An Indian-born entrepreneur who moved to New Zealand a decade ago with dreams of making a better life for himself has listed the company he began with just NZ$10 of start-up capital on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
Joining just seven of New Zealand’s largest construction, dairy and telecommunications companies listed on the Deutsche Boerse, Optimizer HQ began trading on November 30. Expected to trade at 0.10 Euro, its share price rose to 0.40 Euro in just six hours.
Optimizer HQ was established in 2003 as a web development company and now provides a raft of ground-breaking technologies to businesses who want to find and grow their customer base in the online market.
A classic rags to riches story, Optimizer HQ is the brainchild of Manas Kumar, who immigrated to New Zealand from Kolkata to embark on a professional cricket career.
Kumar says his dream was short-lived and he was forced to swap the cricket pitch for a role behind the counter at a fastfood chain.
“I had no money and worked every hour I could, in the end there was little point in going home so I’d just find somewhere to sleep in downtown Auckland before my next shift started.”
Kumar says he was determined to make a better life for himself. With just NZ$10 that he used to buy a domain name, Optimizer HQ was born in the bedroom of his Auckland apartment. His flagship product was an email marketing solution that allows businesses to communicate with their customers and grow their relationships.
With international clients such as Harvard University, Burger King, Pfizer and Footlocker, and local customers like the New Zealand Police and New Zealand Post, Optimizer HQ currently employs 11 staff and is looking to expand further.
“In the last 18 months Optimizer HQ has grown to the point which I could never have imagined back in 2003 when I set out on this incredible journey,” says Kumar.
“Just last year we were delivering about 300,000 emails per month, which I was really happy with. Now we’re sending more than 400 million emails and expect to hit the one billion mark by next June.”
Kumar says listing on the Deutsche Boerse is the beginning of a new era for the company and one which allows it to showcase its technologies on the world stage.
“This was such an important step for us as a company and one which we’re naturally incredibly proud to have achieved,” he says.
“And just as the growth of Optimizer HQ has been a rapid one, the listing was rapid too - we achieved the listing in just 47 working days,” says Kumar.
At 31, Kumar is the second youngest chief executive in the world to be listed on the Deutsche Boerse, behind Puma’s Jochen Zeitz.
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