by focussing on niche markets, and have managed to grow their company and their market share in the short three years they have been around.

Appnovation is an interactive agency specializing in developing web sites and software applications using Drupal, an open source web development platform. Arnold Leung, who was only three years ago a student at the UBC Sauder School of Business, cutting his teeth on local business community initiatives, has now grown Appnovation to over sixteen employees, and brought on well-known clients such as The Canadian Cancer Society, NBC Universal, and Sage Software. With these large clients and the thought leadership it provides to the development community with its highly-trafficked company blog, Appnovation has swiftly been able to position itself as an industry leader in its niche markets: iPhone application development, and the development and implementation of the Alfresco open source Content / Document management system.

Appnovation has also increased its market share by joining forces with Vancouver based Work at Play and signing partnerships with Massachusetts-based Acquia, (The commercial support of Drupal), and other web agencies such as local VKI Studios, Seattle-based based Perfect Pixels, and New York-based Axis Point. In the past several months Leung has significantly expanded his offices and brought on new industry veterans to help him continue growing the business. With the help of his team, the young CEO continues to enjoy unprecedented success in not only local but international markets.

“[it’s] the perfect time to be more aggressive with sales and to grow our market share” says Leung. The core strategy of the company “has always been to focus on niche markets… by providing exceptional service to these markets we can capture a large amount of market share. With this in mind we can highly focus our marketing and sales tactics to provide us with the best possible return on investment.  It has been this micro targeting that has allowed us to grow swiftly over the last several years without feeling the effects of the recession.”

Appnovation is just one of the many examples of successful business growth that has taken place over the last several years, helping to remind us that entrepreneurs can use the recession as an opportunity, as Leung puts it, “to not be discouraged.”