If you started a tech company in 1999 and grew to over 100 employees by 2000, how would you have survived the ensuing tech bust? Reggie Aggarwal, CEO of event management software company Cvent (NYSE:CVT), was in just that position. Mr. Aggarwal visited Motley Fool headquarters in March as part of the Fool's CEO interview series. Mr. Aggarwal spoke with Motley Fool CTO Mark Brooks and charted Cvent's journey: a path that lead it to the leading position it enjoys today in the event management software industry.
A six-person company at the end of 1999, Cvent grew to 125 employees over the next year while burning through millions of dollars in venture capital. Their story took a perilous turn in 2001 as the market crashed.
"We had to cut 80% of our employees," Aggarwal said. "[We were] kind of like the 'Walking Dead' from 2001 to 2004."
Aggarwal noted that the company learned three main lessons during that period. In order to survive and succeed, Cvent had to:
1) Hire great people
2) Build the best products
3) Focus on your customer
Aggarwal's strategy eventually succeeded. Today, Cvent employs over 1,450 jobs worldwide. Cvent software helped manage 8.7 million event registrations and 205,000 meetings in 2013. For his part, Aggarwal was recently named the "CEO of the Year" by the Washington Business Journal.
"Tumultuous times is really what I think got us to where we are. And then we just naturally, organically grew for the next decade."
Check out the video below to hear Aggarwal's Cvent story.