Kevin Hobbs Vanbex Group CEO and Vancouver Business Leader on Growing Your Company

As CEO of Vanbex Group & Vanbex Labs, a blockchain firm, Kevin Hobbs is responsible for overseeing operations and providing vision and leadership for the Vanbex Group of companies. A cryptocurrency and blockchain technology industry veteran, he joined the company just five years ago and, since then, has led the company as it’s evolved from a three-person team to a full blockchain laboratory with more than 65 employees.

Since Lisa Cheng founded Vanbex in 2013, the company has been developing emerging technologies for a rapidly changing world, supervising future growth and strategic response to continual demand for the organization’s services, while also overseeing client and project management, administration and human capital. Vanbex also builds products for other companies focused on growth in the space, so that they could add them to their offerings and continue to grow and build them out to solve industry problems.

We asked him how he’s been able to grow Vanbex Group so quickly, and what advice he would give to other business leaders.

In just five years you grew Vanbex Group from a small business into a large player in the blockchain industry. How did you lead such a dramatic change?

Kevin Hobbs: Lisa Cheng hired me as CEO in 2015, two years after she launched Vanbex. Blockchain technology was still new, and in many ways its potential was still being figured out. Wanting Vanbex to be a leader in this space, I did everything I could to connect with companies that wanted to get involved in the blockchain and crypto world. Our solutions are distinctive; we help companies in the blockchain space grow by providing them with branding, communications, strategy, and other services. Combining our comprehensive menu of capabilities and proven expertise, we have been able to grow Vanbex into one of the largest companies of its type in North America.

What are the components that you believe must be in place for a company to be growth-focused?

Kevin Hobbs: First and foremost, as a leader, you need to have people in the company who are as committed to the organizational goals as you are. We’re fortunate to work with employees who get up in the morning excited about blockchain. We all ask ourselves, “What can we accomplish today?”

Also, a growth-focused leader needs to have a strong vision. Although blockchain has been around for several years now, we still haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s possible with it. So we work together everyday to provide excellent service to our clients, while also trying to figure out what we can do next that uses this technology.

Finally, a leader needs to be able to handle a degree of risk. Technology is always in danger of being replaced by something newer. But if you have faith in your vision and projections that support the things you want to do next, you have to be the one who leads everyone in taking the next step.

What role do people management skills play in helping a leader grow a company?

Kevin Hobbs: They’re extremely important. As a leader you need to treat your employees well because they’re giving you their time, intelligence, ideas, skills, talents, and sweat equity. Let them know you appreciate the work they’re doing and how valuable they are to the company. Celebrate successes together. Keep morale high. You also want to be a good communicator, telling them, specifically, what the company’s goals are and how they’re expected to play key roles. You need to be tactful, too. I love when my employees bring questions and new ideas to me.

With all the attention given today to blockchain and cryptocurrency, is it possible to get too big? For example, can you get overwhelmed?

Kevin Hobbs: It’s possible, but not likely in our space. We plan very thoroughly and anticipate the growth we experience. We’re ready for it and welcome it. Now, for that to happen you have to have the infrastructure and people capital in place. This is why long-range planning is so important. Where are we today and where do we want to be five years from now?

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