Rewind nearly a couple decades and Reggie Aggarwal, the founder and chief executive of Cvent, the travel software company, was just dipping his toes into the world of software as a service. It was 1999 and the travel industry was continuing its move online, something that transformed the way consumers, travel agents, and the business community interacted and booked trips. The lawyer by trade, Aggarwal co-founded Cvent with an eye toward making meeting planning easier for the business community.
Close to a couple decades later Cvent, under Aggarwal’s charge has been busy. Its grown to more than 3,000 employees, has business operations on four continents and went public in 2013, commanding a more than $1 billion market capitalization. In November of 2016 Cvent was sold to Vista Equity Partners in a go-private deal in which the company fetched $1.65 billion, representing a 70% premium. It is now billed as one of the biggest event management software companies in the U.S., organizing 375,000 events for more than 12,000 customers. Its software as a service platform is used by scores of people around the globe.
A leader by nature, Aggarwal’s path to CEO of Cvent was paved with leadership roles whether it was during his college years or today supporting the technology industry in Washington D.C. The executive was vice president at the University of Virginia, class president at Washington and Lee Law School and President of Georgetown's Graduate Law School. Aggarwal, known as one of the best networkers in the Washington D.C. area is also the founder and chairman emeritus for the Indian Chief Executive Officer High Tech Council which was founded in 1997 and has grown to a network of 1,800 C-level executives. The idea was to create a venue for Indian entrepreneurs to meet, share ideas and partner up and has evolved into among the most successful networking groups in the country. It was also the reason Aggarwal founded Cvent to begin with. When the executive’s networking group in Washington D.C. took off Aggarwal struggled to organize the events. He built an app to make it easier and with $17 million in investments, many from members of his networking club, Aggarwal launched Cvent.
Not one to shy away from the public spotlight, Aggarwal is a friend to the media and the industry he has helped create. The executive has given countless interviews to the media and has repeatedly been bestowed with accolades including CEO of the Year by the Washington Business Journal in 2013 and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009. Forbes coined him a rising star of Washington and Aggarwal was named to the list of Washington D.C.’s 40 most influential business leaders, sharing a spot with the CEOs of AOL, Marriott, and Nasdaq. More recently he landed on the top of this year’s Top 50 SaaS CEOs list published by The SaaS Report. Aggarwal beat out the CEOs of Salesforce, ServiceNow, Slack, Shopify, and Splunk to get the top billing. The list ranks CEOs on company growth, corporate culture and professional achievements. It’s the second year in a row Aggarwal has been included on the list and probably not the last.