#2: Arbitech

Life's a beach for these successful entrepreneurs.

By Amanda C. Kooser

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A "board meeting" at Laguna Beach, California-basedcomputer commodities trading company Arbitech is morelikely to include the Pacific Ocean and surfboards than a big tableand office chairs.

Co-founders Torin Pavia, 31, and William Poovey, 32, really knowhow to have fun. Lunches for all 26 employees are catered everyday, the group often surfs together, and an annual corporateretreat sends everyone off to lovely locales like Puerto Vallarta.Arbitech has the opposite problem most businesses do: "I haveto call people and tell them to go home at my company," saysPavia.

Pavia and Poovey also know how to get down to business. Arbitechdoubled its 2001 sales by hitting the $60 million mark last year.They've come in at No. 2 on our Hot 100 list for the secondyear in a row. They're shooting for $90 million this year andare already well on track.

Founded in 2000 with $500,000 from the founders' savings,Arbitech is blazing its way as a less expensive alternative to bigcomputer products distributors such as Ingram Micro and Tech Data.Most people don't think of computer memory being a commoditylike corn, but Arbitech does. "We take a securities andcommodities approach.

It's very much like Merrill Lynch or PaineWebber,"explains Pavia. "Why reinvent the wheel?" Their salesfloor looks a lot like the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.This way of conducting business helps them offer computer productsat low prices to mostly small resellers across the country."We sell HP cheaper than HP sells HP," Pavia boasts.

Integrity is a way of life at Arbitech. Its marketplace has longbeen tainted by used and counterfeit goods and shady businesses, afact that spurred the company's slogan: "Bringingintegrity to the channel." Judging by its growth and theincreasing number of small resellers that rely on the company as alifeline, Arbitech is doing just that. Looking ahead to thecompany's healthy future, all we can say is, the surf is mostdefinitely up.

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