Eugene Y. Xiong was determined to get a piece of the American dream despite an extremely limited command of the English language and even less understanding of U.S. small business financing. But against the odds and with assistance from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), his company – Foxit Corporation – was born 10 years ago.
He recalls five years ago making less than $1 million. Today, the Foxit Corporation has $7 million in revenues due in part to the help of MBDA. Foxit now has offices in the U.S., China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and France.
Xiong was referred to MBDA after failed attempts to obtain bank loans and financing.
“Our banker recommended MBDA to us,” Xiong said. “MBDA has been working with us on banking and financial services.”
Foxit Corporation has been serviced at the MBDA San Jose Business Center.
“When we were tight on cash flow, MBDA helped us find the right banking service and we got the right cash that we needed to grow our business,” he said. “They have been constantly in contact with us and provide consulting and referral services. We also received information about the government procurement process.”
Xiong came to the U.S. in 1994 from China, where he was obsessed with computer programming. A friend hired him to work for his software company, but Xiong recalls being so limited in his language skills that he could only order fast food by pointing.
After taking English classes and launching his own business online initially, Foxit was a dream that had become a reality.
Founded in 2001, his goal has never wavered – to produce a product that would be an alternative to Adobe for PDF users.
According to Xiong, Foxit Software Company is the industry leader in the OEM licensing of industrial standard electronic document solutions included in ISO 32000 PDF. In 2004, Foxit launched Foxit Reader, a small and fast PDF document viewer and Foxit’s desktop software – Foxit PDF Editor.
“We want to bring more competition to the PDF electronic document market once dominated by one vendor, and provide better user experience to our customers and users,” Xiong said. “In this process, we want to grow our business substantially.”
In addition to taking on Adobe, Xiong is also pursuing the e-reader market space positioning the company among the likes of Amazon and Sony.
Customers licensing Foxit technology for use in their products include Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett Packard and Amdocs.
With over 90 million Foxit Reader downloads worldwide, Xiong says Foxit software has become a high quality, affordable and popular alternative to other PDF software tool suppliers. In 2009, Foxit Software Company was incorporated as Foxit Corporation.
What keeps Xiong going is the responsibility to his family, his international team and the quest to make a better product.
“The prospect of making some impact on the industry and people’s lives motivates me, as well as the responsibility to my employees and customers,” he said. “If a business brings new things to society and provides rewarding opportunities to its employees, then I think that it is a successful business.”