Fortune Magazine expanded its criteria for its list of “fastest growing companies this year” to include those from outside the US, and in the global scenario, RIM took the #1 rank. Yep, this Canadian success story is the world’s fastest growing company according to Fortune, with a $42 billion market capitalization, almost 56% marketshare of the smartphone market and close to 12,000 employees. Fortune also takes a more detailed look into the BlackBerry maker and how the two Canadians, Balsillie and Lazaridis, are holding up against Steve Jobs. Some excerpts:
Over the past decade RIM has sold some 65 million phones to its now 28.5 million subscribers, increasing its stock market capitalization from $96 million to $42 billion in the process. (Balsillie and Lazaridis each have a 6% stake, good for roughly $2.5 billion apiece.)
RIM has a commanding 56% share of the $12 billion U.S. smartphone market. And its sales are still accelerating. In fact, according to industry tracker IDC, the bestselling smartphone in the U.S. so far this year by units is not the iPhone but the BlackBerry Curve.
Interesting to note that Mike Lazaridis started RIM by dropping out of the University of Waterloo one month before graduation in 1984, and ran the company for a while, before Jim Balsillie, who was a management consultant at the time, came in 1992 and invested $125k and took a 1/3rd stake in the firm. It was only in ’99 that RIM introduced the BlackBerry, and marketed it initially to Wall Street, where it became a must have for traders and analysts. Check out the Fortune article to read more about this inspiring story.