2011 Young EOY: Joshua Huen
Publication: bcbusinessonline.ca | October, 2011
Congratulations to Joshua Huen, CEO of Dr. Battery, the 2011 Pacific Region Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
As lunch hour winds down at Dr. Battery headquarters in Richmond, employees chat in clusters outside the office doors. The most senior among them looks to be around 30, so one could easily mistake the casually attired group for students unaffiliated with the six-year-old battery company that grossed $15 million last year. The young staffers propel the company with an understated determination consistent with that of 35-year-old founder and CEO Joshua Huen, a boss who considers them friends.
Upstairs in the boardroom, Huen expounds passionately on his obsession with new technologies. His future-oriented approach to business led him to establish Dr. Battery in 2005, when Huen correctly predicted a surge in demand for replaceable battery packs to power increasingly ubiquitous laptop computers.
The company started in a 600-square-foot office with two employees and has steadily multiplied in size and profits. Today Dr. Battery employs 50 people globally, 38 of whom work in the 12,000-square-foot Richmond battery lab, warehouse and office.
Business soared after laptop prices dropped in 2007, the first year Dr. Battery broke even. “In 2008, my company grows 4.5 times. In 2009, my company grows another 2.5 times,” Huen recalls. “In 2010, we doubled up again.”
Huen is now setting his sights on new projects and, of course, future growth. Dr. Battery will soon require new digs at least 30,000 square feet in size. And Huen is placing new bets on the electric bicycle, a battery-powered transportation method that he predicts will grow in Canada.
E-bikes, Huen says, will be key to getting more drivers out of their cars and into public transportation and bike lanes. He has partnered with several local organizations including TransLink and the City of Vancouver to embark on a Dr. Battery-powered e-bike pilot project scheduled to start in March 2012.
Just as laptop prices have dropped and become widely accessible, Huen forecasts the same for e-bikes.“E-bikes are so expensive because the battery is expensive,” he says. “But I’m in the battery industry. So I can control the price.”
If Huen’s predictions are correct yet again, his influence will extend far into the future that continues to fascinate and inspire him.Back to list