Web Host Interview: Founder of Arvixe Hosting, Arvand Sabetian

Arvand Sabetian, founder and CEO of Arvixe Hosting, landed Inc. 30 under 30 for two consecutive years in 2002 and 2003.

According to an article on Inc, Sabetian first started his company – Arvixe after his junior year of high school. He didn’t want to give up his company when he started college; so what so he convinced a few friends to help him keep it running while they got their degrees. In 2008, the young entrepreneur was set to graduate with a degree in civil engineering and in the same time, his company Arvixe was bringing in about $150,000 profit annually. He decided to give Arvixe one more year… and, the rest is history.

Today, Arvixe grew from a one-man operations into a company making multi-millions. The company remains privately held and based in San Luis Obispo, CA. What’s most interesting about Arvixe to me is that although the company has over 100 employees, it does not have a HQ office. Yes – you read it right. Every one of the company’s 130 employees work remotely from their own location. Amazing, isn’t? Let’s welcome our honorable guest today – Arvand Sabetian, and find out more in today’s interview.

On Business & Web Hosting

Mr Sabetian, welcome and congratulations on making into Inc. 5000 for three consecutive years in 2011, 2012, and 2013. It’s a great honor to have you here as our interview guest today. Arvixe grew almost 8 fold in revenue from year 2009 to 2012. Please tell us, what’s the secret of the company’s success?

sebatian

Providing turn-key web hosting solutions with a no non-sense approach to combining both quality and affordability that is currently un-matched in our industry.

Our plans are unique in that they cater to the largest subset of technologies required by today’s most popular open source applications. Therefore, chances are that regardless of the application that you choose to run your website, we have a plan that will support it.

What can we know more about Arvixe business?

Arvixe is currently a $12M company with ~130 staff members all working remotely across the world. Over half of our staff reside and work out of the United States and Europe. We currently host over 250k domains across our shared, reseller and vps/dedicated/cloud platforms.

While we’ve grown from simply providing some of the highest level of services in the shared hosting industry (Linux and then Windows), close to 25% of our current revenues are from our VPS/Cloud solutions. Our goal is to continue to grow this aspect of our business as we provide a larger set of products at different price points to cater to both novice as well as advanced users looking to host on their own environments.

It’s amazing to see how things are working together for Arvixe when almost all your employees are working remotely. You mentioned several different hosting deals offered at Arvixe – which I believe some of the readers would be interested to learn more. Can you please introduce each of Arvixe’s hosting packages and its targeted audience?

Sure. In brief –

  • Personal Class – Geared towards low usage, personal and small business users who need a quick solution to put their websites online.
  • Business Class – While still shared hosting, Business servers hold 1/4th as many customers as our PersonalClass. Users on these servers are allotted more resources and servers often perform at a higher reliability and performance levels than our PersonalClass plans.
  • Reseller Class – Reseller plans that allow customers to create several shared hosting plans on their own. This allows the reseller to bill the customer directly and simply provide their customers with a customized plan and account from within their allotted limits.
  • VPS Class/Cloud Class – Our next generation plans utilizing Hyper-V virtualization to provide low cost turn-key dedicated environments with pre-loaded software to help both novice and advanced users get going quickly. Our philosophy has been that with our VPS, you get the performance you would with advanced VM/Cloud services while having the management and software available to help you operate your VM with ease.
  • Dedicated Class – Generally utilized by advanced users and enterprise customers who require a specific architecture and our sales team can help with putting a solution together.
Arvixe's shared web hosting deal - starting at $4/mo

Arvixe’s shared web hosting deal – starting at $4/mo

On Personal Background & Life

I understand that you were a student in civil engineering. But here you are, running a multi millions IT company for yourself. What’s your story behind this? How did Arvixe get started in the first place?

I was doing web design work for clients in the local area and decided to help them with hosting. Having a strong computer and computer science background pre-college, I was able to learn the basics and quickly move into one of my own servers as my customer base grew within the first 6 months.

The 4 years that followed saw slow growth due to my time being split between Arvixe and school. Following graduation, I spent around 4 months and re-did the website and initiated our affiliate program. Furthermore, I built some of the open source partnerships that propelled our growth in 2009 up until today.

What is it like to own and run a fast growing, global company like Arvixe? 

I am quite hands on so I work with a lot of different managers daily to help them with their day to day activities. As we are a remote company, it allows me to be efficient in communication and potentially handle several different issues on a given day.

Ultimately, at Arvixe, we know how we got here. It was through providing a quality product with good support services. Any growing company has challenges and issues that need to be resolved. However, we keep the above in mind and continue to make sure that every move we make is towards a high quality product and exemplary support services.

Looking Forward & Opinion

We have seen quite a few large acquisitions and mergers in recent years – millions, if not billions, were made by hosting companies’ founders. What’s your thought in this? Is selling-out or buying other companies part of Arvixe’s expansion plan in the next 18 months?

Consolidation is part of any industry. We are lucky to be large enough to have the ability to compete with larger companies in terms of marketing and we’ve been able to use creative marketing strategies to find niches in today’s market that the larger companies have missed.

Our goal is to continue to innovate to grow organically while taking any opportunity to acquire healthy customer bases that make sense within our growth strategy. We have acquired small customer bases over the years and will continue to do so as the opportunity presents itself.

Last question. In your opinion, what makes a good hosting service? What are some of the key points to look into when we are choosing a web host?

For me the 3 most important aspects are –

  1. Turn-key – The hosting account should be easy and quick to use. While this depends on the user’s expertise, a semi advanced user should only need a few minutes to get going with any of our products while a majority of them are instantly provisioned through the shopping cart.
  2. Quality – In web hosting, quality product refers to reliability and performance. We utilize many technologies to ensure that we continue to provide the highest reliability and performance when possible. While shared hosting can always have issues, our technology ensures that our customers have the least amount of issues than a majority of the providers on the market today.
  3. Support – As we have grown, we’ve gone from providing services to hundreds of customers to almost a hundred thousand unique customers today. This means we handle thousands of inquiries a day. Our goal is to always innovate and build systems to not only properly handle such requests but to make sure that we do it better than the competition.

That’s all. Thanks again for your time. Is there anything to add before we end this interview?

No thank you for your time.

Learn More

You can connect with Sabetian and team on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Arvixe Hosting is currently in our tracking list. You can read my review here.