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VoyageATL Interview: Zahir Palanpur, CEO

This is a repost from VoyageATL. See the original interview post here.

Meet Zahir Palanpur of Azul Arc

Today we’d like to introduce you to Zahir Palanpur.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Zahir. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I started getting more serious about life and what I planned to do in high school.

Starting a business and building something from nothing always appealed to me. When I came to the US to go to grad school at Emory, I was fortunate to win an entrepreneurship scholarship that helped validate that this was the direction for me.

After gaining experience with larger multinational firms in strategy and business management, I took the jump and started my own firm, Azul Arc.

During my time in the corporate world, I recognized the ability for design and technology to transform organizations. I also saw the creative energy that came from the intersection of different design and technology disciplines.

This inspired me to start my own firm, focused on building technology that builds business. Azul Arc was founded just over 10 years ago, and we have continued to grow and further develop our design and development capabilities for our clients.

Has it been a smooth road?
Is it ever a smooth road? The great recession hit our clients and we had a few flat years.

This is just about when we had expanded and moved into our first office space! There were a few months that gave me pause – times when I had to dip into our personal funds to make payroll. Luckily, we had developed strong relationships that helped us weather that storm. This period taught me to stay calm and have the right attitude to address challenges that will come your way. Getting stressed is the last thing you need when dealing with problems. One of my favorite quotes goes something like this – in life obstacles are put in front of you, only so that you can fly higher.

I feel like hitting that 10 year anniversary mark was a huge milestone, and I look forward to seeing what the next decade brings.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Azul Arc is a digital product design and development company. We build technology that builds business. Our digital products are focused on the front-end services of our clients; bringing technology to the sales and marketing functions through websites, mobile apps, and business applications. Our team has also developed a number of proprietary products that can provide a value-add approach to our projects. We operate a hybrid on-shore/off-shore model, bridging the gap between the knowledge of product management and ux/ui of the states with an experienced global team to provide expert capabilities at a great value.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Atlanta is a wonderful place to start a business, especially in the technology sector. With proximity to amazing colleges and institutions combined with a lower cost of doing business makes Atlanta a great home base for our international headquarters. It’s exciting to see the start and entrepreneurial climate develop in our city.

I’m very passionate about promoting this and active in a couple of organizations that are focused on entrepreneurship. One that I strongly recommend is EO. The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) is a global, peer-to-peer network. Atlanta has one of the strongest chapters in the world and it’s a great place to connect with like-minded people.

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