An Improbable and Unconventional Path to Building a Business Empire
Phonexa President and CEO David Gasparyan’s formative education and training revolved more around trenches and tumult rather than technology. Today he’s shooting for the stars by leading the near 150-person, flourishing, international software company that he founded in Glendale with offices in Ukraine and the United Kingdom. Gasparyan has spearheaded Phonexa and several of his sister companies to reach $200 million in revenue annually ever since its inception in 2016.
The story behind the success and the massive sums he oversees is a made-for-Hollywood miracle when you consider the 43-year-old was once down to his last $100 as a newlywed and in need of a loan. But it was during those desperate moments that Gasparyan was inspired to develop a proprietary technology that currently serves the entire lead generation industry.
Opportunities for Gasparyan were always few and far between throughout life, so he had no choice but to create and seize them along every step of the way in a circuitous journey from Armenia to Argentina to America. He’s currently settled and positioned his company on the penthouse floor of the 505 North Brand Boulevard building in Glendale. He lives in Glendale, too, close to the grandeur views of the Verdugo Mountains that give Gasparyan a brief respite back to his homeland of Vanadzor, Armenia, and the mountains and land he once protected while positioned as a soldier in Artsakh.
Gasparyan never had dreams of being a power player in technology growing up in the early to mid-90s, especially as Armenia was dealing with an energy crisis. The first time Gasparyan touched a computer was when he was tasked with moving one as a laborer during his teens. After graduating from a management and marketing school, Gasparyan was drafted to serve in the Armenian Army.
At the time, Armenia was fresh off breaking away from the Soviet Union and recovering from a lengthy war with Azerbaijan to protect the mountainous region of Artsakh. A country trying to establish an independent identity left its citizens pondering their own. After a two-year stint in the military, Gasparyan returned home only to leave his parent’s nest and instead opted to unite with his brother in Buenos Aires for better opportunities.
For the next six years, Gasparyan learned Spanish and earned his master’s degree in hustling in the school of hard knocks by hawking cell phones and other accessories as a street vendor. But the ambitious Gasparyan yearned for more, and this time, he accepted an invitation from his uncle to move to the United States in 2004. Gasparyan landed in Hollywood, a town known for breaking more dreams than making them come true. He bunkered with his uncle’s family and toiled as a cabinet maker. That lasted for almost one year until he respectfully quit.
The entrepreneurial-minded Gasparyan was motivated for a more rewarding career path, especially after he got married and was blessed with two beautiful daughters. After their first month of marriage, however, Gasparyan was hit with unforeseen hardship and down to his last few dollars looking to make rent. He applied for a short-term loan, and in the painful process, realized that the proper technology powering the loan industry was lacking.
Like any software that’s been founded since the turn of the century, Gasparyan aimed at solving serious hiccups across the user journey. The darkness somehow led to a sudden glimmer of light. Gasparyan reached out to his friends overseas and quickly brainstormed and built a team and technology that would instantly become a beacon connecting lenders to consumers looking for loans.
Once close to being homeless, Gasparyan was now helping others escape a similar situation. The foresight to build the tech platform was a life-changing one for Gasparyan that eventually served as the premise and foundation for Phonexa.
The ride started off slow the first few years, but Gasparyan was able to withstand the rocky road as well as a recession and soon kicked his SaaS into second gear. He became a serial entrepreneur of sorts and applied his proprietary tech across different businesses for calls, leads, clicks, email, SMS, and accounting, all of which are industries that Phonexa serves today.
Gasparyan eventually grew the scrappy garage start-up he’d formed and blossomed into the full-blown worldwide company it is today. His unconventional rise and achievements have not gone unnoticed. In addition to being a finalist for the CEO Leadership award from Los Angeles Times B2B Publishing, his business gravitas has now led him to earning a column penning stories for Forbes.
The Los Angeles Business Journal also named Phonexa as one of the “Best Places to Work in Los Angeles” while also honoring executive Lilit Davtyan as “CFO of the Year.” Phonexa has even made a splash at awards shows garnering multiple top honors for its creative campaigns, one of which was a humorous homage to its garage roots fostering innovation.
Culture, diversity, inclusion and community are equally of utmost importance for Gasparyan, a man of the world who speaks four different languages. Gasparyan has made it his mission to have an impact throughout Southern California and abroad with the Phonexa Cares initiative.
During the pandemic, Phonexa celebrated the reopening of California amidst COVID-19 by hosting an awards luncheon honoring Glendale’s first responders and local heroes for their critical work helping the community persevere through heartaches and the unknown.
The company also raised funds to help victims of the 2020 war ignited by Azerbaijan on Armenians in Artsakh, the soil Gasparyan once proudly protected. Much like Gasparyan has survived personal strife and helped Phonexa grow into a tech powerhouse, he promises to do the same for Glendale and Armenia, one sound move at a time. The avid chess player has aspirations of building the Jewel City to become California’s next great tech and economic hub, while also expanding Phonexa into Armenia, an equally emerging tech hub.
The self-made Gasparyan has always been the underdog who’s had to create and chase opportunities as if he were learning and playing chess shorthanded. Now more seasoned, strategic and operating at full strength throughout every facet of his life, Gasparyan seemingly has the upper hand, waiting to make a wave of moves aimed at further advancing the improbable company he gave birth to and the communities and people around him.
Phonexa is an all-in-one suite for marketing automation that empowers companies to optimize inbound web and call campaigns, and outbound call, email and SMS campaigns, while having the ability to enhance consumer journey every step of the way. Complete with seven turnkey solutions, Phonexa’s customizable tools for calls, leads, clicks, and email marketing maximize workflow efficiency for direct advertisers and lead generators alike.